Engaged employees are more productive, less likely to quit, and promote a healthier work environment for everyone. And as important as employee engagement can be for a large corporation, it can be even more important for a small business, where excessive turnover or low employee productivity can literally destroy the business. As such, here are 7 ways small business owners can keep employees engaged.
- Allow for Feedback – Nothing can demoralize an employee faster than being shut down when they have an idea. Small business owners often think they know the best way to manage every aspect of their business. Oftentimes, however, the employee doing the task all day may have a more efficient method. Allowing for employees to open up with new ideas about business processes, products, or ways to improve satisfaction is important to engagement. It can also be an easy window into what is bothering employees and make it easier for you to rectify the problem.
- Promote From Within – Whenever possible, fill a position with someone already in your organization. Seeing growth potential will keep employees engaged.
- Discuss Development Planning – Employees who have a plan for developing are more likely to remain engaged. This does not always mean preparing for a new role, as not every company has another role to develop into, it can also mean developing skills and learning something for a future career change. A skill may not be relevant to a job an employee holds today, but the opportunity to learn it may keep that person engaged at work, rather than looking for a job where those skills can be developed.
- Be Open and Honest – Employees want to work somewhere where they feel their work matters. Be open about sales numbers, targets, and profits. This will help employees to understand what they contribute and help motivate them to work harder.
- Recognize Successes – Whether a big sale, an anniversary, or a new task learned, recognize the success your employees have.
- Be Flexible – Your employees are people and their personal lives need to be a priority. If telecommuting is an option, open it up to employees. If an employee needs a personal day, allow it. If an employee needs to work non-traditional hours in a role that is not customer facing, try to accommodate it. Don’t let your employees walk all over you, but be flexible when possible for your employees. They will pay you back manifold as truly engaged employees.
- Have Fun – Work is, well, work. It is not meant to be a place of enjoyment. But by keeping the mood light at the office and focusing on having fun as often as possible, your employees will enjoy coming to work (or at least not hate it as much). This will make them less likely to leave and more likely to work hard to keep their jobs.
Employees will often work harder for less money if they have fun at work and feel that they have a purpose. By following these tips, you can have a fully engaged staff working hard, enjoying their time, and helping you to find new profits.