When you’re an employer with a small workforce, one of your major challenges is attrition. To prevent from losing the human resources, after investing your time and energy on training them, you need to keep your workforce motivated. There are many hurdles to keeping your employees motivated and invested in your business, especially if you’re a small business owner.
The stepping-stone syndrome
Most of the young people tend to consider their first job as a stepping stone to better things once they gain enough experience, especially if it is with a smaller organization. To prevent this, the business owner has to keep his employees motivated. If the employee is only looking to gain some experience in the field, and to not grow within the organization (which is anyway limited in a small concern) then he or she is not likely to be motivated to put in their best effort. They’re more likely to just coast along for a year or two before moving on to a bigger organization.
As much as anyone in the organization contributes to the business, they can grow only up to a certain position in a small organization. Most people when questioned, cite the growth factor as the single reason for switching jobs. When one holds a challenging job that allows them to prove their mettle, which is then recognized by the organization, they seldom think about leaving the job, except under extenuating circumstances. In a small business, even for such people, growth prospects might simply be non-existent. The family members more likely to get the better roles, and this might lead to employees of a small concern to be less motivated.
In a small business set-up, however significant an employee’s contribution to a project, and the overall success, it the team leader or the business owner who gets the recognition. Though it understandable that the boss gets the largest share of the goodies, sometimes this can lead to disheartening of the workforce. This is one of the major factors that leads to lack of motivation and job satisfaction, which in turn results in higher attrition rates in smaller organizations.
How do you recognize the contributions of a particular employee and reward them? Large organizations have ESOPs, foreign jaunts and other such attractive bonuses, which might not be available to a small business owner. Simply offering a bonus might not be as attractive as a family holiday trip abroad or a stock option plan. This is another reason for lack of motivation among the employees in a small business.
When you’re running a small business, it is more than likely that you’re playing multiple roles. This means a lot of running around, leaving your workforce largely unsupervised. In the current scenario, the social media is a huge distraction, and an unsupervised employee is more likely to surf the net or spend their time on social media platforms rather than working diligently when the boss is away. Even if you have an office manager in place, they cannot be monitoring all the employees all the time, and such supervision will only lead to hurt feelings, as it sends the message that you don’t trust them. You need to find ways to motivate them, while limiting distractions. Many large organizations are banning social media these days to prevent time-wasting and also phishing attacks.
How to keep your employees motivated?
Clearly defined roles, with due recognition for achievements, significant growth opportunities, innovative bonus packages and holidays abroad are some of the factors that might help in keeping your employees motivated. Some smaller organizations, especially start-ups in the IT sector have taken a leaf out of Google’s playbook and are offering their employees healthy and tasty meals, in-house, on the house. This leads to a relaxed atmosphere where people can hang out, or meet and brainstorm or just simply relax. A good housing plan, with access to fresh air and good schools can also help; if your employees’ families are happy, then they are more likely to be happy too. A happy employee makes for a happy customer, and ultimately, that is what you’re looking for!
Author Bio: Jack Danielson is an independent online marketing consultant for Internet Choice, a resource site that lets you find all Internet service providers in your area with an easy search-by-zip feature.