Motivate Your Employees

Unlike your equipment, computers, and other resources, however, you can’t simply turn employees on and off for business hours.  All employees need a clear understanding of their role in your business and how it can grow, plus the motivation to achieve and, even better, exceed those expectations.

By SCORE National, www.score.org

As an entrepreneur, you will learn that employees are a vital resource for your small business. They offer your business various skills and talents helping to add value to your products or services.  The business cannot succeed without their input.

Unlike your equipment, computers, and other resources, however, you can’t simply turn employees on and off for business hours.  All employees need a clear understanding of their role in your business and how it can grow, plus the motivation to achieve and, even better, exceed those expectations.

That’s why you, as the business owner, also hold the title of “Chief Communicator and Motivator."

It’s important to have direct contact to make your message clear.  Some owners try to save time and manage by email.  That works only to a point.  Direct contact builds trust and rapport

Establish your business “mantra” or mission statement and keep repeating it.  Don’t assume that everyone involved in the business understands and buys into the mission as you do.  After all, you’re the one who created it, not them.  They haven’t lived and breathed every detail as you have.

Here’s one simple step to make certain you communicate clearly.  Instead of asking if an employee understands your instructions, ask what specific steps the person will take to complete the task.  That way you can be absolutely certain they not only understood, but also plan to complete the assignment in an appropriate way.

Avoid constantly criticizing employees.  That hurts morale and can make people less motivated.  If you highlight the positive and correct mistakes without getting personal, employees are more likely to deliver what you want.

While a good manager is also visible, it’s important to not make it appear that you are micromanaging.  A quick chat about work and non-work issues during a stroll through your business is all the positive reinforcement most employees need.  They’ll feel more comfortable about coming to you with questions, concerns or suggestions.  Augment the informality with individual and group meetings to share information and updates, brainstorm ideas, and simply get to know each other.  Such interaction will not only help re-energize your staff, but the boss as well!