Running a competent business is not all about profit margins, revenue, operating performance, prestige, and acquisitions. It is about making a name for yourself that stands about the rest and feels like a place that should be admired. The problem with too many businesses, small and large alike, is that they put the emphasis on money and performance in these metrics over the care that should be given to their employees and team members. A truly great business understands that it is the people that make everything work, not just the numbers.
Knowing how to run a successful business takes years of hard work, dedication, trial and error, and plenty of research, but it is doable. Sticking to the principles of money as the most important factor will not lead you down the path of truly successful entrepreneurship. It will give you success with those profits and other metrics mentioned, but if no one wants to work for you, what’s the point? Here are some pointers that can help you turn your company into a workplace that is admired by all and will have people clamoring to submit applications.
1. Create a Tolerant and Welcoming Environment
If we have learned anything about the work environment, we can see that not all places of employment have been easy to manage for people of different backgrounds. From race to gender, sexuality, religion, and any other difference in between, we see that people are not as welcomed in some circles as others. Creating a work environment that has a focus on education on tolerance and racial bias can help more of your potential employees and existing ones feel more at home where they work. People spend a large number of their lives at work, so you want to be sure they feel safe and wanted, regardless of their differences.
2. Give Incentive for Performance
This is a general business practice that should be employed by anyone. Whether you are focused on performance metrics or wanting to make sure employees feel their deeds are going noticed, it is important to reward them for the hard work they put in. If you’re going to run a business that is somewhere enviable and desirable, you need to make sure that your employees know you notice. Completing a lot of work ahead of schedule shouldn’t be a license to pile more on them, but allowing them to kick off early for a day to rest and recover shows you value all of the efforts they’ve given. Providing them these small incentives (or performance-based raises, of course) can drastically improve their happiness.
3. Provide Benefits That Employees Need
Company benefits are difficult because it comes down to how much you can realistically afford. Yes, not all important factors of a desirable place to work should focus on revenue, but bigger companies can afford to give people things like dental or health coverage because they make a lot of money. Still, if you can spare it, you shouldn’t downplay the importance that benefits have for your employees. Being able to give them the security, peace of mind, and financial freedom to not worry about important responsibilities of paying out of pocket or through expensive coverage plans for these necessities will also drastically improve their happiness. It is no small feat to provide for some businesses, but happy employees make the difference between a thriving business and a miserable one.
4. Listen to What People Have to Say
A tolerant and welcoming environment is only the start of addressing individual needs in the workplace. You also have to take into consideration that not every employee is having their voice heard, which is incredibly frustrating. You yourself have probably been the subject of bosses, owners, or managers overlooking your requests, questions, or concerns, so you need to buck that trend. Having sat down meetings with each employee 1-on-1 on a routine basis can help them get to know you in a more personal way to help build better work connections and allow them to say what they are thinking. Allowing them to discuss what they are thinking about regarding work will make you a business people would love to be involved with.
5. Improve the Physical Space as Much as You Can
How your business ebbs and flows in a physical sense is as important to the dynamic of mental health and productivity as any kind of meeting or culture shift could be. The physical realm of your business represents two potential things: 1. Barriers, or 2. Possibilities. The first, the barriers, makes it feel like people are walking into a cage every day, with the same old cubical or the same old drab surroundings. The second, the possibilities, makes it exciting to come into work where the physical space doesn’t feel limiting. Ditch the drab colors, invest in some modern furniture and decor, make the layout more inviting, and turn it into a unique experience. This is a big undertaking, but it can pay off greatly for your business.
6. Focus on Being a Leader, and Not a Boss
You need to stop thinking of yourself as being above everyone and ruling with an iron fist. Yes, your word basically is law in the confines of the workplace, but people don’t like feeling like they are beneath you. You can exert power in another way that is more productive and encouraging by being a leader rather than a boss. Jump in and help out when you can, learn everyone’s roles, give words of encouragement, and be there putting in the extra hours to make other people’s lives better. It is hard work to be a leader, but if you want your business to succeed, you need to be willing to roll up your sleeves and lead the charge.
Every business owner wants to be a place that is enviable and is on the top of every applicant’s list, but it takes a lot of work to get there. With these helpful tips, you can see what kind of factors go into making that a reality, and get to work.
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