3 Simple Techniques for Increasing Small Business Employee Engagement
Managing employees is not an easy feat, especially within the often hectic environment of a growing small business. However, it is precisely in this type of environment that the engagement levels of employees have the biggest overall impact on productivity, since with fewer staff and many different things that still need to be done, whether or not an employee can be counted on to get things done and stay accountable will have a disproportionate impact on the productivity of their peers and ultimately the entire organization. For this reason, cultivating employee engagement should be a high priority for business owners, with attention paid to the positive and negative effects of encouragement on each member of staff.
Give feedback. This is an often stated staple of management technique, however in a small business context where communications are generally quite fluid and occur regularly regardless, business owners may not feel that there is a need to give feedback within the thick of business operations. However, this discounts the difference between day to day communications and actual guiding feedback for the purpose of reaffirming goals and giving credit where credit is due. You may think that your employees already know when they have done a good job and when they need to improve, and this may in fact be the case in many circumstances, but the added value of taking time to reaffirm a relationship face to face can bring a sense of personal connection and immediacy back to a workday that otherwise may become too routine for creative problem solving to remain strong. Remember that you are the leader of your organization and therefore it is in your own best interest to try to inspire the best in your employees.
Encourage multiple perspectives. Attacking a problem from many different angles will allow you and your employees to arrive at a much more tailored and well thought out solution to the many roadblocks that arise during a typical work week. In order to benefit fully from the range of your employee’s talents, utilizing their unique perspectives is a must. This goes hand in hand with giving feedback, since ideally a strong rapport will exist between employees and managers that makes feedback into a two-way street in the interest of optimizing processes and identifying constraints at each level.
Foster a sense of ownership. Too often employees can become alienated from their jobs by a feeling that they are not working for themselves. This often occurs because they lose sight of their long term goals, have a feeling that their work is unappreciated or that there is not any room for them to advance within their departments or the organization at large. In reality, promoting from within is often a sound small business strategy since training and bringing in management level personnel can be costly compared to bringing up the top talent in an organization with a sense of leadership and the goal of eventually having them take on senior positions. Employees who are brought up within an organization will frequently remain more strongly loyal, forgoing attempts to siphon away talent by other organizations with the promise of a strong leadership role in their current organization counterbalancing other offers.
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