Small business run like a family – albeit a dysfunctional one. In order to keep your small business running smoothly, you need to keep the family happy. Let’s be honest – managing other people is extremely difficult. As the head of a business, it is important for you to maintain your business’ image — something that becomes more of a priority over time. while keeping customers satisfied and ensuring that the business runs smoothly.
It is extremely easy to overlook the employees helping to run your business, especially in the heat of things. Keeping your employees happy is the key to running a successful business. Think about it: if an employee feels undervalued and expendable, they are less likely to perform to their highest capability. Here are some ways to keep your employees happy.
Present the workplace as an open environment. Openness in the work environment often constitutes friendships and builds diplomatic and often prosperous relationships. Refraining from meddling in employees lives, ask them how their family is doing, ask them if they need anything, and that your door is always open if they need to talk or have any suggestions or complaints. Make your position and status a constructive one and always be willing to see how things can grow and get better. According to a study conducted by Snacknation, companies with happy salespeople produced 37 percent greater sales than other companies! The study also found that close work relationships boost employee happiness by nearly 50 percent, and named the three top factors for contributing to job satisfaction: job security, opportunities, and stability.
Show employees your appreciation. Who doesn’t like to feel appreciated, especially during a stressful period? You can take steps to alleviate that stress for your employees, as a matter of fact! It’s as simple as approaching an employee and telling them what an outstanding job they’ve done all day, all week, in a certain quarter, you name it! You never know how a small compliment can benefit an employee (for specific examples, try “33 Employee Recognition Ideas You Need to be Using”). It shows them that you’ve taken notice of their hard work and efforts and that it is paying off not only in terms of moving the company forward, but in your eyes as well. Acknowledgment is the first step to becoming a better leader and business owner or supervisor.
Don’t Micromanage. It’s fairly easy to continuously check on an employee for various reasons, or feel the urge to interject in a tasked deemed fairly simple. Sometimes, you may even voice that you would have done something differently or believe, often times, that it will only be done the right way if you do it. Employees, again, want to feel valued and like they are benefitting the company, and being micromanaged hinders the relationship between you and your employee, and may make it more difficult to communicate. We at ezClocker are firm believers in ensuring employees feel valued! We designed our software so employees can clock in or out from anywhere and their location is shared for verification so employers don’t have to be physically at the job site! Not only does it instill a sense of trust and importance within the employee from their employer, it allows for a sense of openness and flexibility in working!
Allow employees to learn from their mistakes. While this is similar to micromanagement, it actually involves the way you speak to an employee following a mistake they make. Often times, a mistake is made in the heat of a moment and is sometimes due to minimal training or a misunderstanding in task instructions. It is always important to keep patient with your employee, allow them to explain what they did, and explain to them the step they missed. Be constructive, don’t belittle, and make sure your employee is in a place where they completely understand.
Be aware of the importance of failure, and make sure your employees are, too. We all fail at some point in our lives – everyone has! Instead of being fearful of failure, use it as a catalyst to move forward, to build up and learn from the mistakes made. As soon as failure is embraced, you can focus on growth and positivity while coming up with a new approach to things. Own up to your mistakes, be able to apologize and move forward, and all will be well. Making failure an open and acceptable part of your workplace will always allow for opportunity and growth, as an awareness for betterment and prosperity creates a sense of openness to new ways of business management and running a business in general. Without failure, there is no opportunity!
Offer opportunities or incentives to boost sales and employee enthusiasm. It’s as simple as buying an employee a coffee or giving them a $10 gift card to a restaurant of their choice for having the best sales, most improved customer relations, or any other sign of growth and business prosperity. Offer incentives to boost sales and decrease customer complaints, to increase the quality and quantity of manufacturing, and to see the least amount of mistakes and do-overs made. All businesses are different, and it is up to you to do adequate research and observation of your employees to learn what makes them tick!
It’s all about the tone. This is the most important one to take to heart. Learn how to talk to your employees. Always be positive, constructive, and progressive in your speaking to an employee. Unless they are facing discipline, never pick on or belittle an employee, even if you feel like you are in a place with them where that is acceptable. It makes it seem as if you are elevating your own status, and makes other employees disdainful of speaking to you. Keep a professional tone, greet employees and then ask them to do something for you. When you are criticizing an employee, always be constructive and allow them to know that they are growing and doing well. Greet them in emails, ask them how they’re doing, keep it light and short.
Work on reading and getting to know your employees. While this may be difficult to do in a busy workplace, it is important to know the characteristics of your employees in order to know their work ethic, what influences them, and just how they think when it comes to getting a task done. If Suzy gets stressed when an influx of delivery orders come in, offer some help when peak hours hit. An employer who understands and resonates with employees is likely to get a warm response when tasking them.
It all begins with you. You’re the person employees look to. Have a teamwork mentality, be willing to ask for help and offer a hand to employees with anything they may need. Always strive to understand your employees no matter what. Remember that the key to intelligence is stepping outside of your own perspective and understanding others! It creates versatility and an open mind, and with those, you can accomplish anything. Be the image of the company, value everything about it, including those that run it. Create an accessible image from the get-go, and always remember that even though you are running a business, that the interior is just as important as the exterior.
Author: Raya Khashab
Raya is the CEO and co-founder of ezClocker. She is passionate about customers and building products that change the way people run their business. She is also a big supporter of the startup community and helping people achieve their dreams.