Dealing with employees can be one of the most rewarding aspects of small business ownership; it can also be one of the most taxing. At TMC, we have always been blessed with an incredible cast of characters! Our team consistently delivers excellence and they tend to bring their hearts to work each day. Don't get me wrong- we have our share of challenges and some of the normal drama associated with our work family, but for the most part, we have been blessed!
Some recent changes in staffing, job descriptions and refinement of the processes we have in place to take care of our merchants caused me to do a little research. I found that lost productivity, caused by disengaged employees, costs the US economy 370 Billion each year (that's a lot of money). With economy changes, job climates changing and everything around us changing, small business owners need to be vigilant in order to attract and keep great staff members. Here are 5 ways to keep our staff members engaged!
- CREATE A CULTURE OF EDUCATION: Humans have a natural tendency to want to improve and get better. Providing opportunities for growth within your organization can go a long ways towards keeping your staff members engaged. When people feel as if they are growing, they tend to be more involved and usually deliver superior service.
- PROVIDE REGULAR & CONSISTENT FEEDBACK: As a society. we tend NOT to give each other consistent and honest feedback. However, statistics have shown that when a work environment provides regular and consistent feedback, the employees tend to be more engaged and more productive overall. Honest feedback eliminates the need to 'guess' about what someone thinks of your work performance. It gives you a sense of assurance that you are doing great work and it gives you the opportunity to improve in the areas that may need some attention. Lack of honest communication can cripple a work relationship.
- SET TIME ASIDE FOR REGULAR MEETINGS: Just the thought of 'another' meeting can make many people run for cover! But having regular weekly meetings with your team can insure that you all stay connected and focused on the same desired end result. These weekly meetings should contain positive feedback on past performances, any news of changes in your industry and a time for the team to share openly. Weekly meetings keep your team engaged, educated and ready to take your service to the next level.
- HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE: Every member of a team has a job to do. When a member of a team does not carry their weight, it makes every one else's job tougher. Holding people accountable strengthens the team and enables you to do a better job for your customers. When a business owner does not hold their team accountable, service levels dip, employees become restless and we can end up losing customers and staff members as a result.
- PUBLICLY ACKNOWLEDGE GOOD WORK: People love to be recognized! Take the time to seek out examples of a job well done on your team. Consider an internal program where staff members tell on each other- it can be quite fun! When people feel like their efforts are recognized, they feel appreciated and they remain engaged.
Delivering our products and services with excellence can only be done efficiently with a fully engaged staff. Try these 5 things to increase the engagement levels of your team and let us know if you have any additional tips or feedback! (We love your comments!)