Everyone likes to feel valued. It’s simply human nature. If you think back to the days when you were a humble employee before you took the plunge and started your own business venture, you loved nothing better than receiving a pat on the back for delivering an engaging presentation or a high five for breaking sales records in any given quarter. It goes back even further than this for the human psyche. Who didn’t love getting a sticker at school for good work when they handed in the homework project that they slaved over for hours?
Now that you’re the boss of your own startup, you need to show a little bit of that positive praise. However, boosting morale within your staff team requires a little more than a thumbs up. You need to show your employees that they are valued and that you have their wellbeing as a top priority. If you can achieve this then you will find that you have a highly productive workforce.
Encourage Water Cooler Moments
The best office environments are those that encourage discussion. You want people to feel at ease stepping away from their desks for whatever reason without fear of feeling the eyes of their boss burning a hex in the back of their head. When you hold meetings with your staff ensure that you give ample opportunity for them to voice opinions and give feedback on business processes – good or bad. They shouldn’t feel scared to air something negative because of possible retributions. If you want your business to succeed you should welcome all constructive criticism so that you can reflect and improve to make your company more efficient. Employees that are listened to are happier and more willing to buy into your business visionand care about targets, sales figures and being as productive as they can.
Go The Extra Mile
It’s vital that you consider the needs of your staff. You may want to to make it easier for new mothers to return to work by setting up a creche. If your office backs onto a roof terrace, you might want to install the highest quality safety guard rails to highlight a particular hazard. You could even set up a PlayStation or chill out zone to allow your staff a quiet area to de-stress if they’re having a particularly manic day. Offer other break space amenities, such as the best office water cooler and the best coffee machines you can offer, at no charge to employees of course. By focusing on your staff members safety and personal needs, you are implicitly demonstrating that you care about their wellbeing. These subtle actions will result in a more productive working environment.
Keep Them Informed
Don’t be one of those employers who keeps every single card close to his or her chest. While you don’t need to divulge every sales figure, the cost of the latest lucrative contract and the passwords to the most sensitive information within your company, your staff team should be kept in the general loop. Have a daily staff briefing, send out a weekly roundup email and celebrate the successes of the past week. By naming those employees who have gone the extra mile you are validating their work ethic. If you have a workforce that understands the business vision and buys into it, they will work harder and go the extra mile for you.
Although this may appear gimmicky at first glance, rewarding your staff team with an incentive now and again, and by paying for the Christmas meal or organizing a quirky little away day, you are quietly encouraging your staff team to do their best. It’s important that you know the name of each of your employees and you try to get to know them on a more personal level. You need to strike a balance. You will never be their best friend, and you need to maintain a professional distance, but it’s also okay to ask Jane how little Jimmy found his first day of school. These thoughtful enquiries will make your employees think favorably of you and they may be more forgiving when you ask them to work overtime to complete a sales order.
Being a boss is harder than you might think. You need to become a master at spinning a range of plates. On the one hand, you’ll be focused on your business vision and striving to compete effectively with your industry rivals, but at the same time, you shouldn’t lose sight of your more than capable staff team. After all, these are the human beings that will help your business go from strength to strength.