According to Gallup research, most non-management employees are likely not engaged with their jobs. Many small business owners struggle with this reality every day. As a result, they often spend a disproportionate amount of their time dealing with the ramifications, including poor morale, lower productivity and higher turnover. Your employees are one of your most valuable assets, and keeping them motivated is key to their productivity and your profitability. Here are some tips that can help you take better care of your employees, who, in turn, will be better at serving your customers and your bottom line.
Use the Right Incentives
Money is a good start, especially if you use it correctly. First, an incentive program should allow all employees — not just managers — to be financially rewarded for their efforts. Second, make sure incentives are tied to specific behaviors you want to encourage, such as customer service targets or upselling initiatives. Remember, though, money will take you only so far in building employee productivity. Studies show that recognition is as important as — and sometimes more important than — financial rewards in motivating employees.
Support Staff Members
Make sure your employees have the best resources available to help them do their jobs. Are they still doing inventory by hand? Have you upgraded your point-of-sale systems? Could tablets or other hand-held technology help improve their efficiency? Even something that may seem small, such as cheap or poorly fitting uniforms, can have a huge impact on how employees feel about their job. But don’t forget emotional support. Come to their defense if you see them being treated unfairly by a co-worker or a customer. It also helps to be as flexible as possible with schedules so your employees can better balance their work and personal lives.
Show Them How It’s Done
Leadership comes from the top, so if you are more engaged with them, they will be more engaged in their work. Provide regular feedback — both positive and negative — in a constructive way that both encourages and guides. And remember, communication is a two-way street. Ask for, and listen to, your employees’ ideas and concerns.
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