Small Business Management Tips to Keep Employees Happy & Productive

One of the most challenging aspects of running any business is that of managing people. Management styles and trends change from generation to generation, but at the core, there are some things that just don’t change. Implementing these key factors can go a long way to ensuring employee job satisfaction, resulting in better productivity.

Companies today are realising more and more that their mechanistic, make-the-numbers management is not the way forward, but many struggle to find practical ways to humanise their management styles without losing hard-nosed productivity. Yet, in a fast changing society all agree that employee engagement and creativity are the keys to satisfied customers—and therefore, profits.

The key factors that employees are looking for from an employer that will prove their worth and make them feel respected are the following:

1. Keep Employees Safe From Accidents And Harassment

The first requirement for mutual trust is safety and security. No one comes to work to get hurt or bullied, and security should be first and foremost in any employers mind.

2. Teach Employees What Is Important For Their Customers

No one understands your customer better than you do and passing this information on to your employees will go a long way to ensuring that your company goals are realised.

3. Don’t Do Their Job For Them

Micromanagement is the death of the soul and is the knee-jerk reflex of many managers in a crisis. Teaching staff how to continuously improve in order to do a better job also means letting them get on with what they do and know how to do without correcting their decisions or controlling their every step. Know when to step back and give your employees the space to shine.

4. Introduce Them To Who They Need To Know

One of the key jobs for any manager is to introduce the worker to knowledgeable experts and other power players, in order to help them grow their own network. Don’t be protective of your contacts.

5. Answer Questions About How The Company Works

Every company has its quirks and employees tend to assume that how they work reflects how the whole functions, but this is certainly not the case. Many mistakes or mishaps can be avoided simply by communicating better about the way the company works in its own specific ways.

6. Care About The Difficulties They Encounter

Life is not simple. Every day brings its share of challenges, whether professional or personal, and it’s firmly the employers job to help employees overcome obstacles that hold them back by working through the problem with them and help them to seek solutions, rather than to dismiss, downplay or shoot the messenger. People have a right to succeed, not an obligation.

7. Show Them Where The Goal Posts Are

Understanding where the goal posts are allows your employees to be able to work towards them and to get the team to agree on targets, gaps and the problems that need to be resolved individually and together.

8. Teach Them How To Solve Problems
Learning how to solve work issues in varied situations, both technical and organisational is one of the best ways to grow an employee. By teaching them to solve on-the-job problems one at a time, employers can ensure that their employees get a deeper understanding of both their job and how the organisation is set up.

9. Give Them Sound Career Advice

One of the biggest responsibilities of any employer is to develop every one to the fullest of their ability. Certainly the success of any manager is evaluated by both their ability to achieve objectives and to support their staff in furthering their career path within the company. The best way to do this is to regularly review with employees the next step they would like to take and how to help them do so.

10. Support Their Initiatives And Suggestions

Celebrating initiative and taking suggestions seriously is the ultimate proof of respect for an employee. Unfortunately big organisations tend to become so overwhelming that employees need permission for taking any initiative. Fortunately in smaller businesses, this doesn’t need to be the case. As an employer, learning to ask the right questions and to support the right kind of thinking will only ensure that your employees grow more confident about their ability and thus feel more responsible towards their customers, and ultimately to the growth of the business.

The happiness and fulfilment of employees should not be underrated in terms of the impact that it has on any business. A content, respected and valued employee will deliver the business results that all companies strive for – profits, customer satisfaction and growth.