One of the most important keys to running a successful business is to make sure that your employees are happy. Happy employees not only work harder, but work smarter. The reason that so many businesses fail is that the employees are unhappy, and it becomes reflected in your work. When this happen, many business owners will simply fire the employee, hoping that the next one will work harder. But when the conditions in the office are not right, it won’t matter who you bring in. There are certain things you should be doing to ensure that everyone who works for you is happy where they are, with no thoughts of leaving for greener pastures.
The first thing you need to be able to do in order to make your employees happy is trust them. If you are always looking over their shoulders, micromanaging their work, and giving them strict guidelines that they can not deviate from, this will create a stressful environment. You need to give your employees room to breathe and see what they come up with. Some of the greatest innovations and improvements in a workplace come when an employee has your trust, and feels able to do their own work without guidance.
Secondly, you need to keep your employees informed. Don’t keep information from them, as it makes them feel distant from the company and out of the loop. If there is something important happening with the company, let them know. Treat them like adults, but more importantly, like members of the team. By keeping everyone “in the know”, you will have employees who are performing their work with the latest information, which will keep them from making mistakes.
Lastly, make your employees feel like they have some ownership of the company. Tell them how their work is influencing the company, and where you see the company going with their help. While the business may have come from you, you need to share it with all of them. People who feel like they have a stake in how the company does will take more pride in their work. This is why many companies offer stock options to their employees. While you don’t have to go this route, you can at least let them know they are important to the growth of the company.
These are the overarching themes you should be trying to instill in your company, but there are some smaller things you can start doing now to make your employees happy. Have a company picnic, in which everyone can just relax and have a good time. Have some t-shirts and other apparel made up, so that your employees can proudly represent where they work when they are not at the office. Ask employees for their feedback on how to make the office a more enjoyable place, and then actually use their suggestions. Simple things like this will go a long way towards keeping your employees happy and loyal.
All business owners know that it is important to have happy customers, but not all of them take the time to make sure they have happy employees. No matter how great your product or service may be, if your employees dread coming into work every day, or feel disinterested when they sit at their desk, it will start to seep through into their work. While some managers choose to throw money at the problem by offering more pay or better benefits, it doesn’t eliminate the underlying causes, and it can become costly. Making your employees truly happy working there, rather then paying them more, is a much better solution.