Workers form the basis of any successful organisation. In order to keep your employees engaged and empowered, it is critical for the organisation to invest in your workers.
When it comes to investing in employees, larger companies and unicorn startups certainly have the upper hand. From external professional development classes to flexible work schedules, these organisations go the extra mile to retain and empower their employees.
Unfortunately, most small businesses have considerably less funding to invest in their employees. Nevertheless, this does not mean that small businesses have to compromise in engaging their employees. Essentially, it is still advantageous and necessary in order to create a happier and dedicated staff. At the same time, it reduces turnover among top performers, who are valuable assets to any small business.
If you are at a loss for how to begin, here are few ways to get you started on investing in your workers.
Be upfront about personal and professional goals
Nobody wants to be a in a stagnant career. As the owner of a small business, your professional goals might be significantly different as opposed to your workers. Suppose you own a business, it is likely that you’ll hire interns who are keen to pursue the career of their dreams or take external classes to gain additional skill sets. And that is fine. Acknowledging your employees’ personal and professional goals, while giving them the flexibility, shows that you value and respect their goals. This in turn will increase their loyalty towards your business.
Make networking introductions
As a small business owner, you are likely to already have the connections to other subject matter experts and mentors. Invest in your employees by making the first introductions, opening doors to other opportunities and connecting your employees to potential role models and subject matter experts. Rather than seeing it as a competition, think of it as an inexpensive way to send your employees for personal or professional development classes!
Have regular feedback sessions
We all have behavioural blind spots. Most of the time, you as the manager is the only person who can tactfully help an employee see a weak spot that is hindering his or her career advancement. By having regular feedback sessions with your employees, it allows you to better understand their personal and professional goals. Likewise, it allows you to organise your team so that your employees can work on something that they are proficient in and keen to work on.
Find a fitting reward
Finally, strive hard to personalise a reward for your employees. It need not be something unique to each and every employee, but rather, something that is unique only for your business. For instance, if you run a floral business, you could reward your employees by allowing them to order free floral bouquets on special occasions such as Valentines’ Day or Mothers’ Day. Similarly, something as simple as planning a unique, immersive experience is a great way to motivate your employees and as the same time, bond and have fun together.
Investing in your employees has to be one of your top priorities in your businesses to-do lists. Though it might seem overwhelming, small incremental changes can go a long way towards building engagement and empowerment between you and your employees.