Dear Aunty B,
I’ve had a problem where a competitor of ours keeps trying to poach my staff from me. It happened on one occasion when the staff member took a job at more pay than I could offer. Now I think one of the other girls is talking to them. What do I do? I can’t afford to offer any more money.
You need to realise that you compete against your competitors for more than just clients and market share – your employees should be your most valuable assets to poach!
Any employee just wants the best deal they can get for themselves and you can’t hold that against them. If you can’t compete with the money being offered by your competitor, then you need to give them another reason to stay.
Why would they want to stay with you? Culture? Chance for progression? Flexibility? Mentorship? There are many things that a person looks for in a job and I suggest you work out what somebody would see in working for you.
It might be as easy as talking to them and finding out what they want, then seeing what you can do to attract them to stay. Sometimes the most valuable offer you can give someone is acknowledgement.