The key to recovery
Here in the UK the belief is that our small and medium sized firms are the key to recovery. A big majority want the government to make more funds available to SMEs trusting them more than the bigger players.
A nationwide survey by Usury demonstrated that 73% of the UK population believe that the UK’s economy would be boosted by making bank funds available to small and medium sized businesses. In a vote of confidence from the UK’s business sector 62% of the people surved said that they trust amall to medium sized business owners/managers than the big firms or any politician. The majority of people questioned demonstrated agreement with government plans to set up a state-backed small business bank, while only 7% were in favour of giving more money to big firms.
Many times in recent surveys people have shown a preference in working for small businesses rather than a big firm, there are many and varied reasons for this but two of the biggest are job satisfaction and the ability to play a bigger role in the business as a whole.
The statistics indicate that people are massively in favour of small businesses, believe that government plans for a state bank to provide loans is needed. The public trust small business and almost three quarters indicated a desire to work for them.
Money isn’t everything! As it seems that folk wish to work for a small business and have some input into its direction, how do you motivate your staff to keep the wheel of retail in motion?
A happy employee is a productive one, you as the business leader must ensure that the workplace is a good place to be. Motivating your staff is a key part to the success of any business in a recent study conducted by the University of California’s business school they found that happiness had more to do with respect and admiration from colleagues and peers than cash.
It goes without saying that money matters for most of us but the culture and morale of the company is equally important. As we spend most of lives working it should be as enjoyable as possible. After a decade in business learning many things and also making plenty of mistakes along the way here are some tips to make your workplace a happier place, which will then impact on your customers.
Praise – do you do this?
It costs nothing and it is easy to give, praise recevied means a lot to the employee, many bosses do not do this, try it and see the results when your staff achieve and improve.
The other side of this coin is the blame and shame culture, this does not work long term, use of this method will cut off any initiative and innovative ideas and leave people to scared to take on responsibility or try something for fear of mistakes.
If asked how many of your employees really know where the business is going and what plans you have for getting there? Communicating your vision and the values of the business is key, your staff really need to buy into these no matter how small or large your business is.
If you include your staff in the plan and they share the ‘pain’ of getting there, consider sharing the gain as the company grows and achieves this is a great motivator.
Always be honest and as transparent as possible, if times are hard roll up your sleeves and get back to the floor let it be known that you need help from everybody.
Lets create champions
Your employees have ideas listen to them give constructive not dismissive feedback and then let them run with those ideas, rolled into your business vision give them the responsibility and the motivation to make things happen.
It is quite wonderful what people can do and achieve if you encourage them to work together productively, so make a leader or two and they will not want to let the team down. Do you really need a lot of middle managers if your staff are willing to take on responsibility and make things happen?
Recognising grown ups
Your colleagues are peers, not children. Everybody is important and should be made to feel so, in that way they can try for excellence and take control of their destiny and their careers.
Make work enjoyable, this is a most important job for any owner/manager. Small rewards the giving of a ‘well done or thank you’ for a job well done, lunch with the boss, free cakes mid week always a favourite.
It can cost very little to make work a nicer place to be in, try it and see the difference.
Do you bend?
The unexpected should be expected in the workplace, from a sick relative, school play, central heating packing up, car not starting, if you show some understanding and flexibility in these situations, you will create and foster the loyalty and morale of your workforce.
Much is written concerning the holy grail of work-life balance, it is an illusive beast. To achive this balance a balanced employer is part of the equasion.
Treating people as human beings and demonstrating understanding of their needs and the situations that occur in ‘real life’ is an important skill, many businesses seem to have forgotton this along the way.
When it comes to the workplace, money certianly helps but it can’t buy happiness.