Award-Winning Entrepreneur, TEDx Speaker, Media Maven & Founder at Inception Automotive Inc.
One question that I am often asked is, “How do you always have such a great staff at your shop?” Well, it wasn’t easy at first, but in the 10 years that I have been an entrepreneur, I have learned a thing or two about supporting your staff to ensure they thrive.
Let’s get a big piece of obvious advice out of the way first: Don’t be Michael Scott from The Office. His heart is in the right place, but trust me, your employees do not want that kind of relationship. Remember, your employees are real people with life goals and dreams beyond enjoying the opportunities that your employment provides. Be flattered that they want to work for you, and remind yourself that the best relationships in life (and work) are reciprocal. Your employees help you achieve your dreams, so you should consider how your business can help them achieve their dreams.
Here are a few things to consider when caring for your employees.
A Professional, Clean Work Environment
You might be able to work in a messy office, but many of your employees will expect a clean, organized, wholly professional place of work. Try putting yourself in your employees’ shoes and visualize the kinds of things that would make their jobs easier, more efficient, more comfortable, etc. Your workspace should utilize as many supports to staff as you can incorporate.
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It is also important to think about the kinds of behavior accepted at work. You’ll want to think about policies for settling disputes in the office and regulations that ensure workers are free of prejudice and discrimination.
Acknowledgments And Rewards
It shouldn’t come as a shock to you that people like being recognized for their hard work and achievements. Remember, deep down people desire purpose, and part of that means understanding their value to an organization. Congratulate hard work and highlight expert displays of skill as often and as earnestly as you can.
Perhaps you could create a few programs or policies to routinely award and reward hard work. But try to be more creative than just enacting an employee of the month program. You could plan some kind of yearly celebration for your staff as a more general way to reward hard work throughout the year and blow off steam when appropriate.
Beyond compensation, it’s important for organizations to offer up some kind of benefit for working for them. Large organizations often offer health and dental care as a way to further incentivize potential workers. You could also offer paid time off for when employees need to recharge their batteries; this can help them feel comfortable pursuing life. Some of your staff could be at the stage in their lives when they are building a family, which means they might need some form of maternity or paternity leave.
Lastly, some organizations make smart use of development programs for their workers. You could explore helping employees achieve new certifications or designations from accredited schools and institutions.
Open And Honest Communication
Spend time with anyone who’s had a job and no doubt you’ll hear stories of bosses who could not communicate or bosses who manipulated or glossed over important details with regard to the business at hand. You’ll want to be as open and transparent as you can, as often as you can.
Being honest with your employees and leveling with them is the fastest way to promote open lines of communication. The last thing you want is an employee who feels as though they cannot talk with you, which means they ultimately cannot trust you. And since you are the leader, it’s your responsibility to make the first move. That’s why it’s important to be transparent. If you demonstrate that honesty and truth are essential to a flourishing enterprise, your workers will take note and follow suit.
All employees go through a sort of honeymoon phase with new positions within organizations. At first, everything is shiny and new, so workers will be satisfied with the day to day. However, as time rolls on, there is a chance that your staff might become lethargic and uninterested in work, despite the pay they receive. First off, don’t be offended by this. It happens everywhere from the smallest jobs to the most advanced positions.
Secondly, counteract this by providing advancement opportunities for your staff. You’ve probably already been thinking of how you’ll expand your business someday, so why not think about the kinds of jobs and positions you’ll need to offer? And since we’re dreaming, why not imagine who on your staff could advance into those roles? Spend some time thinking about how and when your employees could advance and under what circumstances. Then simply let them know that there will be new positions to fill with new responsibilities to manage as the company grows.
Bonus Tip: Birthdays
Remember staff birthdays. Just put the dates in your calendar and order a cake. Don’t think too hard about this one; just do it and maintain the tradition. Little traditions and routines, especially fun ones, are absolutely essential for an energized and enthusiastic work staff.
So, why do I always have such great staff? I care about my employees and genuinely want to see each one of them thrive and grow and achieve in their own right. I might make it sound easy, but it’s taken me years to understand these lessons. So, if you’re wondering why you might not have the best employees, maybe your organization is lacking a few of these elements. Give these ideas a chance and remember to keep calm and entrepreneur on.