Your business is important to you. It is natural for every business owner to feel this way. So it should also come naturally to you to treat your employees as important people. To be fair, this isn’t always easy. With your company’s bottom line being at the forefront of your mind on a daily basis, you can sometimes forget that your employees are just like you – they have feelings. And it’s necessary for you to be sensitive to them if you want your company to thrive.
Remember that, without your employees, your company could not function. You need them. “Employees are the lifeblood of small businesses, writes Ray Carboni on SAP.com, “Yet with resource limitations, small businesses are often places where employees are forced to be more flexible, and cover multiple jobs.” As a result, you should implement a number of ways to boost employee morale at your company. Here are six sweet ideas.
1. Recognize individual efforts. Workers like to know that their contributions matter. When someone at your company has done an exceptional job, be sure to highlight it in front of others. Offer an earnest congratulations and thank your employees for their jobs well done. “This is simple, and it works so well,” insists Joy Powers on Ragan.com, “Praise your employees at staff meetings, or take the time to thank them in a handwritten note. Whatever the message, the most important thing is that employees know that you notice and appreciate their hard work.”
2. Have morning meetings. Employees also like to be kept in the loop. The more they know about the goings-on of the businesses they work for, the more they feel encouraged to help out. Carboni insists you should “take a few minutes in the morning to share progress on the campaign, celebrate the new customers, and converse about what you plan on accomplishing that day. This allows employees to interact with each other, and based upon the workload of that day, they can help each other out of a rut.”
3. Offer training. Speaking of being in the know, employees like to feel that they are equipped with the know-how for getting the job done. When they are kept in the dark or are simply not trained properly, they will be made to feel inadequate. Naturally, this will lead to a far lesser enjoyment of the job. Proper training, according to Powers, “begins by partnering new employees with more-seasoned veterans, bringing in experts for training sessions, and paying for employees to attend local trade conferences.”
4. Lighten the load. Sometimes, your employees will simply need to take breaks. And not the regular 15 minute breaks that they are allotted. “For a small period of time, take the most stressful part of their day (often the thing bringing down their morale) and complete this task yourself,” suggests Carboni, “This practice will not only bring insight to your employee’s stress point, but also provide them with some relief for a short period of time.”
5. Make the office fun. Work can be tough. We all know that. So when you make the working environment an enjoyable place to be, it makes the work day not so tough after all. In addition, Powers points out that you’ll experience a lot less turnover as employees don’t tend to leave places of work that are fun. She notes that such activities as potluck cooking contests, baby picture contests and department shows are just a few of the ideas you can employ to make work at your business more pleasant.
6. Give out gift cards. Surprise your employees by giving them gift cards! According to Carboni, “this small gesture allows them to think of you when they are redeeming that gift card and help them feel appreciated.” We couldn’t agree more. Your employees will be very thankful for the ability to redeem their gift cards for free merchandise in your store. And who knows your merchandise better than they do?
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