Successful Business Starts with Happy Employees
As you start your new company, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The competition out there is fierce…one might even say cut-throat. In the pressure to survive and thrive, it’s easy to dismiss employee satisfaction. But the research on workplace happiness is compelling. Happy employees are without a doubt the most productive; to such a degree that low job satisfaction has a great negative impact on a company’s bottom line
But how can you ensure employee satisfaction at your small company? Early on, you may not be in a position to invest in cash rewards or pricey benefits for your employees. But the good news is that building a motivated team of employees is easier than you think.
1. Fair Compensation
The hard, cold truth is that everyone needs to earn a living. Offer compensation based on the performance that you desire. This will make it easier to recruit the kind of employees that you want. Once employees feel secure that they can earn a living, give your attention to other, more intrinsic factors in workplace happiness.
Empower your employees by giving them the freedom to work on projects independently, without micromanagement. As much as possible, offer a “results only” work environment, in which employees are evaluated solely on the results of their work, not when or how they get it done.
Promotions, cash bonuses, and other monetary rewards for a job well done are nice to have…but surprisingly, this is not the most motivating form of recognition. In fact, it’s been found that constructive praise is actually a more effective motivator than financial rewards are.
4. Sense of Purpose
A recent survey found that the opportunity to engage in meaningful work was a bigger predictor of happiness than money or recognition. Formulate your company’s core values, mission, and goals and make sure that these are clearly communicated to your employees so that they will feel like they are part of a larger purpose.
5. Transparent Communication
Consistently share the company’s successes and setbacks with your employees. Keep them informed of any challenges and give them the opportunity to solve the problems. If they know what’s going on, your employees will be able to make better decisions.
As part of good communication, make sure that you are listening objectively to your employees’ needs and concerns. Suspend judgment so that they will feel comfortable speaking to you about their challenges and so that you can help overcome these.
7. Express Trust
Demonstrate to your team that you have faith in their abilities by assigning them large projects and leadership roles. If you believe they can succeed, then they will believe it too. This may mean that you will sometimes have to let them fail without repercussions. As hard as this may be, in the long run it will pay off.
8. Build Strong Teams
Do what you can to inspire employees to collaborate effectively. Whenever possible, assign projects to work on together instead of individually. Team-building games and activities can also help people to develop a strong sense of collaboration.
9. Opportunities for Growth and Mastery
Give employees the chance to improve and master new skills so that they can take pride in their work. Offer on-the-job training. Assign employees tasks of a sufficient level of challenge that they can learn new things.
10. Eliminate Under-Performers If Necessary
Employees who do not promote the culture that you want, or who diminish the motivation of others, can greatly detract from happiness and productivity. Give specific feedback as to how under-performers can improve. But if they continuously fall short, and this is lowering morale for other workers, then it will be a kindness if you terminate them, giving clear reasons for doing so.
As you can see, most of the factors in workplace engagement and happiness are very easy and inexpensive to implement. The creation of a motivated and engaged team of employees is one of the best investments you can make in your new company. Unified by strong goals and a vision, you will be able to count on that team to build the company that you’ve always dreamed of.
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