Updated: Oct 15
When you think about the ways you influence the world through your choices, it's nothing short of amazing. The choice to start a business is a huge decision, and it will not only impact yourself and your family, but the community you serve, as well. You will (hopefully) offer a useful service or product for your customers that enriches their lives. You might even need to hire some help, providing jobs for those in your community.
A business owner has a huge responsibility placed on them, especially when it comes to taking care of their employees. Now you are no longer in charge of your own future and happiness, but in some way, these people you hired, as well.
There is a belief that when your employees are happy, your customers will be happy. However, if you treat your staff poorly, that will surely lead to call-outs, no-shows, crappy customer service and overall discontent in the workplace. Who wants to shop at a store where no one is smiling?
So, let's dive into some ideas and ways you can attract and retain a great group of people to work with and grow your company!
1. Value their voice
When you made the choice to hire this person, you probably did it because you thought they had something good to offer your company. This is especially true for businesses just beginning their journey. The more voices you have offering help and ideas, the better. Who knows, that recent college graduate might know more about what's trending on social media or that experienced sales guy could have a deeper understanding about what gets people to buy. Listen to your people and trust. You're not perfect and you won't get very far if you think yours is the only voice that matters.
If your company is too large or you aren't all in one place, come up with a system to share ideas and keep the opportunities for improvement flowing. People ultimately perform better when they feel a part of something and have their voice heard.
2. Respect boundaries
We all have lives outside work. Many people have families, friends, pets, things that exist outside of the work bubble that you know them in. The best business leaders understand this and respect those other institutions.
There are several options for business owners to take when it comes to boundaries, such as limiting work-related emails and calls to operating hours, allowing remote work when possible, and offering vacation and sick leave.
If an employee calls in sick, don't question their motives- chances are they've stressed themselves out more than they needed to trying to pull it together. Besides, if people are sick, they'll most likely get others sick or not work as productively as they could have. Don't make your employees feel guilty for having a life outside of work.
3. Treat them with dignity
Instead of monitoring their bathroom breaks and questioning if they can send a proper email, entrust your workers to do the work you hired them to do. If you are in a professional setting, the chances are you hired professionals- treat them as such.
Micromanaging is a surefire way to alienate and make employees feel insecure about the work they're doing. Again, we go back to you hired this individual for a reason.
4. Trust the intention
Everybody makes mistakes, but more than likely, the intention to do well was there. Trust that your employee was trying their best and figure out where the misunderstanding was. Instead of blaming your worker and punishing them, coach them.
You need to have faith in your employee, so when mistakes happen, use it as an opportunity to fix broken processes or clarify miscommunication. Ask your employee their perspective on the issue and go from there. Usually, people are open to constructive criticism, especially if it is coming from a place of empathy and understanding.
5. Give them a chance to succeed
Which brings us to our last tip, give them a chance at success! Root for your workers and celebrate accomplishments. If you're a small business, take the time to announce 'big wins' and recognize the awesome work your people are doing.
I think it's important to remember, these people are crucial to your business's success and so when they do well, you do well. These individuals are helping you reach your dream, be sure to thank them whenever you can!
Overall, it's not difficult to treat people right- just follow the golden rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated. If you have questions about how to build and grow a strong team, Out of the Box Advisors offers individualized consulting geared towards helping you!