Many different attributes can define a successful company, from capitalization and execution to leadership and technology. Most successful companies have one thing in common, however, which are employees who feel engaged and valued. Employees who are satisfied with their work have a major impact on the growth and success of your business.
How can you motivate your employees even when under pressure or facing long hours to reach company goals? Try incorporating these five habits into your workplace:
1. Morning routines
However the day ended yesterday for your team, get each morning off to a positive start. Small things can go a long way to build employee engagement, like an office breakfast or a round of tai chi.
Can you have music in your business? Let each employee have a morning as the designated DJ. They’ll give a rhythm to the day and get to know their co-workers through their playlists.
Then, ease into a morning chat so employees can raise any struggles or obstacles they faced the previous day and brainstorm solutions. Problems can be transformed into powerful learning experiences that accelerate business growth.
2. Set goals
Encourage your employees to make a list of goals they want to accomplish, both for their work with your company and personal career as well as in their personal lives. You need to emphasize that this list should be high-level, not a long laundry list of things to do.
Work-related goals could range from selling a certain number of products a day, bringing in new business, or even to being able to manage an aspect of the business without you. Personal goals can be centered on personal development, like health and education, both of which can benefit the business as well.
Related: 11 Habits of Truly Happy People
3. Let employees wander
Sharpen your employee’s creativity every day by allowing them to get distracted. No, not with technology. Experts say that distractions should not involve more time on a screen or on social media. Instead, encourage your employees to grab coffee or tea together or take a walk around the building.
Employees need time to build relationships with each other to build culture and comfort. Wandering can help break through stress or mental roadblocks that are keeping them from completing a task.
4. Celebrate success
Saying “nice work” when you pass an employee’s desk is a star -- in fact, it’s a key part of my routine on the days when I’m in the office and not across the country at a conference or in meetings. But it’s not enough. You’ve got to build a culture of recognition that allows you to celebrate employee achievements.
Don’t just name somebody employee of the week or the month: When you give the award, tell all of the employees specifically what the employee did and how it relates to milestones you want your business to reach. Make it a habit, and other employees will begin to see how they also can make contributions that matter.
5. Balance work and life
Yes, I realize this is easy to say and hard to achieve, but it doesn’t make it any less necessary. At Bizfi, our chief operating officer also occasionally conducts a local orchestra. One of our marketing managers just ran a half-marathon. They give 100 percent to our company, but work is not the only thing in their lives.
Balance is important for all life events, positive and negative: A skilled employee who is stressing over caring for an elderly parent may not be able to properly contribute to your business’ goals. That focus might improve if you can extend flex-time or a stint of time off, paid or unpaid.
I know it’s hard work to manage a small business, but if you take time to motivate your employees, you won’t be managing it alone.