How to Have Your Employees' Back When They Are Working Toward Your Business Goals
Here's how entrepreneurs should support their employees.
Having a great team of employees working together to achieve business goals is a dream come true for entrepreneurs. Supporting those employees along the way is crucial to actually making that happen. It starts with creating solid business goals, having a well laid-out plan to reach them and supporting them along the way.
Many entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed leading employees toward reaching business goals because they don’t have a progressive roadmap in place to help keep their employees on track. It may feel like they spend more time putting out fires and struggling through random tasks than focusing on business goals.
Without clear, structured goals, it’s hard for you and your employees to move forward in a productive way. There should be strategies in place to reach each business goal, and a series of workflows and tasks created to help execute each strategy.
Each employee should know what their role is in reaching goals and how their work contributes to reaching those goals. Once they understand this, things become a little easier, giving them a reason to believe in the vision and mission of the company.
Here’s how you can set your team up for success and help them reach business goals.
Have the right team in place
This starts with ensuring that the people you hire believe in your business. If they don’t believe in your company’s mission, vision and values, it will be painful for everyone involved. The people you hire need to fit into your company culture.
There aren’t many things worse than having toxic people mixed within an otherwise high-functioning team. Even one toxic personality can bring the rest of the team down. The people dealing with the toxic person can feel defeated and unsupported.
Once you know they will fit into your business, you need to make sure that they are the right person for the position. If you’re the smartest person in the room for every situation, then something is wrong. You also shouldn’t have salespeople writing copy if that’s not within their scope of expertise. There is nothing wrong with an employee trying to move into another role. However, they must be properly trained or it will cause long-term issues.
Empower your employees and keep them accountable
Empowering employees demonstrates that you have confidence in their skills and ability to get the job done, creating a level of trust and loyalty to the organization. If an employee trusts you, they will feel safer working toward business goals.
Nothing feels better than having a leader give the directive and letting the employees go do their work without micromanagement. By giving employees autonomy, they become self-sufficient while developing a mindset that their role is an important part of the company’s success.
Just as employees want to have autonomy, they also want to have support. Employees must be able to ask questions, offer ideas, and be accountable for their actions and results. They should feel comfortable to communicate and ask for assistance when needed. If they don’t feel comfortable asking questions they will struggle being held accountable to your expectations.
There should be expectations on both sides. Employees expect their leaders to provide guidance and structure, and leaders expect their employees to meet deadlines and be productive. Both work hand-in-hand in fostering strong company culture.
Stay accountable to yourself and your employees
Just because you’re a leader doesn’t mean you aren’t accountable to others, including your employees. As a leader, your role is to make sure your employees have what they need. Connecting your employees to the tools, resources and people they need to be effective makes an obvious difference in morale and productivity.
There will be instances where employees will be unable to perform efficiently due to roadblocks beyond their control. Instead of putting a band-aid over the situation, do your part in helping remove them. Communication is key. Being clear of expectations and what is going on within the organization is kind and respectful.
By being transparent with employees, you’re setting a standard for all employees to follow. Good leaders are honest and open with their employees no matter what. This helps employees understand you are human and operate with integrity. When things get hard, this value will keep employees on your side. Things happen in every organization, and employees may stray from the intended goal. Take the time to guide them back on track without being judgmental.
Stay accountable to the goal
Having quick check-in meetings or ongoing progress reports goes a long way toward building trust. Employees like knowing how they are performing to keep themselves accountable for their personal goals. Providing feedback helps the manager and employee identify strengths and weaknesses. This level of communication can assist in enhancing efficiency and productivity while alerting the manager when an employee’s skills are being underutilized or they need additional help.
Keep your employees motivated
Have you ever gone into an office and no one seemed happy? That means there’s something wrong with the culture of the organization, and that starts with leadership. It’s important to talk to employees to find out what they want and need to be happy and productive. Good leaders get to know their teams and work hard in creating an environment in which everyone feels like a winner.
What gets employees motivated? Here are a few suggestions:
- Recognition: Celebrate the wins, no matter how small. It fosters inclusion and makes employees feel good. Little incentives like a half-day off, gift card, or a free lunch make a huge difference in morale and reinforce the values of the company. Monthly social gatherings like breakfast in the office are also a good way to recognize everyone on the team and let them know they are appreciated.
- Foster a unified team: Creating a team where everyone feels like “we’re all in this together” works wonders for employee motivation and morale. Special days where they get to wear company shirts or passing out branded company items make them feel like they are an integral part of the company.
- Cool workspaces: If employees are working in an office setting, creating a dynamic environment that inspires them works wonders. Create spaces that make employees want to come to work.
- Say thank you: Leaders who understand the value of respect and can thank their employees for a job well done on a consistent basis can see the difference in the way employees act and do their jobs.
It’s important for employees to know you’ll have their back. Continually showing you are dedicated to your team will earn you rewards of consistency, loyalty and trust — the ingredients for a successful, thriving business structure.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor