Keeping staff happy and loyal can be a fairly simple thing to do. It’s not that complicated. It doesn’t always have to be grand gestures and hefty pay increases (although that’s nice too). At the heart of it all, employees, or rather people, just want to feel appreciated and that what they’re doing matters. As an employer, if you can do that, you will probably have some incredible staff that works their butts off for you.
As a small business owner, our company only consists of 2 employees, my partner and I. However, I have held many different jobs over the years. Some employers have been amazing to work for and others, well, not so much. I think for many of us who have worked the majority of our life, it’s fairly common to have had jobs that we loved. Work environments that we thrived in. And bosses that we respected. But on the flip side of that, there has also been jobs or companies that for whatever reason, weren’t the right fit for us. I believe it has a lot to do with how employees are valued or treated at work. I’m not an expert by any means, but you can bet that when our company expands and we add staff to the mix, we will be sure to incorporate as many of these as we can!
- Compliment Them. We live in an instant gratification time. When an employee does a good job or perhaps goes a little above and beyond, be sure to let them know how much this is appreciated. Most people I know like to hear nice things said about them. And employees are no different. Flattery is a great motivational tool. FYI, this also works for unruly teenagers and annoying neighbors.
- Reward Loyalty. After all, you reward customers with their loyalty, so why not employees. This is especially relevant if you have staff that has been around for awhile. Remember that they have chosen your company to work for out of all the rest. Acknowledge that. Even if you can’t afford to give them a raise or promote them, at least let them know how important they are to your business. Sometimes that’s all it takes. At the end of the day we all want to feel respected. Sometimes it’s the difference between staying with a company and moving on. Monetary rewards are great, but letting someone know how great your company is because they are a part of it is also pretty great too!
- Be Respectful. Treating people in general with respect should be an easy one, I think. After all, if you as a “boss” have done your due diligence in the hiring process, chances are your employees’ work ethic, moral compass, and basic values will be similar to yours. However, even the best employees can get stuck in a rut or at times may need some extra motivation. So lead by example. Respecting your employees and clients is a win-win for everyone. Some of my favorite jobs weren’t the best jobs or lifelong career jobs. They were my favorite because I knew I was valued.
- Make It Fun Sometimes. It’s always nice to let your guard down once in awhile and let your staff see you without your “boss” hat on. For some companies that’s the Casual Friday, company softball games, Summer BBQ’s, or even a holiday party. Just getting together outside of the office can be a good thing. It’s always nice to have something to look forward to that isn’t a work deadline.
- Care About Your Staff. Take an interest in what they do outside of work. If they have kids, try to at least remember something about them. If they have a special hobby or interest, ask them about it. People love their jobs, but they also love what they do outside of work. As a boss, if you can be a little interested in what they are up to outside of work, chances are they will be a dedicated and more well-rounded employee.