As a small business owner, you’ll know fine well that your team of employees are the most valuable asset to the success of your business. So, it’s vital that you ensure that your team members feel secure, happy and motivated in the workplace. After all, the more motivated and valued they feel at work, then the better quality of service they will provide.
Here are some simple and effective ways to keep your employees motivated and sustain a good working environment within your business. These tips are specifically aimed at small businesses which means they are budget-friendly and easy to implement and tailor to your company.
Create a friendly working environment among your employees
Taking it back to basics. One of the easiest ways to motivate your staff is to ensure that the office, shop, digital network (wherever you carry out your work!), is a friendly and safe space.
As a business owner, you can actively aim for this in a few ways.
- Be selective when hiring. When selecting new employees consider the personal manner and morals of an individual so that you can ensure to the best of your knowledge that they will be respectful of your team and align with your staff values.
- Take interest in your employees’ personal lives. Whilst it’s important to remain as an authoritative figure and not delve too deeply into the personal lives of your staff members. It’s good to show that you care about them as people and not just how they benefit your company. Regularly checking in on how they are, how their weekend has been, and maybe getting to know a little more about their hobbies and interests will help you to bond and build a relationship of loyalty and trust.
- Have clear business values amongst team members. From day one you should implement clear behaviors that are not acceptable and importantly what your team can do if they feel another staff member has violated this. For example, you have a no-bullying policy in your company. You then make staff aware that should they witness or feel personally bullied, there is a procedure in place which allows them to report a fellow team member anonymously. Procedures such as this help your staff to feel safe in the workplace and help you to deal with issues sooner rather than later.
Help them to expand their skill set and give opportunities for growth
A great way to keep your team members motivated in your small business is to help them progress and develop new skills. This is likely to help you retain staff longer as they feel that they are benefiting and learning more from working with you. Not only does that help them in the long run, but it also helps you to provide your customers with the best service possible as your team is regularly upskilling and going through training to better their output.
You can simply increase their responsibilities and train in-house. Or, you can support them with online training courses and even some Government and private programmess which offer modern apprenticeships and qualifications in the workplace for existing employees. Availability will depend on your industry.
If you are based in Scotland, one of the best places to get started in looking for qualifications and training available is the SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority).
Celebrate the wins!
When your team smashes a new sales goal or secures a huge new contract, show them your gratitude by rewarding their efforts! You could perhaps take them out for a nice meal, organise a fun activity such as paintballing or a cocktail making class.
In all honesty, sometimes it’s just nice to do these things even without the big win. Why not surprise your employees with a pizza delivery to the office as thanks for staying late the past few days?
Organise regular feedback sessions
Catching up with your employees 1:1 and giving praise on their work, offering them a chance to ask questions and to maybe identify areas of improvement is great for you as a business and helps the individual to feel valued.
It’s also important to ask if they have any issues that they feel you could address or improve on. Don’t let your ego get in the way of this one! Their feedback on your management is priceless to you becoming a better manager! By listening to your employees you can take effective steps in improving the way that the business is run. After all, these people work on your business daily, they speak to the customers and colleagues, they could have some great ideas from a perspective that you wouldn’t have considered.