If you’re a small business owner, you know how crucial your workforce is to success. When your operations begin to expand, and your employee numbers soar, this can really bring a new dimension of pressure to the business owner…and often results in a drop in employee motivation. Most of us have dealt with a large, corporate employer that left us feeling like a faceless number. Make sure your burgeoning business doesn’t head down that path with these five ways to connect and motivate your workforce.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
If you’re not talking to your employees, don’t expect them to talk to you about the important things either. Make sure you have a personal connection with as many staff as you possibly can – if your organisation is growing rapidly, offer skip-level meetings, write a newsletter, hold regular all-staff meetings – take all opportunities to keep in close contact with the people that are on this business journey with you.
Focus on their development
Success is all about attitude – yours, and your employee’s. If your staff don’t feel that you care about their individual career goals, it’ll be a tough ask to have them care about your goals as much as you do. Make sure you engage with your staff, understand what they really want from their career, and help them make it happen – whether it’s learning and development, or mentoring, or the chance to learn new skills while on the job.
Set consumable, achievable, exciting goals
Your grand vision might be crystal clear to you, but for employees, an overarching vision can seem unattainable and intangible. Make sure you give your staff small goals that can easily be achieved as part of the larger whole. You know that making the big things happen is all about the daily, step-by-step process – so make sure that your employees know how to make their big goals one small goal at a time.
Invest in work-life balance
Life happens, and sometimes it’s going to happen to your employees. Work-life balance isn’t just about leaving on time or how many sick days taken – it’s also about sick children, doctor’s appointments, and mental health days. Offer flexibility where you can, and your employees will feel heard, understood, and cared for.
Gamify like the tech kings
We’re all human, and we’re all more susceptible to a lingering game of Candy Crush than we’d like to admit. Silicon Valley has twigged to this, and more and more start-ups are using fun, game-like tactics to incentivise their employees. Think boy scout badges and gold stars, but for adults. Finish a training module? Earn 10-points on the employee awesome-o-meter! Your imagination is the only limit.