For a small business to truly thrive, hiring the right group of employees is crucial. But today it’s simply not enough. Shaping your employees into a winning team takes more than finding the right crew on paper; it’s a process that involves knowing what your employees want to work well and establishing team building skills to get everyone working well together.
As a boss, finding perks which benefit both the employee and yourself is paramount. Retaining your team takes time and dedication; and while salary increases tend to be valued the most by staff, personal investments can be just as effective—if not more—and help to set the path for a mutually beneficial relationship. Here’s a few ways you can invest in your staff without breaking the bank:
1. Invest in their Personal and Professional Development
Developing your employees’ skills should always be a priority within a small business. Not only does it help you stay on top of new tech and trends, but it promotes consistency, leads to less staff turnover and positively boosts your employee’s personal and professional development. And for many people, these benefits are irreplaceable.
Personal and professional lives are closely correlated; so if a staff member is struggling in their personal life, chances are their professional life will be slipping too. Thus, it pays to ensure both are healthy to encourage a better working team environment. Investing in specialized training courses which can benefit your employees’ career opportunities and personal attributes can be a great push in the right direction. Look for courses that can encourage staff to move forward and up within the company and build on their personal and professional skills. This will give them a power boost too and make them feel more confident within the workplace.
2. Discuss Employee Goals with Individual Staff
Keeping communication lines open with staff doesn’t need to cost a cent, and it works wonders in promoting a healthy working environment. Talk to your staff individually about what their professional goals are and how, as their boss, you can help them to get there. Recognizing the value of one-to-one conversations with staff, and being proactive about starting them, can push your staff in a positive direction and make them feel like they’re being heard and valued.
Get the conversation going by asking questions like where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? Or what opportunities do you want to purse within the business? Brainstorm ways with staff about how these goals can be reached and work with them to keep them on track. This process will help to understand what motivates your staff too.
3. Keep the Business Vision in the Forefront of Employee’s Minds
Expressing the business vision to the team is crucial to keep everyone on the same page. Set the scene for your employees by letting them know, as a business owner, what you are aiming for. Help staff to understand the primary goals of the company so everyone can work together to make it happen.
By keeping the business vision clear for staff and using words like ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ when talking about the business, your employees are more likely to feel part of a solid team. Once a strong team environment is created, staff work harder to achieve business and personal goals.
4. Offer Flexible Work Schedules
As personal and professional lives become more entwined, gone are the days of the regular 9-5 office hours. Technology advancements have made it possible for employees to work from home to juggle various commitments and businesses that recognize this are more likely to succeed. Implementing flexible work hours can be a huge perk for working parents who are juggling children, employees with busy schedules and personal circumstances.
5. Challenge Them, and Acknowledge Successes
Staff like to be challenged, because it promotes growth and success. Without a challenge, employees can slip into dull work routines, feel discouraged and get bored quickly within the job. By keeping your staff on their toes and challenging them in their job roles, you’re pushing them to become better colleagues. And when they do reach key milestones, acknowledge their successes with something personal to encourage them to keep moving forward within the business every day.
Most of us spend a good chunk of our productive waking hours at work. Therefore, ensuring our actions show the value we place on employees is crucial for everyone to work at their peak. By keeping staff happy, small businesses will reap the positive effects of productivity and team environments in the workplace.