Getting the Best Out of the Employees in Your Small Business
Whether it’s a small town diner with an uptempo atmosphere or a micro-brewery born in your garage, your small business likely relies heavily on dependable employees. Even the best product or most innovative marketing plan needs the shoulders of a solid workforce. Unfortunately, your small size makes you particularly vulnerable to productivity-crippling factors like absenteeism, chronic tardiness or sloppiness on the job among workers.
Dysfunctional staff can undermine the best-laid plans, eroding profits and sprouting an atmosphere of disharmony which can pull down everything you’ve worked so hard to build. Running a business comes bundled with many challenges; that’s a given. An unreliable workforce is not.
Here are some steps you can take to ensure your human resource isn’t a liability but an asset to your entrepreneurial aspirations.
Getting your employees invested in success
An employee is unlikely to be as invested as you are in your business. We’re all familiar with the worker who clocks in and watches that clock until the work whistle blows. You need staff who will give 110% when they’re on duty. It’s the only way your business can thrive.
It isn’t always apparent to workers that their livelihood depends on the success of the business in which they’re employed. Attaining employee of the month is great, but it’s going to take more than an awkward picture in the office to create that connection between your success and theirs.
Encourage Using Coupon Codes To Get Employees Invested in Success.
Many employees view their corporate expenditures as play money, and rarely (if ever) consider the consequences of shopping for a deal. For company expenses like website hosting, Virtual Private Networks, and even office supplies, you can incentivize your employees to keep costs down with monthly targets.
VPN Coupon Codes
Many companies use VPN services for security and confidentiality. There are lots of coupon codes and an express discount promotion available that employees can use to keep costs down. Having targets available, and rewards for keeping the budget down to a certain percentage, will motivate your employees to hunt for deals whenever they can.
For example, whether you have a small site and just need 40% off shared hosting package, or you have an enterprise-level website and need a VPS discount code to save money, these types of behaviors will end up making your business stronger and your employees feel like they are contributing to the strength of your business.
One sound strategy to build loyalty and commitment is an employee rewards programme. Crunch the numbers to construct a rewards system based on a quarterly appraisal process. Upward mobility tied to better compensation demonstrates faith in your workers’ abilities and their value to the company. Meaningful year-end bonuses give employees something to work towards.
Recognition of performance, though, needn’t always be financial. Workers can also be rewarded with gift baskets of the products your business sells.
The value of criticism
Criticism in the workplace is often undervalued. This is, perhaps, because it’s often deployed thoughtlessly. As the old saying goes, “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down”. While workers should be told where they’re falling short, they will respond more favourably to positive reinforcement.
A critique of a worker’s performance should be delivered in the context of inspiration to improve. “We loved your aggressive pursuit of that account last month. Your client interaction needs a bit of work, but you’ve brought in new business and that’s great!”
Then you might explain how that employee could brush up on client relations. In the execution of criticism, tone is everything. You don’t want to be condescending but maternal would be a bridge too far. Your counsel can be a big component in shaping your workers into invaluable assets.
The importance of being there.
As a small business owner, the day-to-day demands of keeping the wheels oiled can see you busy with work errands or meetings. Still, the last thing you want is to become an absentee business owner.
The workers from whom you are demanding their all must see the same commitment from you. That’s not to say you should be perched like a gargoyle above them every waking moment. While it’s important to appoint managers whom you can trust, your presence is also critical to reinforcing a sense of leadership.
In a small operation, many workers take their cues from the behaviour of the owner. Nothing builds employee respect like the boss rolling up his sleeves every now and then to get the job done.
Being a small business owner is as challenging as it is rewarding. Success will depend, to a large extent, on the calibre of workers you are able to win to your cause. You won’t make converts of them all; there will always be those who offer the bare minimum on the job.
It’s entirely within your power, though, to build relationships with workers who show potential and loyalty in your business. Focusing on your workforce will be one of the best investments of time and attention you’ll ever make.