The staff that work for you determine:
1. How happy your customers are with your business.
2. The quality of the things that you sell.
3. The costs that you incur to sell your products and services.
4. Your risks (the things that can go wrong and how much it costs you.)
All these things determine your profitability and competitiveness. How do you ensure that everyone is on the same side and helping you to make profits?
At work, everyone believes that they are getting something (such as money) and are giving something in return (such as time and effort). They weigh up in their mind “how much am I giving, how much am I getting in return and is this fair?” If they believe that they are:
• Giving too much or
• getting too little,
• then this is unfair, and they won’t work well (poor productivity).
A manager or business owner needs to:
• Know what people are thinking about what they are giving and getting,
• and manage the giving or getting side,
• so that people become more productive.
In a smaller business, you often cannot afford to pay more or provide the sort of benefits (pensions, medical aid, bursaries etc.) that larger firms can. So staff may be dissatified and on the look-out for something better.
So how do you increase happiness without money?
1. Job security: Knowing that you will still have a job next year, and that you will get paid on time.
2. Recognition for contributing to the success of the business. If you train staff with the knowledge and skills to do a better job, and then encourage and support them, they are happier, and you increase profits. If you then share some of these profits with the staff that helped you to make them, everyone wins!
3. To be taken seriously and treated with respect. If you do this, then staff are happier, and they will also treat your customers with respect.
4. To be part of the team. You can do this by having a regular briefing on future plans are and to discuss new ideas. Because staff are doing the actual work, they will often have good ideas and then will be motivated to implement them – it was their idea after all!
Staff leaving you all the time is a bad thing. If you implement the strategy above, you will have happier, more productive staff, and a more profitable business.
This article first appeared in the Oct/Nov 2019 issue of Your Business Magazine. Read the rest of the free digital issue here.