This week’s question . . .
Q: I own a small business. What are the best ways to keep my employees engaged?
A: Just as all real estate boils down to three words, so does employee engagement. I can’t stress those three words enough: Inclusion, inclusion, inclusion! Employees who feel they are a valued part of the team – not just a faceless cog in the wheel – will take more pride in their work and will deliver a superior product or service. Instead of putting in hours, they will be putting their name on the work product, and that can make all the difference.
Employee engagement begins well before that person steps foot into the office or the warehouse. You must have a firm handle on who you want to hire, how that person will fit into your business, and whether or not that business is a good fit for a particular candidate. Small businesses cannot afford high turnover, so do it right the first time. Be slow to hire and fast to hold employees accountable. Be quick to recognize when an employee just isn’t working out so you can release that person without sinking a great deal of time and effort into a poor fit.
Once you have that employee on your team, the onboarding process is a must. Provide worthwhile, in-depth training and make sure you set clear expectations from the beginning. What exactly will this person be responsible for? How will you measure his success and align it with the future success of your company?
Employees at a small business often have to wear many hats and juggle numerous priorities, but if you set yourself up for success from the beginning, you are much more likely to achieve it and have a priceless asset – happy employees.