Give plenty of opportunities for their candor as well. On a regular basis (I do it weekly), touch base with every employee or contractor in your small business. Just stop in, ask them how they’re doing and if they’re having any troubles, and listen to what they have to say, even if you disagree or don’t like what they’re telling you. Take notes, especially when normally-happy employees observe a problem – there’s usually something that needs to be fixed.
Give compliments on good work, both individually and publicly. Make an effort to compliment everyone on their work in individual situations, particularly when you can point out specifics. When someone really does well, point it out to the group – but don’t point out the same person every single time. Highlight a variety of people and give them public recognition.
Implement reasonable suggested changes whenever you can. Employees often suggest little things that they’d really like to see in the workplace. If you can implement these things, it goes a huge way towards making that employee feel more empowered, involved, and happy. If an employee suggests starting a community coffee pot, do it. If an employee suggests a better arrangement for the office supplies, try it. If someone suggests a better way to handle meetings, give it a try. Every time you execute a reasonable suggested change, it greatly raises one employee’s morale and gives a small lift to everyone.
Good luck at putting all this newfound employee productivity to good use!
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