It’s the oldest statistic in small business. Only 50% of small businesses are likely to remain operational beyond five years. That’s why most entrepreneurs and small business owners have one major question in mind, “What can I do to ensure the long-term success of my business?”
The answer is simple. Successful businesses have a strong foundation with two underlying factors – employee engagement and customer satisfaction.
Interestingly, the two factors are also closely linked to each other. Employees who believe in the work they do and are enthusiastic about their jobs are more likely to provide better customer service.
So, to ensure the profitability and success of your business, you have to work on creating a workplace environment that is conducive to productivity and commitment to the organization’s goals. This workplace culture is most likely to translate into better customer retention and long-term growth.
7 Simple Steps to Promote a Fun Atmosphere at Work
1. Create a Community of People Working Together
Psychologists report that a sense of isolation and loneliness is one of the biggest factors detrimental to hard work. You’ll have people coming in, doing their jobs, and leaving at the end of the day without caring about what they do. To create an atmosphere of belonging, encourage people at all levels of the management to greet one another, preferably by name. Having workers know and acknowledge each other with a simple, “Hi!” can build a community of motivated people working towards a common goal.
2. Have Polls to Stimulate New Ideas
Workers like to have their opinions heard, and you’ll find that they feel more involved with the company operations. Accordingly, hold polls so employees can come forward with their ideas on how they can do their jobs better. In this way, you can boost employee engagement by inspiring them to think about how they can perform better and raise productivity levels. This strategy also helps you understand how you can provide satisfactory goods and services to your customers. Remember, since employees work directly with the customer, they are more likely to have an in-depth understanding of what the end consumer is looking for.
Like the founder of BizFit 2015, Colin McGuire tells Fast Company, “When you empower your employees by creating an entrepreneurial environment, you take your business to the next level. Motivated, passionate employees are resourceful enough to develop creative and effective solutions to problems and roadblocks on their own.”
3. Involve Workers in the Your Policies and Goals
Be the leader who leads your team forward by talking to them about your visions for the company and the goals you have in mind. Discuss with them the roles each person will be playing to accomplish the objectives. Say, you have the target of selling an X number of products each month. When you assign tasks to each of the workers, they’ll have a clear view of what is expected of them. In place of a group of individual people doing disconnected tasks, you’ll have an entire team striving and directing their efforts to help you meet that target. That’s the best kind of employee engagement you want for your company.
4. Show Your Appreciation for Achievements
There’s nothing more appealing than a boss who recognizes and rewards efforts and achievements. Offer rewards, bonuses, and other incentives to workers who perform well. Like, for instance, a worker who snags an important account for the company can receive a gift card for dinner for two at one of the best restaurants in town. Or, award a bonus to an employee who has just averted a mishap that could have caused significant losses for the business. Publicly acknowledge good efforts, but take care not to foster unhealthy competition.
5. Break the Routine Once or Twice a Month
Any activity out of the ordinary can infuse the element of novelty and fun in the workplace. Improve employee engagement by breaking the routine a couple of times each month. Celebrate birthdays with donuts and coffee or have a jeans and t-shirt dress code day. Also, consider hosting an after-work party in the office on one Friday each month. Encourage workers from all tiers of the management to mingle and get to know each other. Here’s another idea. Organize a picnic or trip to an amusement park with all your people on a weekend or national holiday. Pick up this idea from Lifehack and allow employees to work from home a few times each month for a truly welcome break.
6. Encourage Growth and Development
If there’s anything a small business owner worries about most, it is stagnation. Every worker has aspirations for the future with bigger salaries, higher posts, and a comfortable retirement. Show your people that you understand those aspirations and can help make them a reality. Consider sponsoring training courses and workshops where your people can develop their skills further. Not only will they become valuable assets down the line, but you discourage employee turnover. You’ll maintain employee engagement and eliminate spending the time and resources looking for, hiring, and training new talent all the time.
7. Maintain an Upbeat Work Environment
Setbacks, problems, and even, losses are a regular part of running an establishment. But, like this feature in the Entrepreneur explains, as the team leader, it is up to you to see the positives in each situation. Tackle every issue with an upbeat attitude and encourage people to think positively. You’ll find that the optimism you display reassures workers and percolates into their dealings with customers. Remember, you are more likely to attract business if your company has a confident, positive outlook.
Here are a few more interesting ideas to promote employee engagement. Hire people who have an open, friendly demeanor that can set the pulse of your workplace. Add lots of potted plants to develop an atmosphere of serenity, and design the decor of your workplace to foster new ideas.
Setting the tone for employee engagement is not all that difficult. All you need is a few smart strategies to create the perfect workplace. When your people come into work, they should look forward to their day with motivation and the conviction that they’re doing something worthwhile. If you can bring that attitude into your company, there’s no reason why it won’t see many successful milestones down the years.