Keeping Your Employees Happy
As a business owner, finding people that are the right fit for your business can be challenging. You should be selective about who you choose to bring into your work “family”. It’s not enough to hire someone who can do the job. The ideal person is inspired by their work, adds to the culture of the team, and has qualities that make the team more than the sum of its parts. Once you find the right team members, it's important to keep them happy, motivated and, most importantly, productive. Here are a few techniques to keep team members engaged;
Set Goals as A Team
One of the best ways to have team members feel connected to their work is to have them be part of the decision‐making process. Setting goals as a team allows your employees to feel more connected to the outcome of their efforts and stay engaged during their day‐to‐day activities. They feel heard and that their opinions matter. By creating a process that allows them to visualize what success in their role looks like, they will know what is expected from them and they will be motivated to prove that they can make a difference.
Acknowledging accomplishments, whether they be big or small, makes your team feel appreciated and can motivate team members to achieve new milestones. Having weekly discussions with your team to celebrate “wins” also allows you to collectively work on areas that need improvement. Ask them about what works and what doesn’t. Allow them to share without fixing. When taking the time to listen to the obstacles and struggles faced by your team, it shows that you care about them, not only the business. Whether it’s in weekly meetings, quarterly sales calls, or team events; celebrate their successes and remind them that you couldn’t have done it without them.
It’s easy to get frustrated when something unexpected happens or when things don’t go as planned. It’s helpful in difficult moments to communicate openly with your team. They can usually tell when you’re unhappy but may not understand why. Putting on a happy face forces you to deal with difficult moments alone rather than finding opportunities to collaborate and problem solve as a team.
When your team has fallen short of your expectations, it can be even more challenging. It’s helpful to stay calm and have an honest dialogue about where the team may be lacking. It’s your responsibility to be honest with them and offer guidance. Provide feedback on where you think the team needs improvement and be open to receiving feedback in return. Your ability to listen to and understand your employees is critical to employee retention. A careless boss creates an unmotivated team. Honest communication can go a long way.
We’ve all heard the saying, “happy wife, happy life”. The same goes for corporate culture. A happy boss fosters a happy workplace. If you stay positive and work to keep your employees happy, productivity levels will increase, creativity will flow naturally, and goals will exceed expectations. When employees don’t like their boss or their workplace, productivity levels decrease, and employees lack creativity. Don’t be one of those bosses that just says things to look good, say things that you mean and that you can act on. Build your employees up, make them feel important, and practice what you preach. If your company mission statement is focused on empowering others and radiating positivity, the same should be practiced in the workplace as well.
In today's work culture, more flexibility is needed than ever before. Unexpected events happen, whether it be a sick child, caring for an aging parent, or needing to work from home. If you notice an employee is struggling or having a hard time balancing their workload, offer guidance and be an empathetic resource for support. Life can be hectic, and we may have little control, at times. It’s important to encourage a healthy work‐life balance so that your employees can avoid burning out. Your employees are human and showing that you value their physical and mental health goes a long way. It demonstrates that you care for them and that you’re a thoughtful human being.
Over time, employees are often given more and more responsibilities while their salary remains relatively unchanged. In a competitive work environment where employees can find better pay, it’s important to compensate your employees fairly. When employees don’t feel adequately compensated for the work they do, they question whether their employer values them. This weighs heavily on people's mental well‐being. This has, in part, led to the great resignation where employees took their skills and knowledge to companies that offered more attractive compensation.
If a pay raise is not possible, find other ways to retain employees. Offer more paid time off, offer to pay for lunch (if only once per week), a company sponsored gym membership, improved benefits, or even a weekly meditation session. Focus on letting your employees know how important their efforts are to you and reward them for a job well done.