Your business is awesome. Your customers love you, and (while it’s been a rollercoaster few months) you’ve managed to retain their loyalty. Your brand resonates strongly with old customers and new prospects alike. You get great engagement on all your social channels and you consistently enjoy outstanding reviews from the happy people who’ve enjoyed your products and / or services. You made this happen! That little idea that started out as a few lines jotted in your notebook slowly evolved into a fully functioning enterprise.
But, of course, it would be hubris to suggest that you accomplished this on your own. You have an incredible team behind you who have demonstrated time and again that they are smart, resourceful, resilient and dedicated to ensuring that customers enjoy consistently positive interactions with your brand. They’ve been with you through thick and thin. While you’ve had to make some changes to adapt to the present circumstances, they’ve risen to the challenge with aplomb.
But, as much as you love, respect and value them… could you be letting them down?
Why employers can always do more
Not only are happy employees inherently more productive, they’re much more likely to stay with you rather than defecting to your competitors. And high employee turnovers mean lots of unnecessary expense and a loss of the consistency in quality that your customers expect. Here we’ll look at some of the ways in which well meaning business owners aren’t doing right by their employees…
Assuming that “good enough” is good enough for their office space
Your office space is so much more than just a big room full of people and equipment. It needs to be conducive to individual productivity and collaboration between teams. It needs to be a haven of tranquility that keeps stress at bay no matter how busy you are. It needs to foster an atmosphere of creative energy and dynamism. If you’re noticing a feeling of static in your workplace it may time to think about how to modernize your office. Use natural materials wherever possible, hang wall art that provokes and inspires, and (of course) ensure that every member of the team has the connectivity they need to prevent downtime and keep them firing on all cylinders.
Only recognizing their achievements informally
Employee recognition is important to keep morale high and ensure that your team members know that they are valued. Even something as simple as saying a sincere “thank you” in your office or the breakroom can work wonders for employee morale. However in a climate where over 65 percent of employees report they do not feel recognized at work, you may need to implement something more formalized.
There are a number of employee recognition platforms out there which allow you to share and celebrate employee accomplishments. Their appearance and interface is much like any social media platform (in fact Facebook even has their own called Workplace). However, rather than sharing wry memes or cat pictures, they’re used by managers and peers to celebrate the accomplishments of teams or individual employees.
Assuming that money is always the best motivator
Incentives are great. They can help to keep employees motivated and give them a tangible sense of reward for their hard work and endeavor. But if your incentives only come in the form of monetary bonuses, you may nit be getting the best out of your team. Yes, everyone likes money. But there are other things that some employees may value more. Flexible working hours can be invaluable in helping them to achieve work / life balance as can allowing them to accrue more paid leave. The best way to find out what your employees value most is to ask them, and build your incentive program around what matters most to them.
One of the greatest cardinal sins you can commit as a boss is underdeveloping your team. Yes, employee training can be costly. Yes, it can be disruptive. But unless you’re committed to helping them achieve their career goals under your roof, they’ll try to achieve them elsewhere at the expense of your business. And your loss will be your competitors’ gain.
Invest in regular employee training and give each member of your team opportunities for ongoing professional development in line with their personal career goals.
Closing your office door
Finally, as busy and as stressed as you may get sometimes, a closed door can send all the wrong messages to your employees. It can make them misperceive you as shutting yourself off from them. Keep your door open and your ear sympathetic to their needs. Your team will see that their trust and respect in you is reciprocated.