Running a business is hard. There are a million-and-six things that have to be done each day just to keep the doors open. For this reason, it is crucial that a business’ employees want to be there. In today’s competitive marketplace, there simply isn’t time to waste on workers that don’t pull their weight. So, how do you get them to want to be there? This month, we will take a look at that very issue. 

We should start by saying that the majority of workers are thankful to have a job and respect it enough to come to work on time most days and do their work…but, they’d rather be home or out doing whatever they like to do. So, while you may have a couple of employees who seem to love to work, the lion’s share of any business’ employees have some type of conflict with their jobs. Some people are doing exactly what they set out to do and still feel overworked, undervalued, and unenthused.

There are many ways to motivate employees, but there are three that really work. They are:

  1. Pay them enough so money isn’t a major stressor
  2. Connect with them on a personal level
  3. Provide opportunities to find success

The reason a lot of people don’t like their jobs is that they don’t feel valued. Each of these three variables works to change that. If you can pay your employees enough so that they aren’t stressed out for money or healthcare or food, you can typically ask anything of them and they will not only comply, they will go above and beyond. Money isn’t everyone’s motivator, of course, but most people are extremely motivated by not having to rob from Peter to pay Paul. 

Obviously, paying your people what they think they’re worth isn’t always possible. If that is the case for your business, another great way to make them want to work for you is by sharing your story. Small business owners take a lot of risks opening a business and most people are impressed by that. The more human you seem to your staff, the more they will respect the time and effort you put in to making your business a success. If your relationship with your staff is distant, especially at the small business level, your workers will likely have a negative view of their jobs. Why did you decide to go into business for yourself? How did you get to where you are? Tell them about your mistakes, your tribulations, and your successes. Ask for their feedback. Review their progress. A business owner that doesn’t mind opening up to his/her staff and taking an interest in individuals—even if it’s brief—builds a lot of trust with workers.

Some businesses are too big, too complex, and have too many remote workers for management to engage with. Companies of this size or complexity often commit to building a company culture and then spend most of the time undermining it. As was stated above, most workers respect their jobs, their employers, and are grateful for the opportunity they’re given. After a while, however, the opportunity seems more like a chore. That’s why it is extremely important that business owners and managers constantly present their employees with additional opportunities and positively-framed feedback. 

This can be as simple as having benchmarks toward a bonus, a raise, or even a promotion. Ruining employees that have the potential to succeed for your business is a complete waste of time and resources, so engage them by challenging them and presenting them with opportunities. This could be in the form of cross-department training to learn more of the business, building them up to manage a new project, or just showing appreciation and telling them to keep up the good work. People love to be recognized for their efforts. 

Empowering your employees will get them to challenge themselves, and in doing so, improve your business along the way. If you would like to read more about business and technology, continue reading our newsletter and visit our blog.

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