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Improving Employee Engagement in Small Businesses

eeEmployee engagement is paramount not only to an organisation running smoothly, but also to its success. Your employees are the backbone of your organisation, and without them there would be no business. Making sure they are fully engaged in what your business stands for as well as committed to helping it move forward is key to running a successful business.

Small businesses often don’t have the big HR teams and budgets that larger corporations do, so employee engagement in small business can seem like another thing to worry about for managers who feel it’s out of reach or another demand on limited time and money. Same with ecommerce templates for your business, which automate the process of the online purchase for your customer, there are small and affordable things you can do that will improve how well engaged your employees really are.

Here are a few tips for how you can improve employee engagement in your small business.

Practice what you preach

Satisfaction at work often starts at the top. As a business owner or senior manager you need to be doing what you are asking your employees to do. If employees see managers displaying the characteristics and actions that is expected of them, they are more likely to mirror this behavior. Make sure all senior managers are engaged first, and much of this will filter down to other employees.

Involve everyone in goal planning

If senior managers are seen disappearing into meeting rooms and coming out with new big decisions that affect the rest of the team, then chances are your employees will feel excluded from the changes. They will therefore feel some hesitation or a lack of motivation to work towards new goals. When you involve everyone in decisions, planning and goals where possible, people feel part of the bigger picture and more committed to it, especially when you ask for their opinions and feedback.

An open door policy or suggestions box will encourage employees to raise and discuss ideas or problems. It’s also very possible that your business will benefit from their suggestions and input.

Keep staff informed and updated

If your business is run through shift work then making sure you have an easy way to communicate with your staff is crucial to maintaining good relations and keeping employees engaged. Use an online employee scheduling system to make it easier for both you and your employees to know when they are working. Using an online app means you can easily make changes, staff are quickly notified of when they are working and everyone can check their schedule 24 hours a day. Online scheduling doesn’t have to be expensive either – with some systems even offering free plans for scheduling small teams.

Reward your team

It may sound obvious but often a simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way towards employees feeling acknowledged and engaged. Take note of achievements both large and small and find different ways to appreciate their hard work. This could be a verbal thank you in a one-to-one, a public thanks in a team meeting, or a special reward such as leaving home early or a gift. The good news is that research shows that staff are more motivated by promotions or extra responsibility than they are bonuses. Once employees feel that their hard work is noticed and appreciated they are more likely to stay engaged. Different staff members may respond to different ways of being thanked, so notice or even ask what people like best, to make sure you are thanking people in a way they are most comfortable with and motivated by.

Have fun together

Fun at work doesn’t have to always mean after work drinks or parties, it could be an away day volunteering in the local community, a team lunch once a week or some healthy competition in work or non-work related goals. Whatever it is make sure you find the time to have fun together with your employees. This could lead to new creative ideas and collaborations, and of course, increased employee engagement.

Ask your employees what they want!

One of the best ways to keep your staff engaged, focused and productive at work is to ask them what they need more help with and then to provide the support they need. Everyone is different, so understanding what your staff want and how you can improve their work life will ultimately help your business.

There is no sure fire way to improve employee engagement in small business so try different ideas and see which works best for your company. Ultimately as a small business you should find it easier to nurture close relationships with your employees. Mutual respect, understanding and flexibility are always qualities that will boost employee engagement and make your workplace a happier and more productive environment.

Category: B2B News

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