As a small business owner, you wear many the hats. You’re the boss, the employee, the bookkeeper, the marketing team, and everything else in between. At a certain point, you may want to hire additional employees to help with the work load. The question is, once employees are hired, how do you keep them motivated?
1. Communicate openly
Respect your employees. Let them know that you are available for them to talk to and that they can speak to you honestly. Listen, figure out what they need at that moment, and act accordingly.
2. Remember the little things
It’s the small thoughtful ways you manage your team that cement their bond to your company. Remembering birthdays, work anniversaries, personal milestones and taking time to connect fosters loyalty and motivation to work hard every day.
3. Recognize their efforts
Thanking them in person for a job well done, offering a day off, writing a note of encouragement, or giving a small gift goes a long way in making employees feel appreciated.
4. Offer a fun work environment
Finding ways to make work fun and encourage team bonding helps keep your employees excited to come to work every day. Try offering a team lunch once a week, going to happy hours together, or hosting fun activities around the office when employees need a break. Ask your employees for suggestions for what they’d like to do.
5. Encourage ownership
Avoid micromanaging your employees. Giving control over daily tasks and projects empowers, making employees feel more invested and confident in your company.
6. Notice strengths
When an employee does an excellent job, don’t just praise them. Discuss their accomplishment and pinpoint their strengths. These strengths can be transferred to additional tasks. If you discover that a certain employee has a passion and talent for a certain subject, let them educate you and other employees.
7. Offer telecommuting options
Studies show that two-thirds of people want to work from home, and that over two-thirds of employers report increased productivity among their telecommuters. If your business and industry allow for it, give your employees the flexibility to work remotely if they’re sick, have things they need to take care of at home, or think they would be more productive getting certain tasks done at home.
8. Get branded clothing
Once you’ve established your brand and created a unique logo, try ordering some branded clothing. If everyone is wearing a company t-shirt, it shows that you’re all part of the same team and promotes unity.
9. Make the skills of your employee match the role you hire them for
If their skills don’t match the job requirements, you are setting employees up to fail. This leads to frustration on both ends. Be clear from the beginning on what your expectations are. Their role may evolve over time (especially if your company is a startup), so communicate on a regular basis to make sure you’re both satisfied with job performance.
10. Lead by example
If your employees see you working hard and communicating well, they’ll be more motivated to do the same.