With a small business team it’s easy for work to get personal. One sour apple is likely to sour the bunch that much faster, while positive employee attitudes often make for a healthier business.
In stressful times, with less workers asked to do more and more, one message is clear - employee morale matters.
Here’s how some small business leaders keep their teams motivated:
1. Treat Coworkers like Adults
“Clear, direct and expedient communication” is one of the things “we really believe in,” says John Roberson, president of marketing firm Advent in Nashville, Tenn. Morale is boosted when you “treat people like grown-ups and like you want to be treated – as a family member or a team member.”
2. Be Open to Flexible Work Schedules
Stepping Stone Management Services, a tutoring service in Washington, allows employees to telecommute one day a week and they can pick the day, says President Yao Tyus.
3. Time Off is Always a Bonus
Scott Hauge, president of Cal Insurance and Associates in San Francisco, gives 28 of his 30 employees every other Friday off. (He is not able to offer this schedule to the receptionist and his assistant.) “That’s probably the biggest benefit and morale booster outside of anything financial,” he says. “As an employer I hate it. I think it’s a real pain in the ass because every other Friday you’ve got…your staff gone, but from a morale standpoint, I wouldn’t change it and as much as I dislike it, I wouldn’t change it.”
Roberson agrees that a day off can do a world of good. “Sure it’s lost labor, but it doesn’t cost any additional payroll and it’s a way of saying thanks.”