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Enhance Work Ethic Among Employees in 5 Easy Steps

Small businesses are bound to experience a lot of ups and downs. To accomplish the goals you've set for your company, your team has to see projects through to the end. This can be challenging when propositions become difficult and the light at the end of the tunnel seems unreachable. As the leader of your business, it’s your job to boost morale and ensure your employee work ethic stays strong, regardless of the situation. Use these small business tips to increase work ethic among your staff.

Step 1: Know that you set the example.

You can't expect your team to be engaged and motivated if you don't have the same attitude. You may have a day or two where you're exhausted and can't find the willpower to lead the meeting you have scheduled or brainstorm ideas for the upcoming marketing campaign your business is planning, but if your employees see you slacking off, they'll feel it's okay to do the same. Show your face around the store and follow up with your managers to ensure everything is on track. Fill them in on any important news or information so there's little room for miscommunication or misunderstanding and they know that you're doing your part as well.

Step 2: Establish clear goals.

Projects that your employees aren't exactly sure how to complete or that look overwhelming should be broken down into small tasks with clear goals. Establish target dates for each task and let your team know exactly what you expect from them for each one. Setting these milestones can turn a massive project from a daunting, insurmountable workload into an attainable goal.

Step 3: Focus on the reward.

When it comes time to buckle down and take on a stressful project or work with a high-touch client, don't let your employees get lost in the idea that hard work means late nights and tedious meetings. While this may be the case at times, it's important that you encourage them to see challenges in a different light. Focus on the reward and positive results that could come from a job well done. After all, the more challenging a task, the bigger the reward. This will remind your staff what their hard work is for and that they're growing and learning as employees in their desired profession while contributing to the success of the company.

Step 4: Spend some one-on-one time.

There's no better way to encourage employee engagement than by sitting down with them face-to-face and quickly reviewing their work and goals. This can be done over a long stretch of time if you have a large number of team members. Spend 15 minutes going over the projects each employee is working on so they know exactly what you're expecting from them. Ask them if they have anything they want to address with you, whether it's details about a certain task or specific aspirations they have. This will build the trust and loyalty between you and your team that's needed to keep everyone motivated during challenges and times of uncertainty.

Step 5: Reward top-performing employees.

While focusing on successful results during challenging projects will help increase employee work ethic, going the extra mile and showing staff your personal appreciation with a reward can go a long way toward boosting morale. Your team is working hard to help your company grow, and showing that you both recognize and appreciate their work will help encourage them to continue putting in the time. For example, if your marketing team creates and implements a campaign that triples your website traffic and doubles in-store customers, taking them out to lunch or buying them coffee and donuts one morning to celebrate enables you to share in their success, and will keep them happy. 

photo credit: Marissa at PT's via photopin (license)

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