How to Motivate your Small Business Employees

If you feel like your employees haven’t reached the peak of their performance at the office, there are various incentives and ways you can try to improve their motivation. No matter how small or large a company may be, even teams with the most compatible members can become oversaturated (due to the great amount of work), run into a creative block, or simply get stuck in a rut. Also, if employee satisfaction isn’t emphasized as part of company culture and overall business strategy, managers and supervisors can find it difficult to run a work environment. Read through this text to find out how you can extend your reach to create a work environment that can help you motivate your employees.

1. Be transparent

Transparency is a way of making your employees feel included in the big decisions and committed to the company’s direction. If you are open with them, there won’t be any surprises and they’ll have a chance to ask questions and give their feedback. Transparency can help to sustain increased motivation and company loyalty because it instills trust, and is a major factor in any workplace relationship, making employees feel more valued, appreciated and heard. All this results in improved team performance.

2. Manage your employees’ workload

Your employees’ long-term productivity and happiness can be negatively affected by working too much and too long. Some employees are enthusiastic and competitive, while others may feel the need to earn your trust, but regardless of that, many will lose their creative spirit and initial drive if buried in too much work. When the early signs of overworking start to appear, it’s your responsibility to notice them, and manage your employees’ workloads in a more effective way in order for them to keep their efficiency at its peak.

motivating employees

3. Express your gratitude

This can be a powerful tool for boosting your employees’ morale. However, expressing gratitude with a simple pat on the back won’t help your team members cope with the difficulties that come with their job. There are a few simple ways to express your appreciation and show that you notice their contribution, including giving them a few extra vacation days, gift cards, vouchers, or a raise. Make gratitude an integral part of your company culture, and once each one of your employees feels appreciated for their efforts, you’ll be working with a happy group of people.

4. Team-building

Team-building activities can strengthen bonds and help a team get closer. Whether we’re talking about activities, recreational trips, or just a couple of hours at a pub after work, it will most likely have a positive effect on team spirit. How you’ll organize team-building largely depends on your employees’ preferences – you can schedule a day of volunteering as a team, a quick field trip in the nature, or a take them to a paintball session and have lots of fun. It’s essentially an opportunity to laugh, relax, and relate outside of work that will help your team grow stronger.

5. Nurturing a positive company culture

A healthy company culture can’t be based on negative behaviors and attitudes. Every company needs to thrive on mutual support, enthusiasm, and encouragement in order to ensure long-term productivity and happiness of each employee. Otherwise, if the environment in which they work is overly-competitive and hostile, with employees fearing for their jobs, they will eventually experience burnout and consider changing their job. With clear expectations, transparent communication, and making sure that every team member has a clear purpose in the team, you will promote a positive company culture and working environment.

Small Business Employees

6. Help them maintain their work-life balance

By having your employees work 10 hours (or more) each day and promoting nothing but hard work, it will leave them drained, which isn’t helping anyone. Thus, it’s crucial to prioritize and support a healthy work-life balance. Give them a chance to work remotely (at least a day or two during the week), offer flexible or alternative work hours, and encourage them to take vacation time. Those who have a good work-life balance are ready to work harder, and it will eventually lead to an increase in productivity and engagement and a reduction in staff turnover.

As a leader, you are the one who needs to set the example that will have an important effect on your employees’ outlook, and that includes everything from work ethic to your company values. Every business is a story of its own, and there are always ways to help each employee find their place in your company. By nurturing their spirit, cherishing their contribution, and with fewer tasks delegated well, you can help them manage their tasks stress-free and boost their performance. That way, you’ll build a team that thrives.

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Emma Miller is a digital marketer from Sydney. Works as a blogger, Senior Editor for Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends.