Believe it or not, there is one critical factor to the success of your small business that has nothing to do with bottom lines, prices or even the product or goods you’re offering: employee morale. Whether you have hundreds of employees or just a handful, employee morale is a quick way to make or break your business.
After all, poor morale can have a wide variety of effects, including two of the most important: high turnover and low productivity. As small business owners, you know best that a productive staff is key to your success. Luckily, there are plenty of ways by which you can boost employee morale.We’re sharing our top five.
- Show you care:This is especially important as a small business, because offices are typically small, close-knit ones. As the leader, it’s important to show you care about your employees not just as employees, but as human beings too. Some fun ways to do this include celebrating birthdays in the office by bringing in breakfast or cake, sending gifts for special occasions like work anniversaries, promotions, babies and weddings. It can even be as simple as taking an employee out to a random lunch to just chat about life and how things are going. Show you care about your employees and they’ll likely return the favour in their work.
- Be flexible: Once again, your employees are human beings too, and that means that appointments, sick children and life obligations can come up. Being flexible and allowing your employees to come in late, leave early or even work from home if possible can go a long way. Allowing your employees the time necessary to clear up personal appointments or issues can help them return to the office more focussed and ready to get work done.
- Let them vent:In a small business, monthly one-on-ones or meetings with managers can easily be overlooked, but it’s an important thing that should be happening often. Those meetings are a chance for employees to discuss important challenges and problems they are facing. Make sure that all employees are aware that open communication and honesty is not only appreciated, but necessary, and if there are issues, they should be discussed.Monthly meetings are the perfect time to do all this.
- Say thank you and recognise accomplishments: Itdoesn’t take long to recognise important accomplishments and simply say ‘thank you’. If you have monthly or even weekly meetings with all your employees, have the entire team take a few moments to give a shout-out or thank you to someone who helped them or did a great job in the past month. And make sure you are, as the leader, giving plenty of accolades and thank yous as necessary.
- Don’t forget to have fun: We spend the majority of our days at work, and while being productive and getting the job done is the reason employees are there, there should still be some room for fun. Once a month or so, plan some fun activities for the group to participate in together. Make a variety of after-work plans, like a happy hour, group bowling outing or dinner and some during the work hourstoo, like seasonal parties, volunteer outings or pot luck. These fun breaks from the monotony of work can quickly boost employee morale and bring the team closer together.