9 Top Employee Engagement Tips for Small Businesses

November 22nd, 2017

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Employee engagement has become an important consideration for all businesses, regardless of size.  Not only has it been shown to increase individual and organisational performance, but engaged employees are less likely to be absent from work.

They also contribute more than 2.5 times more revenue.  You are also more likely to retain an engaged employee and they help to increase customer satisfaction.

According to a recent study, those who work in small companies are happier and more engaged than those who work for large organisations.  The survey found that 36% of employees in smaller businesses are actively engaged vs. only 29% in larger businesses.

Let’s face it, employees today are motivated by more than salary alone and it’s sometimes the little things that make a big difference. Here we look at some top tips for increasing employee engagement in a small business.

1. Open Door Policy

Small businesses rarely have separate offices for management these days, but where they do it’s time to ditch them in favour of encouraging day-to-day interactions with staff at all levels. Promoting an atmosphere of unity, helps to break down barriers and improve morale as a direct result.

2. Listen

A culture which actively encourages employees to express their opinions, concerns and ideas is a sure-fire way to encourage employee engagement. Showing that you’re listening to employees, by addressing their concerns or implementing their ideas, helps them feel they are making a difference and are directly contributing to the success of the overall business.

 3. Celebrate Accomplishments

Recognising achievements will show employees they are appreciated for good work, exceeding expectations or going the extra mile. A simple thank for a job well done can go a long way, but if you decide to reward employees with incentives, try to tailor them to the individual, as people will value different things.

4. Respect Work Life Balance

Creating a working environment with a flexible atmosphere can help to make staff happier in their work. Allowing employees some form of flexible working, whether it be in the form of flexitime, time off for family issues or working at home from time to time, promotes increased engagement and productivity. It also works both ways, with employees being more willing to stay late when required to meet a tight deadline or during a particularly busy period.

5. Performance Reviews

Regardless of whether performance reviews are conducted in the form of an official appraisal or a more casual discussion, regular check-ins with employees shows that you are recognising their contribution to the organisation. It also offers the ideal opportunity to discuss progress and performance, as well as options for personal development and growth.

6. Get Social

From time to time, you could consider organising non-work opportunities which allow employees to interact and get to know each other better. These types of events are often valued by staff and are great at breaking down barriers and promoting camaraderie. Get a team together for a quiz night at a local pub, volunteer to help a charity or local cause, go bowling, go karting or trampolining, enjoy a meal together; the list of opportunities is endless.

7. Add a Personal Touch

A small organisation lends itself to adding the personal touch where employees are concerned. Simple gestures such as sending a birthday card or Christmas card or simply acknowledging anniversaries or children’s birthdays during conversation, will mean a lot to employees.

8. Have More Fun

Make sure your organisation is a fun and happy place to be. Try to inject some humour and laughter, you’ll be surprised at how much it can brighten the mood on even the toughest of days.

9. Environment Matters

The working environment is really important, after all most of us spend more of our waking hours at work than we do at home.  From a comfortable chair, to a clutter free environment which is warm in the winter and cool in the summer, through to free teas and coffees and a regularly stocked bowl of fresh fruit – try and make your environment one which is pleasant for your employees.

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