How to Keep Your SMB Employees Motivated

By: Will Anderson

Employee motivation is essential on so many different levels, especially for a small business. They are indeed the lifeblood of the company, and just one bad apple can impact profitability. When your employees are motivated, ownership has a much better chance to reach the goals they have set for the company. Motivated employees tend to be more productive, thus enabling your company to perform at its peak potential.

Motivated employees tend to work hard, be passionate about their job and the company and be participative in the work environment. Some who are invested may even treat the company as their own; these employees are worth their weight in gold! Unmotivated workers are passing the time – surfing the internet for personal reasons, texting, personal calls, extended break room visits and maybe even applying to new jobs on the company dime.

So how do you motivate your employees?

Perhaps the most significant thing you can do to motivate your employees is to create a friendly, inclusive work environment. Your employees spend a large chunk of their lives on the job. As such, you should want to make the workplace as appealing as possible. Employees who don’t dread going into work every day, but rather approach the workday optimistically will inevitably work harder and do a better job.

Another way to increase employee motivation is by acknowledging their achievements. One thing to consider is an evaluation of how each member of your team likes to receive feedback. Almost all employees want to be recognized for a job well done, but some prefer a quiet one on one acknowledgment, while others enjoy a more public thank you.

Employee incentive programs are another great idea. Your employees will respond to some degree to monetary rewards. However, the incentive doesn’t necessarily have to be that – it could be a simple thing like an extra vacation day, a week of parking in the bosses parking spot or the boss taking them to a special lunch.

Friendly competitions can get your small team fired up as well. Come up with a contest and outline the criteria for winning clearly. In addition to an uptick in business performance, these fun internal contests can increase camaraderie amongst employees and management. 

Finally, review your break room and other employee areas, including where they enter the building for work every day. Dial-up the ambiance and the hospitality of those spaces. If you can swing it, small things like providing an upscale coffee and tea setup, a popcorn machine, other snacks and fun designs in the surroundings will all lead to the employees actually enjoying their time at work more.

At TrustPoint Insurance & Real Estate, we know we are only as good as the team of people who work here, so we try to implement all the above. Another thing we enjoy is tying in with the occasional national day and encouraging our team to participate. We often post this on our social, which includes recognizing our employee’s anniversaries each year.

So as an owner of an SMB, maybe take an hour of your day this week and think of some fun, motivational ways to take your team to the next level!

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