Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
You’ve probably heard that employees are the most important asset for a business and are also likely the largest monetary investment. Small business owners everywhere are looking for ways to attract the best and brightest without having provide a salary equitable to a much larger firm. There are several non-monetary things a small business owner can do to balance the scales a bit more.
Feedback and transparency
Most people actually value other things than money. We go to work to make a living, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in other areas aside from money. Feedback is one one of those areas many employees would often say they would like to have more often. If you promise feedback, give it. Then make it a habit to provide some feedback at least once a week to your employees. Feedback doesn’t just have to be about personal performance, it applies to other areas in your business too and has a lot to do with transparency. Provide your team with the results of your latest customer surveys, consider including them in solving company-wide issues, and make sure their voices are heard. Employees tend to stick to companies where they have a connection with the management. The old top-down style of management doesn’t include a lot of opportunities for connections.
Encourage employee learning
A company culture that values knowledge is usually the best kind of culture to work and grow in, as a person. You can pull this off by hosting an occasional lunch-and-learn where you offer both free lunch and a guest speaker to address the kind of business issues your employees may face. These kinds of opportunities are often worth the investment. COnsider looking around for opportunities to knowledge share with another organization in your field. You can also consider swift financial partners to give yourself a boost, and you’ll be able to reimburse them for their learning initiatives as well.
Show a genuine interest
When you think about the quality of a good leader, what comes to mind first? A lot of people say strength, determination, a drive to succeed, et cetera, and while these qualities are great to have, they’re not necessarily what makes a good leader. To be a popular boss, you need to be a people person. Talk with your team members, listen to their concerns and go out of your way to help them solve problems. Remember that they have a life outside of the office too – and it’s usually this life that determines whether they show up for work in a good mood or not. A healthy balance between life and work is usually what it takes to keep us happy in the middle of a hectic Wednesday.