10 Tips for Small Business Owners


  1. Build a foundation.

    It’s important to build a solid foundation for your employees so they feel invested in the company. Tell them about the history of the business and your vision for the future. Ask them about their expectations and career goals, as well as how you can help them feel part of the team. When any new employee starts, make sure he or she receives a thorough welcome orientation.

  2. Create a positive environment.

    Promote an office atmosphere that makes all employees feel worthwhile and important. Don’t play favorites with your staff. Keep office doors open and let folks know they can always approach you with questions or concerns. A happy office is a productive office.

  3. Put people on the right path.

    Most employees are looking for advancement opportunities within their own company. Work with each of them to develop a career growth plan that takes into consideration both their current skills and future goals. If employees become excited about what’s down the road, they will become more engaged in their present work.

  4. Educate the masses.

    Help employees improve their professional skills by providing on-the-job training or in-house career development. Allow them to attend workshops and seminars related to the industry. Encourage them to attend adult education classes paid for by the company. Employees will feel you are investing in them, and this will translate into an improved job performance.

  5. Don’t forget the fun.

    Once in a while you have put work aside and do something nice for the people who work for you. Treat the office to a pizza lunch or take everyone to the movies. Reward employees with an unexpected day off or by closing the office early on a random Friday afternoon.

  6. Acknowledge contributions.

    You can make a huge difference in employee morale simply by taking the time to recognize each employee’s contributions and accomplishments, large or small. Be generous with praise.

  7. Provide incentives.

    Offer people incentives to perform well, either with something small like a gift certificate or something more substantial such as a performance-based bonus or salary increase. Give out “Employee of the Month” awards. Such tokens of appreciation will go far in motivating employees.

  8. Honor your promises.

    Getting people to give their all requires following through on promises. If you tell an employee that he or she will be considered for a bonus if numbers improve or productivity increases, you’d better put your money where your mouth is. Failure to follow through on promises will result in a loss of trust — not only that person’s trust, but the trust of every employee that hears the story.

  9. Provide career coaching.

    Help employees reach the next level professionally by providing on-site coaching. Bring in professionals to provide one-on-one counseling, which can help people learn how to overcome personal or professional obstacles on their career paths.

  10. Match tasks to talents.

    You can improve employee motivation by improving employee confidence. Assign individuals with tasks you know they will enjoy or will be particularly good at. An employee who is successful at one thing will have the self-confidence to tackle other projects with renewed energy and excitement