Motivating Your Small Business Employees To Work As Hard As You
In this age of doing more with less, there are ways to motivate your small employees that don’t cost a lot, but can pay back in big results.
As a small business owner, you hope you’ve hired employees who bring the same passion to the job that you do.
Motivating employees can be difficult at a smaller business with tight budgets and employees with multiple responsibilities. And balancing how hard they work with how satisfied they feel can be tricky, but is vital to a high-functioning workplace. A survey of workers found a mixed bag when it comes to satisfaction – which often was lukewarm.
The 2011 Society for Human Resource Management Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement survey showed 83% of workers reported overall satisfaction in their jobs, but only 41% said they were very satisfied, with the remainder saying they were somewhat satisfied.
Just over half the workers felt completely engaged in the workplace and about 40 percent felt their career development options were satisfactorily being addressed, according to Small Business Trends.
Give Them a Reason
One of the first steps to motivating your employees is for them to know you care about them and their goals.
Ask them what their priorities and career goals are and how you can help them reach those goals. One way to help them meet career goals is to offer training to foster personal growth and increase effectiveness.
Build Company Loyalty
Getting employees to care about the company is more than simply paying them — it’s that intrinsic value that keeps employees wanting to come to work each day.
Author and business leadership consultant Stephen Balzac said business owners must get their workers to care about the company. When the employees care, they’ll work harder to grow the business.
“If you can’t clearly and succinctly state the value that you are bringing and get people excited about providing that value, you’re in trouble,” he wrote in American Business Magazine. “Recognize that your message doesn’t have to appeal to everyone. Rather, it only needs to appeal to the people you want to hire and eventually, to those whom you’d like to turn into your clients.”
Empower Them as a Team
As much as you are able in your business situation, let your employees work as a team on projects. Give your workers the independence to solve issues on their own as a team and be sure to recognize and celebrate successes when they happen.
The team may find solutions to problems that may not have been apparent to a supervisor or you, as the business owner.
Balzac recommended developing a feedback system where employees can look at a measure of their progress. Feedback differs from rewards because rewards have to keep increasing to maintain worker motivation.
Talking with them one on one, for example, is an effective way to give feedback and ensure the worker knows the company cares about his or her career and performance.Employees who are committed to the company and believe in its goals and objectives are workers who will help move your business forward.
What are you doing to motivate employees? Share your ideas with us.
Linda Doell is an award-winning journalist with more than more than 20 years’ experience as a reporter, editor and blogger.