As a small business owner, you are in charge of how your operation runs on a daily basis. That can mean making decisions about anything from what inventory you carry to what policies you put into place. It is not uncommon for small businesses to experience issues with employer and employee relationships, especially if there are only a handful of workers at the location. Working closely with your employees can make it hard to separate your feelings from your professional duties as “the boss.”
As a personal relationships grow between you and your employees, it makes it that much harder to maintain the professional relationship that is necessary in a business setting. While you may want your workplace to have a relaxed, casual environment, you also need to make sure it is running efficiently. Having a healthy workplace dynamic is essential to making your business profitable and sustainable, and having a good employer/employee relationship is an important part of making this happen.
Incentives and Rewards
You may have an incentive program for your customers, but what about your employees? Providing motivation for your customers to return can be as simple as rewarding them with a free or discounted item after making a certain amount of purchases, so why can’t you use the same tactic to reward your employees for their hard work? After so many sales, you could give them a cash bonus, an extra day of vacation, or a discount on your products. You will be surprised at how much happier and motivated to work your employees are. It is human nature to get excited about getting rewarded for working hard.
If you don’t have the working capital to implement such a program but recognize the value of offering your dedicated employees a little something extra for their hard work, then you may want to explore the possibilities of alternative funding. An unsecured business loan could help get an an employee incentive program up and running in no time, and the return on your investment could be substantial.
If you have a business that has more than one shift, you may be surprised at how your employees react to offering flexibility with a rotating the schedule. If an employee was hired to work weekends but is not that happy with never having time to spend with family and friends, you could offer them a break every other week. Working closely with your employees in a small business makes it much easier to organize the schedule so that everyone is happy. Take the time to consider each employee and their situation so that they can maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Make Work Enjoyable
Invest the time and effort in getting to know your employees a little better. In a small business setting you will probably end up hearing things about your employees personal lives, so take an interest in what is happening. You don’t want to blur the lines between a proper employer and employee relationship, so avoid becoming too involved in their business. But letting them know you that you are sympathetic to their situation can go a long way. Something as simple as asking how their day is going can be enough to keep an employee happy and motivated.
You can even socialize with your staff after hours to promote a happier workplace. Maybe start a company softball team, organize a catered lunch on special occasions, or help celebrate employee birthdays by buying the cake. Even the smallest of gestures goes a long way in creating a happy workplace, and the first step to making it happen will invariably start with you.