Oftentimes, employers talk about workplace productivity, workplace equality, workplace successes... but one thing they don't always talk about is workplace happiness.
Since most entrepreneurs are following their passion, they can sometimes forget that employees don’t always share the same level of enthusiasm. But a smart ‘trep knows that a happy employee equals a happy customer and this leads to great word-of-mouth marketing.
So if you want to motivate, inspire and get the most from your employees, here are five ways to do it.
1. Host an employee appreciation week. The best way to do this is by surprising employees with small and large gestures. For example, you could cater a meal, bring in a masseuse, give a cash bonus, or add an extra day to their vacation time.
2. Offer free training. Consider paying for classes that employees can use in their current job and in future jobs. For example, if most of your employees are part time while they’re in school, you could bring in an expert to teach them about accounting, how to handle difficult customers, or social media.
3. Create and promote your rewards system. Go beyond the basic “Employee of the Month” award with several awards to recognize employees. While you don’t want to dilute the value of the awards by having too many categories, you do want to broaden the scope. This can include awards for highest customer satisfaction ratings and longevity or you could even offer profit sharing.
4. Share your passion. When employees really understand your business, they are more likely to develop a passion for it, or a least a stronger interest in it. For example, if you’re running an ice cream stand, share fun facts about how the milk from the cows ends up in a banana split.
5. Engage employees. You don’t have to shower employees with gifts and awards to earn their trust and loyalty. If you regularly meet with them to let them know what’s new with the business, ask for their feedback, and learn about their interests, you’ll see lower turnover and absences along with higher customer satisfaction.
If you invest in your employees’ satisfaction, you’ll all be singing a happy tune.
Steve Robinson is Constant Contact’s educational marketing expert in the Midwestern United States (IL, IN, KY, OH, & MI). He has over 30 years experience supporting small business, with a background in small business marketing, management & development. He has helped thousands of small businesses, associations, and nonprofits develop and implement effective email marketing, social media, online survey and engagement marketing strategies. Steve has twice been named to Crain’s Chicago Business’ Who’s Who in Non-Profit Management and currently writes a guest blog for nbcchicago.com’s Inc.well Blog. Steve draws from this experience to be a valuable resource to Midwestern small businesses, nonprofits, and associations. Steve has educated more than 40,000 small businesses on behalf of Constant Contact since joining the team in 2007 and has presented at @Midwest, Techweek Chicago, & for the City of Chicago Treasurer’s Office Online Marketing Contest to name just a few.