Happy employees not only tend to perform better, but they also are a key element to helping your business grow. One of the best ways to grow your business is to have employees that are loyal and are willing to do what it takes to improve the performance of the business. There is a lot that owners can do to keep their employees happy and most of them don’t cost a thing. It is the intangibles that, generally, mean more to employees because those are the things that last in the mind of an employee. These intangible rewards will keep your employees happy which will keep your business on a positive growth track.
Respect their time. While it is true that you pay your employees, you still need to have respect for their time, particularly in regard to meetings and other “after hours” obligations. One of the fastest ways to make employees unhappy is to pile on after work meetings, gatherings, and other requirements. There are times when you will need your employees to stay after hours, but these times should be few and far between and only in an emergency. By respecting the fact that your employees have a life outside of work and commitments that aren’t just your business, you are telling them that you value their time. When you do have an emergency or need them to put in some extra time, an employee who feels respected will do it happily.
Praise often — and mean it. Empty, vague praise means nothing to employees. If you are going to offer praise to your employees it should be often and specific. Let them know exactly what you see them doing that is praise-worthy. Specific praise lets employees see that you know the extra effort they put out and appreciate it. Also, by offering frequent, specific praise, employees are better able to handle constructive criticism when it needs to be delivered. Be sure, however, that you don’t over-praise or it won’t sound sincere. If your employees know that you see what they do, they will be more likely to keep going above and beyond for you.
Back them up. When it comes to managing a disagreement between an employee and a customer or client, you need to look at both sides and come to a manageable solution. If you automatically side with the client, you run the risk of alienating your employees. While you need to take care of your clients, you need to remember that it is your employees that can grow or harm your business because of their interaction with all your clients. While most employees won’t go out of their way to harm your business if you don’t back them up, if they don’t feel valued, they will be less likely to go the extra mile for you. Giving your employees the ability to make decisions and backing them up in those decisions will make them feel they are a valued part of the company as a whole instead of just another worker.
Show appreciation. Appreciation is more than just paying your employees on time and giving them a free breakfast once or twice a year. It is more than just a coffee cup that says “I appreciate you.” Appreciation is something that is shown in every interaction you have with your employees. It is listening to them and responding to their needs in a way that is more than just that of a boss. It is nearly impossible to fake appreciation and it is easy to tell when someone is trying to do so. Genuine appreciation for the efforts your employees put forth for your business can make them be more willing to go above and beyond for you in the future. Employee appreciation day should be everyday — if you make sure to show your appreciation frequently and sincerely, your business will rapidly grow on the effort of your employees.
Keep your word. If you tell your employees you are going to do something, then be sure to do it. Employees need to know that you are trustworthy and true to your word if you expect them to put themselves on the line with a client for you and your company. If your employees don’t trust you or feel they can’t, they won’t be willing to go any further than they have to for you with clients. If you set the tone for keeping one’s word by keeping your promises to your employees, your employees will then, in turn, do the same for your customers. If you aren’t going to be able to keep your word, for whatever reason, you need to let your employees know right away and what you are going to do to make it right. Keeping your word is a part of trust. If your employees can’t trust you, they won’t be willing to stay on with your organization and they definitely won’t be happy.
The things that truly make employees the happiest generally don’t cost a lot of money. Happy employees can make your business grow faster than almost any other element. If you have a content staff that feels appreciated and valued, you have one of the most essential elements of success in place.
About the Author
Daniel Timmons is a professional blogger that provides tips and information on franchise opportunities and investments. He writes for FranchiseExpo.com the place to find the best franchise opportunities available.
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