Small business owners have to wear many different hats. As the person who’s ultimately responsible for the success or failure of your company, you are also likely your own HR manager, accountant, marketing director, and more. But, it can be challenging to juggle all these roles at once and still have time to focus on growing your company.
That’s why supporting your employees can be a major challenge if you don’t have an established HR department to back you up. But your employees are one of the biggest assets to your business. And it pays to look after them.
So here are 4 simple ways you can support your employees as the up-and-coming small business owner you are.
Communicate Your Vision And Mission
Before you can support your employees, you need to communicate your vision and mission. Without a clear company vision, they don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish. And won’t understand why they’re working long hours or what progress they’re making towards the company’s overall success.
Communication is key here. It doesn’t have to be a fancy, printed-out-business-card speech. It can be as simple as writing down a few bullet points and sharing them with your team as often as possible. Beyond communicating your vision and mission, you also need to make sure your employees understand how their roles fit into the larger picture. This means having frequent check-ins with your team members to ensure they feel like they’re doing meaningful work.
Celebrate Wins Together
You can’t daydream your way to success. Successful businesses are built on hard work, perseverance and lots of change. Successful businesses also celebrate wins together. Celebrating boosts your team’s morale. And improving employee morale is the key to building a loyal team that works hard for you. This doesn’t mean that you need to throw a party every time your team closes a big deal or launches a new product.
It simply means that you need to recognize when your team members have achieved something meaningful. It means making time to celebrate the small wins and the larger milestones. Whether you are working in an office or from home, celebrating successes together will help your employees feel more connected to their work. And more motivated to keep moving the needle.
Recognize When Change Is Necessary
Even though you need to celebrate wins together, you must also recognize when change is necessary. This is especially true if your team members are not receiving the support they need or if your company culture is unhealthy. When this happens, you need to address the situation head-on. If you’re not sure how to approach a situation, you can always talk to your staff one-on-one to get a read on what’s going on in their minds.
If you find that your company culture is unhealthy, address it by having honest conversations with your team members. You can also use positive communication strategies like Appreciative Inquiry to get everyone on the same page. This will re-energize your team by having them focus on what has been going well.
Treat Your Employees Like Collaborators, Not Subordinates
You don’t have to run your business alone. Great business owners recognize that their employees are an extension of themselves. As such, they treat their employees like collaborators instead of subordinates who should just be grateful to have a job. This is one of the easiest ways to support your employees as a small business owner. And can be as simple as how you interact with your team.
Keeping your team members informed and involved in the decision-making process is a great place to start. This can be as simple as sending out company-wide emails and inviting your employees to provide feedback and suggestions. You can also involve your team members in strategic decision-making. For example, maybe you could get them involved in hiring decisions and let them pick the candidates they feel most comfortable bringing on board.
As a small business owner, you have the ability to support your team in ways that employees at larger companies don’t always receive. But, you have to be willing to put in the work. And you have to be willing to change your outlook from time to time. You also have to be willing to ask your employees for help when they can provide it.
Supporting your employees doesn’t happen by accident. It happens as a result of thoughtful and deliberate actions on your part. By using these 4 ways to support your employees, you can create a workplace culture that is positive and inspiring.