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In today’s business world, having an engaged and productive workforce is more important than ever. It is especially true for small and medium businesses that don’t have the resources of larger corporations.
According to Zippia, there are approx. 33.2 million small businesses in the US involving around 61.7 million employees. Small businesses play a major role in building the economy of the country. It is also true that 20% of small businesses shut down in their first year for various reasons. Therefore, it becomes essential for small business owners to attribute as much as they can to their enterprise.
Keeping the workers happy and engaged is one of the important attributes to keep the business running smoothly and efficiently. However, many things can be done by SMB owners to promote employee engagement and productivity:
Allow Work Flexibility
One of the best ways for small and medium businesses to keep their employees engaged and motivated is to allow them some flexibility in their work hours. It means that instead of making them come into the office every day at 9 am sharp, they can start work earlier or later depending on their needs.
You can also let them choose when they want to leave work each day so long as they complete all tasks by the end of each day.
According to SBA.gov, 99.9% of the total number of businesses in the US are small businesses. Not everyone involved in the business as an employee will be able to offer their 100% if the timings and environment of their workplace are rigid. Allowing work flexibility does not just mean allowing flexibility in timings but involves overall flexibility. And it is also an important attribute for SMBs.
Encourage Time for Fun and Arrange Happy Hours at Office
One great way to encourage employee involvement in your business is by arranging fun activities. Team building activities can effectively bring people together and make them feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves.
If unsure where to start, you can plan an office happy hour. Planning an office happy hour means you can do numerous activities together for an hour during a weekend or whenever it is suitable.
During this happy hour, ask your employees what they would like to do together or try one of these suggestions:
- Bowling is a fun activity that many enjoy because it’s easy to learn and involves some strategy.
- Have a movie night where everyone brings their favorite movies from home and watches them together as a group.
- If something big or going out of the office premises is impossible, you can plan a small dance party within the office.
Be Generous with Rewards and Employee Benefits
If you have an office full of people who work hard every day, you must show them that you appreciate them by offering rewards and benefits that are out of the ordinary. It will help them feel like management recognizes and appreciates their efforts. If you are looking for ideas on rewarding your team, check out employee rewards ideas online.
If you have an employee who enjoys cooking, consider offering a free meal at a local restaurant as part of their annual bonus package. Or if someone has been working hard for several months on a project, offer them tickets to an event they wouldn’t normally be able to afford, like concerts or sporting events.
Remember Birthdays, Anniversaries, and Other Milestones.
Remembering birthdays and anniversaries is an important way to show your employees that you appreciate them, and it can also help you foster a more positive work environment. But, of course, you don’t have to go overboard or get over-creative.
Simple gestures like sending a card, writing a personal note to them in their email signature, or posting on their social media page will work fine. And if your company allows it, giving out small gifts like candy or flowers is an even better idea.
Give People Challenging Jobs to Do
As a business owner or manager, you can make your employees more productive by giving them important or challenging tasks. It will allow employees to learn new skills and improve their performance at work. When you challenge your employees with exciting tasks that they find meaningful, they’re more likely to be engaged in their work and perform better overall.
If you give people challenging jobs, they’ll do better work because it makes them feel good about themselves and what they’re doing for your company.
Make Use of the Latest Technology to Simplify Work
Using the latest technology to simplify work is one of the easiest ways to make your employees more productive. You should use technology that allows you and your employees to get their jobs done quicker and better.
According to American Innovators, SMBs incorporating the latest technology will likely see more business growth and profits. It is because 93% of small businesses already use at least one technology platform for their work. In addition, they plan to increase their investment in technology platforms in the coming 3-5 years.
Organize Frequent Training
Regular training is important for all employees, whether new to the company or have been with you for years. Training helps employees to maintain and improve their skills, prepare for new responsibilities and work more efficiently and safely. It is especially true if your business has many new technology or processes being implemented or revised.
While it’s impossible to train every employee on everything, regular group training can help ensure everyone understands what’s happening in their specific business area. It also provides an opportunity for employees to get feedback about their performance from management or team members so they can grow in confidence as part of your team.
Employees want to feel appreciated and be able to do their job in a way that makes them feel like they are contributing something of value. Employees will be more involved and productive if they feel valued and encouraged. And employees will feel valued if you demonstrate that you value them, which includes giving them the freedom to make choices about how they work.
It’s also important to encourage your employees by letting them know that you appreciate their efforts. It doesn’t have to be something out of the ordinary. A simple thank-you email or verbal acknowledgment of a job well done can go a long way toward boosting morale for both parties.