Improving productivity does not always involve making financial investments or offers to your employees. Often, there are underlying issues in the manager/employee relationship that can cause strain on the effectiveness of work produced during office hours.
For small businesses having the right employees and getting the most out of them is crucial to your success. So as a small business owner, what can you do to make your employees more effective? Here are a few ideas:
Egalitarian economic benefits
It is pretty normal for senior-level employees to be offered bonuses and other incentives for meeting and exceeding targets, but this can be demotivating for lower-level staff who do not feel involved in or committed to the growth and welfare of the company.
Try not to think of bonuses as an extra cost, but instead as an investment. If you give everybody the opportunity to make a difference and to be rewarded for doing so you can get a lot more dedication from even your lower members of staff and at the same time you will see which employees are more ambitious and prepared to work hard.
A comfortable working environment
If you love where you work you will be much less likely to seek other opportunities; even if you are not paid as well as you would like. In fact, while salary may be an important factor in choosing a job, for most employees being comfortable and happy is the biggest factor in whether they stay.
Even at the simplest level, having a comfortable office to work in can help. Ensuring that lighting is ample, that the ambient temperature is comfortable (heating or air conditioning) and that noise is at a minimum can all help to produce a more pleasant working environment.
Regular and expressive feedback
Introducing a regular feedback loop which focuses on giving employees constructive criticism on their performance, whilst also accepting their comments regarding management and decisions is a healthy exercise for promoting open communication channels in the workplace.
This ensures employees not only feel as though they are being heard, but can also improve their skills and performance based on the results of their appraisal.
Of course you should try not to focus only on the positives but seek constructive criticism. By asking for feedback from your staff and valuing that feedback you show them that you care and you may also receive ideas that can help in the continued success of your business.
Respectable models in leadership
Your employees are probably more likely than you realise to take note of your behaviour and will quickly notice if you are saying rather than doing (or vice versa). Thus consistent behaviour and engaging your employees in your efforts as senior management is key for better motivation.
In other words, you need to become a leader. For solo-entrepreneurs this can be a difficult mindset to adapt after having been previously self-reliant.
A genuine support network
Employees need to feel as though they can rely on their employers in times of need, and this form of support can range from emotional to functional.
Whether your staff need new equipment because their existing set-up is outdated, or if they want to report and discuss a grievance situation or make a complaint against unfair treatment, or simply request more flexible working hours in light of having a new-born child, they need the right support infrastructure in place.
Employees feel especially motivated to perform better if they undergo a positive experience of goodwill from the side of management and eventually become more loyal. Moreover, employee recognition is also key for motivation, even more so than money.
It all really begins with trying to get to know your employees on an individual level. Treat them as more than just a resume, but take the time to understand their values and interests, which can in turn help you determine their strengths and weaknesses and how to convert the latter into the former for more effective working. People want to be feel understood and appreciated, which is why communication remains an integral part of any motivation tactic.
About The Author
Hi there, my name is George. I work for www.airconditioningservices.com. I love writing and reading about business and I get to work with a lot of small and medium business owners as part of my job. Thanks for reading my post!
Tom Treanor is the founder of the Right Mix Marketing blog. He’s the author of the Search Engine Boot Camp, the co-author of Online Business Productivity, and regularly speaks at industry and corporate events. His writing has been featured on the Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner, Copyblogger and other leading industry blogs.