Congratulations. If you are reading this it is likely because you are a business owner. You are here because you want your business to succeed, and we want that for you as well.
We know at LWK, that one added burden of the small business owner is trying to win as much cooperation from your team as possible. We also know sometimes this is easier said than done. Covid and all the changes and challenges that have come with it, along with the Great Resignation, has made it harder than ever to find and keep good people.
So, what are the things that are within your control? Where should you be focusing to get the right people in your employ, and keep them there?
Start with clarity about why you have this business; it’s mission, core values and purpose. Once you are clear on that than all your words and actions must stay laser focused on those three things. When you deviate- making decisions that take you outside of your core values for example- people see that and they quickly catch on that this company is all talk. Many people want jobs that they can feel good about, so having purpose that is conveyed to all and staying the course of your mission goes a long way.
Additionally, this should be talked about in every interview with any prospect of interest.
Communicate and demonstrate the above on a daily basis. When you behave as though it is not even a choice- it’s what you do to stay the course with your mission, purpose and core values, it is likely others will too. More than a plaque on the wall, these serve as your guiding principles in how you treat people, both internally and externally, and how you make decisions.
Share appreciations often for the contributions from your people. These appreciations don’t have to be lengthy and they certainly don’t have to all come with a monetary reward either. In fact, that can backfire in a hurry when we are just throwing money at people. Just take the time to notice when someone does something well or takes the extra time to really serve a customer’s needs above and beyond. Let them know that you noticed. Give a team member a genuine compliment that lets them know that you noticed their efforts with their last customer or client. Make your comments specific and genuine and share a true appreciation for how that matters to you.
Ask a lot of questions and genuinely listen to the feedback. It is often the people on the front lines – the ones who are experiencing direct contact with your customers- that know how to improve services or which products you ought to be carrying and which just aren’t moving. Tap into that rich reservoir of employee experience rather than think you already know… most people like feeling useful and helpful so let them know that their feedback is super appreciated. Have a weekly meeting with an effective agenda which includes answering the questions, what is one thing we are doing well, and what is one thing we could be improving on? Listen and take notes.
Engaging with your people is key if you are going to maintain the kind of positive and meaningful work environment where people actually want to work for you. If you treat their employment as though it’s “just a job” so will they.
If you treat your business and your team like it’s your life mission, so will they.