One of the essential secrets of a successful business is having a team of happy, engaged employees. When your team members feel enabled and appreciated at work, they’re not only more likely to stay with your company for a longer period, but they’re also more productive and closely engaged with projects and clients. Further, happy team members can be the best ambassadors for your business out there.
However, your team members’ enthusiasm won’t grow without deliberate effort on your part. Leaders must take the time to understand their workers, what motivates them and what they need to thrive. If you’re looking for effective ways to boost your employees’ satisfaction, try these 11 strategies recommended by the members of Business Journals Leadership Trust. These smart tactics are sure to help your team members feel more welcome and cared for.
1. Listen, respond and implement.
Taking the time to listen to your team’s questions, thoughts and ideas is important, but even more important is responding to their questions, thoughts and ideas. Explain why an idea will or will not work or why it can or cannot be implemented. If you like an idea, implement it, and give your team member the credit. – Zane Stevens, Protea Financial
2. Clearly communicate expectations.
It is critical for leaders to be approachable and communicate their expectations clearly. A relationship built on trust yields mutual respect, and colleagues are given a platform to vocalize ideas and concerns while you have the opportunity to listen reflectively. Employees want to be heard, appreciated and valued — often, recognition matters more than money. – Justin Livingston, Reflektions Ltd.
3. Pay attention to what motivates each employee.
I discovered early on that each person is motivated differently. It can take the form of a paycheck, a position title or more family time. There are ways to discover someone’s personal motivator. One of my best successes was meeting my office manager pouring himself a cup of coffee one morning and asking why he wasn’t at his son’s championship ballgame. He was gone in two minutes, and I had learned his motivator: flextime. – Corine Prieto, Integrated Geophysics Corp.
4. Offer opportunities to grow.
Provide employees opportunities to achieve their dreams and goals. Training and development opportunities, stretch goals, or putting their skills to use in unique ways engages employees and helps with satisfaction. And when they know that you want them to achieve their goals — even if ultimately it has them leaving your company — they’ll be far more committed in the present. – Laura Doehle, Elevation Business Consulting
5. Provide some fun perks.
A great way to keep employees focused and productive throughout the day is to provide them with an exemplary office atmosphere. Whether it’s having free snacks and beverages available for a midday pick-me-up, games such as shuffleboard for a quick brain break, or a quality coffee maker, office amenities allow employees to feel at home while boosting their productivity and focus throughout the workday. – Matt Haiker, Q Consulting
6. Stay personally engaged.
I engage with my employees throughout the day to check in. When I arrive in the morning, I greet everyone. When I’m stressed and need to take a walk, I ask how everyone is feeling or doing. My goal is to have my finger on the pulse of the business — both on the metrics of running the business as well as the people working inside the business. – Timothy Haluszczak, SteelBridge Labs
7. Share praise publicly.
The adage “Praise publicly and offer feedback privately” is important to follow to keep morale up and employees engaged. In today’s virtual world, continuously shift and add engagement activities and tools your employees can use to stay connected and have fun. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
8. Listen to what your employees aren’t saying.
Successful leadership requires a keen ear for hearing both what is said and what is unsaid. Creating a happy, engaged work environment requires attentiveness to all parts of communication — even what is not being said. – Rachel Namoff, Arapaho Asset Management
9. Design incentives around individuals.
Find out what motivates your employees on an individual level. Too often we assume that what motivates us will motivate someone else, but we are all different. Design your incentive systems around what motivates your team individually and find ways to reward each person in a way that is truly personal. – Jared Knisley, Fizen Technology
10. Implement training programs.
Employees’ satisfaction can be boosted by adding various developmental and training programs. In today’s world, digital tools are widely used by all businesses, but sometimes the employees aren’t quite familiar with them. Introducing proper educational programs can not only increase efficiency but also reduce the initial hustle for employees. – Alina Clark, CocoDoc
11. Ask for their input.
Seek input, not blind following. Every policy, procedure and practice can benefit from outside input. Who better to provide that input than the folks charged with implementing those policies? – Christine Durrett, Durrett & Kersting PLLC