Make them feel valued
Brand development is crucial if you're trying to grow your small business, but without the human capital to take you to the next level, you could be in trouble. While there are several things that you can do to expand your enterprise, neglecting employee happiness in pursuit of higher profits shouldn't be one of them if you're also hoping to keep the momentum going.
No matter how often you buy your staff lunch or invite them to use the company Keurig, these topical - and often temporary - features typically aren't enough to develop the positive atmosphere you need to keep a smile on everyone's faces. It's the behind-the-scenes elements of your business that help diminish turnover, and although you might already be doing everything you can to keep a little sunshine in the office, consider how the following tips for building a happy vibe can benefit your corporation more than a few freebies.
Recognition means something
When an employee does a particularly good job, it's one thing to privately acknowledge their hard work and an altogether different experience to give them praise openly and publicly in front of their coworkers. You might be worried that an avalanche of memos or emails might be forthcoming if this practice is instated, but it's something to consider and can help boost morale and motivation. How often do staff members outshine their coworkers? If it's really happening so frequently, it's either time to raise your standards or come up with another way to give props for good behavior.
In keeping with the above point, public hand-clapping can only do so much, especially for high-potential employees who, for all intents and purposes, should be receiving this recognition for their daily feats. As a small business, you might not have the budget to readily toss around raises and promotions, but you might be able to afford gift certificates to popular nearby retail stores your staff would enjoy shopping at. This may also be a good time to call on a few of your local partnerships. Does your company work well with a restaurant or a theater? Rather than spending your budget on buying coupons, you might consider a services trade.
Readily ask for their opinions
At the end of the work week, it's your employees who help put money in your cash register. For that reason, their opinions about how the company is faring, at every level, should be sought out, not ignored. Even if you provide individual meetings, make sure that you're acknowledging any points they might be raising about their comfort level. You can't feasibly fix everything right away, but rather than considering this feedback as little more than typical office grumbling, think on each point. After all, it typically costs more to replace an employee than it does to cut back on his or her workload.
No matter how large your small business becomes, one thing is for certain - you can't move forward without people who are invested and dedicated to your company's success. Successful companies achieve greatness because of how well they treat and value their staff members, and they're the true competitors to watch out for.