For small business owners, it’s very easy to be so busy and not think about how to treat employees well. Research demonstrates if employees are treated well they are more likely to be loyal, productive, feel valued and provide excellent customer service. My eight top tips are not rocket science but will help you make a real difference in the workplace.
1. Make the time to talk together
It only takes a few minutes to ask how your employees are and what they have been up to both in and out of work. Show an interest in what they are doing and get to know them better.
2. Seek their ideas
Employees often have the best ideas on how to improve things or make a difference. You might not want to take them all up. Instead select some of the ideas and ask your employee to help put them in place, giving them greater ownership.
3. Listen attentively
Allow your staff to have their say and listen to their concerns. Sometimes just listening attentively and acknowledging issues can go a long way to making a difference. If you need to act, then get on with it and don’t prevaricate.
4. Understand their key strengths
Learn what are the key strengths of your employees and help them work to their strengths. Think about selecting projects that play to their strengths.
5. Set clear objectives
Set some written objectives so your employee is clear on what your expectations are. Ensure they are realistic and set timescales for them to be achieved within. Regularly review their progress against these objectives and provide feedback on how they are performing.
6. Provide training
Review and discuss what training would help your employees to do their job more effectively. Invest in them to learn new things and improve their skills.
7. Show appreciation
It doesn’t cost anything to say ‘thank you’ but it can go a long way. Read this article about how to thank your employees like you mean it in three simple steps.
8. Put the basics in place
Job descriptions, annual appraisals, holidays forms etc can all sound like bureaucracy but they are there to serve a purpose. Do all your employees have a job description? Just a straightforward list of key accountabilities and skills required will particularly help new staff. Annual appraisals are a great way to sit down together to review progress, training needs and demonstrate you are taking a genuine interest in your employees.