Keeping your team happy not only breeds awesome results for your business, it also increases employee retention. This means you get to preserve the best talents you have to continue growing your business to its highest potential. How can a business owner make their staff happy and motivated? Guess what, it starts with you and your leadership.
“A great company led by an inspiring leader produces a happy team.”
Follow these steps to ensure your team is happy—enough to create an enviable work culture that delivers success:
1. Communicate Constantly
It is crucial to keep everyone in your company informed of what’s happening.
Delegating tasks to an employee without explaining the reason behind the workload or its purpose can become problematic. Issues with misunderstanding, demotivation or frequent errors can arise from this, which makes it important to explain why completing ‘Task A’ will benefit ‘Goal B’.
Clarity for the employee is rewarding. It makes them feel trusted and dependable. The last thing you want to find on your desk is a handwritten letter from an employee venting their lack of job satisfaction coupled with an urgency to quit.
Additionally, a workplace has no room for tough love. Communicate why certain behaviors and standards are expected, rather than lashing them with your supervisorial whip every time something goes amiss. Relax. You’re all in this business together. Furthermore, the best way to tackle employees’ mistakes is through calming explanations of what to do next.
2. Encourage New Ideas
If an employee has suggestions to help the business grow, listen to them even if they are not from your creative department. Employee feedback is a way to know that your team actually cares for your business. You can arrange an email blast to everyone on your team that your door is always open to new ideas. You’ll then be surprised at how much cooperation and creativity that could spark.
There are times when suggestions may not be where your company’s direction is going. In cases like these, remember to respond positively. You can thank them for taking the time to send through their ideas and that you’ll consider them. It’s a way to make everyone feel appreciated and important.
3. Reward Appropriately
Compliment efforts with rewards and commendations. You can equate how much an effort is exerted to accomplish a goal, but oftentimes simple a thank-you and constant recognition can be good enough. Making your team feel special can be done in two forms:
When an employee performs a task well or reaches a goal in record time, let them know how pleased you are with their work. There’s nothing wrong in expressing a complimentary word or two. In fact, your employee will be much more motivated to do their tasks over again no matter how challenging it can be.
You know John Smith from accounting? He’s the guy who sits at the back of the office and rarely gets a mention amongst colleagues. Read his stats and then call him into your office. Tell him he’s doing a great job and how his work has been an integral part to the success of the company.
Now this is what it’s all about. Give staff a concrete reason to succeed. It can be in a form of a bonus, a plaque of appreciation, free tickets or gift certificates. It doesn’t have to be all too expensive. Of course, this should depend on the status of the company—whether you’re on the profitable end of the spectrum or not.
What you’re going for here is to be able to appreciate. Your staff will understand the endeavors of your business and will already be thrilled at the thought of their efforts being reciprocated, which empowers them to do more. Win-win!
4. Promote Balance
Results or time? There’s no competition here. Results will always win, hands down. Don’t demand unnecessary overtime from workers for the sake of it and then proceed to compliment them in the next team meeting for not having a life. Compliment the one that gets things done at the right pace and on the right amount of time. Praise the one that works quality hours over the one who quickly works for quantity.
That’s not to say there won’t be a time when extra hours will be required to appease the workload; but as a leader, it’s vital you get your troops to work smarter. Not harder.
And besides, an employee who works normal hours and enjoys a healthy work-life balance will ultimately be the happiest. He or she will most likely be up early in the morning and ready to produce more outstanding work with a smile. After all, you didn’t push them to work ‘til stupid-o’clock.
5. Kindle Motivation
At this stage, you already know how essential communication is to smoothen out work activities. You’ve encouraged creativity, handed out numerous bonuses, and you’ve told employees to enjoy a healthy work-life balance. With all these actionable management tips, it’s vital that you constantly remind them to strive for the best.
By that, I mean “work with the company’s mission”, which, in some form or another, is an attempt to be the best.
You have to make small conscious actions that will remind employees to work for the betterment of the business. You could:
- Send an email at the start of each month to remind them of the company’s mission or inform them of the direction of your goals.
- Set bi-weekly team meetings (virtual or office-based) to promote a “unity in the same direction” work culture.
- Invest in team merchandise! Create a sports franchise-esque “team” mentality.
Sure, employees still may not be as concerned as you with regards to your business, but they will, at the very least, feel responsible in achieving the company’s goals. They’ll get a sense of belongingness and take work seriously to provide a compelling product or service.
The Bottom Line
Fostering motivation increases their productivity during working hours, which in turn increases everyone’s satisfaction. And all of this results in happiness. And happiness? Well that results in success—full circle.