Every small business owner knows that workers with a positive mindset are more productive and engaged in their jobs. Their optimism and can-do attitude can translate into higher customer satisfaction, contributing to greater sales and more profits. Here are some tips on how to improve productivity by investing in your employees.
But unfortunately, most employees do not approach their jobs with enthusiasm. A Gallup survey found only 13% of workers worldwide are psychologically committed to their organizations. Seven of every eight workers are either demotivated or “actively disengaged.”
What can a small business owner do to boost employee morale? Thankfully, there are a number of steps that you can take to develop your employees so that they become better workers and align themselves with business objectives.
Devote enough time for improving employee skills
Writing in Forbes.com, Victor Lipman, author of The Type B Manager: Leading Successfully in a Type A World, says that it is essential for business owners to allocate time on a regular basis for developing employee skills.
Normally, business organizations are so caught up in their day-to-day affairs that long-term employee skill and attitude improvement activities get ignored. This is one of the greatest mistakes that a small business owner can make.
Formal training should be combined with programs on practical implementation
Classroom sessions are essential to impart theoretical skills to your workers. But if these are not followed up with training on how the newly acquired skills are to be deployed in real-life situations, you may be wasting your money. A judicious mix of theoretical training and on-the-job guidance for your workers will result in greater productivity and higher quality output.
Are your workers happy?
Research indicates that employee happiness is directly related to higher morale and enthusiasm at work.
In a series of experiments, Andrew Oswald, Eugenio Proto, and Daniel Sgroi from the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick found that happier employees are 12% more productive that their less satisfied colleagues.
Andrew Oswald says, “Companies like Google have invested more in employee support and employee satisfaction has risen as a result. For Google, it rose by 37%; … Under scientifically controlled conditions, making workers happier really pays off.”
Flexibility is important
Remember that your ultimate objective is to satisfy your customer’s needs and grow your company’s business. As long as your employees are working towards this, you should support and help them in every way that you can.
Many small business owners are open to allowing their staff to work from home as long as productivity and quality improve. There is a host of web-based tools that you can use to stay in touch with workers and to monitor their activities remotely.
A focused approach to developing your employees can take your company to the next level
Allocating just a few hours a month to enhancing employee skills can yield a disproportionately high benefit to your organization. Do not neglect this crucial aspect of running your small business.
Jack Welch, the legendary CEO of General Electric said, “No company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.”
Ravinder Kapur is a business operations writer at Aepiphanni, a small business operations and strategy consultancy that exists to help small business owners CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses. He is a commerce graduate and a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He has been affiliated with various interests in the financial services industry for more than 30 years. His finance expertise includes the commercial vehicle, automotive, and construction equipment sectors, as well as corporate finance. His experience in these disciplines has included business development, credit analysis, risk management and financial recovery. In addition, he worked extensively in corporate finance recoveries and was involved in several large value arbitration cases.
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