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Your employees are your brand ambassadors. Keep them happy.

Written on the 25 June 2015 by Snap Marketing

Simple and cost effective ways you can improve your culture and motivate your staff.

As a small business owner, there are a multitude of things you have to think about on a daily basis: wages, taxes, overheads and growth, to name a few. With limited budgets and time, it's often essential to make choices as to which areas of the business deserve the most attention, development and investment.

The most important asset to any business is the people that work there. In a small business with limited advertising dollars, your employees can directly affect your brand image in the marketplace. They are the face of your business, so you want them to act as your brand ambassadors, spreading positive messages throughout the community about your business activities, offerings, strengths and successes. 

It is therefore essential to invest time, money and training into keeping your staff motivated, inspired and happy. Businesses with a strong culture often find that when their employees are happy, sales and success follow. Happy people do happy work, which in turn equals happy clients and customers.

1. Reward them and invest in their development

It's human nature to become bored and complacent over time if we are not feeling challenged and rewarded for our efforts. While you want your staff to feel comfortable in their role, you also want to keep them excited and inspired. So how do you do this?

  • Invest in training courses that will help them to further build their skill set. If external courses are too expensive, organise an internal brainstorming session where everyone can share their ideas and visions for the business moving forward.
  • Organise an office "working" lunch and invite guest speakers to come and share their own experiences and tips for succeeding within the industry (make sure you provide the food and drinks)!
  • A good way to end the week on a high is to take your team out to lunch. Discuss the wins you've had during the week over a beer and a burger.  Encourage people to socialise outside the office environment. They will leave for the weekend feeling appreciated and relaxed and will come back into the office the following Monday with a positive, can-do attitude.

2. Remember your people are not resources

People are human. They're not computers, they're not able to work 8 hours straight without a break and they thrive when given recognition and reward. While you should expect hard work and dedication from the people you employ, you should also remember that they will work much harder for a leader they like and respect.  Never threaten your staff or make them feel as though they are replaceable. Remember the cost involved in searching, hiring, and training staff is one of the biggest financial strains on a business, so when you recruit, do it properly! Then, work your hardest to retain and strengthen the people you have brought on board.

3. Set KPIs that foster growth and healthy competition

By all means, set key performance indicators and measurement metrics for your employees. Most people work best when they have goals and deliverables to work towards, however these need to be both reasonable and achievable.  Setting unachievable goals will only foster a culture of disappointment.

Schedule regular team catch-ups as well as one-on-one development sessions to discuss how your team is tracking. What are they doing well? What could they improve upon? This should be a two-way conversation. Encourage them to give you feedback on things they think could be done more efficiently within the business. Ask them if they have all the tools and resources necessary to make their role a success.

End your meetings with a clear understanding (on both sides) of next steps, key takeaways and implementation timelines. Set a follow-up meeting within the next fortnight or month where you can discuss progress made and evaluate whether changes are working for both parties.

Keeping your employees happy isn't rocket science. It also doesn't have to cost you thousands of dollars in training and incentives. Encourage an open and honest working environment, open up lines of communication, and listen to your staff. Remember that a positive culture and happy workers is the first and most important step to business success!

 


Author: Snap Marketing

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