As a small business owner, hiring the right employees is crucial to the success of your business (easier said than done!). There are different incentives and benefits many companies have adopted as a way to invest in their employees—think 401K, health insurance, PTO. But, as these benefits become more mainstream, it’s important to think of other ways to keep our employees engaged and excited about their work. We’re not necessarily talking about fancy vacations or an increase in salary, but more modest, everyday steps we can take in creating an environment which helps create employees who help our businesses succeed.
Assess Your Culture Are your employees happy at work? Do they like how decisions get made? Do they feel valued? You might be able to make an assumption one way or the other, but the best way to know where your employees stand? Ask them. There are different ways to assess your company’s culture. Some choose to interview their employees, or use surveys, while others feel it best to bring in a third party professional. No matter which tool you use to make an assessment, it’s important to take the results seriously. Employees who feel engaged in their work and empowered with the resources they need to be successful, will be the people who help shape your business and do the best work. Increase Office Morale Workplaces that evoke fear in their employees are not typically productive places. Teams which experience conflict that isn’t fruitful or thought provoking can cause years of damage. Don’t know how to improve morale? The best way to find out is to ask employees what they want. Sometimes it can be as simple as a jeans day at work or going to a happy hour, sometimes it might take a lot of time and hard work. But, when we make our offices and teams places that we actually want to be they have the potential to become hubs of energy and productivity. Offer Educational Opportunities No matter our jobs or responsibilities, by nature, we are lifelong learners whether we recognize it or not. Giving employees the opportunity to leave the office and learn from people other than coworkers can be both rewarding and inspiring. Consider looking into conferences, team-building retreats, or offsite networking events that would give your employees an opportunity to reignite excitement about their work. Know Your Staff How can we invest in our employees if we don’t know them? The better we know our employees and their goals—personal and professional, the better we will be able to support them in achieving them both at home and at work. When it comes to getting to know someone personally, remember that people are different. And so, the same approach won’t work for your whole team. Sure, some people might be comfortable telling you everything you ask off the cuff, but for others, the investment will take more time. Taking your employees out to lunch, and spending time with them outside of work will help you understand what they need to be successful while they are at work. When it comes to investing in your employees, what works for you? Share your ideas below!