When Henry Ford implemented a higher than minimum wage pay for his factory workers in the early 20th century, people began to notice the correlation between morale and productivity. Despite their higher wages, Ford’s workers produced quality cars at a quicker pace than the competition, more than making up for their cost of labor. Though times have changed considerably since then, doing business hasn’t in this regard. Providing incentives for productivity and efficiency can improve employee loyalty and keep your business’ books in the black.
Tips for Boosting Employee Morale
It’s easy for you to boost employee morale at your small business without spending a bundle. Some ways to do this include:
- Showing compassion. Get to know your employees and treat them as friends by taking an interest in their personal lives. This helps them feel valued as members of your business family.
- Using positive reinforcement. When someone exceeds your expectations, let them know. For example, recognize the employees who receive good client feedback. This results in more of your employees going above and beyond.
- Promoting internally. When employees they can potentially advance their careers within your company, they’re more likely to have higher morale and productivity levels.
Team Building Activities
The success and profitability of your company directly relates to how well employees work together and how happy and fulfilled they feel in their positions. Enter team building activities! The possibilities are endless, but as a small business owner, the funding for more costly activities like weekend trips probably isn’t in your budget. The ultimate goal of team building activities is to provide employees with the opportunity to learn how to depend on one another and function cohesively during business hours. Plenty of simple, cost-effective team building activities exist that you can consider for your small business.
Importance of Team Building Activities
More often than not, team building activities have a reputation for missing the mark. But in reality, the time and money you devote to such activities can actually improve employee health, communication, collaboration, and company culture, and as a result, raise your bottom line. Effective team building efforts are arguably one of the most important investments you can make in your company. To get employees on board, it helps to show a little ingenuity and creativity.
Avoid Team Building Activities That Don’t Work
Working hard to make the company a success is important. Your employees already know this, so avoid the mistake of focusing your team building efforts around increased production. Activities — especially in-house activities — such as lectures or seminars that repetitively present the importance of the bottom line don’t typically work well in bringing your employees together.
It may appear counter-intuitive, but getting your employees’ minds off of business often proves the best way to help them relax and boost the enjoyment factor of the team building activity. Consider doing something away from the company’s office entirely. The idea is to create a situation that encourages natural, genuine interactions in a setting that doesn’t present any work-related pressures.
Keeping Things Low-Cost
As a small business owner, you know a strong and happy team of employees is one of the most valuable assets you have, but you don’t have to break the bank to accomplish this. Instead, look toward a variety of no- and low-cost team building activities. Regardless of your business, you likely have ample resources within your offices or store to create a variety of employee activities.
For example, set up a scavenger hunt that takes employees in and around your store. This activity encourages employees to work together to meet a common goal. Another good option is a possibilities game. Each employee selects an object and mimes a use for it while their team tries to guess its use. These types of activities challenge each individual employee and encourage them to think creatively. Since these activities also challenge their teammates, they encourage your staff to pay attention to visual clues, think outside of the box, and work together to solve a problem. These types of activities almost always result in some memorable moments, shared laughter, and a stronger sense of camaraderie among your employees.
As a small business owner, you’re always looking for ways to improve your business and encourage employees to increase productivity. You have more time and energy to focus on keeping your workers happy when you have all your financials in order. The QuickBooks Self-Employed app helps freelancers, contractors, and sole proprietors track and manage their businesses on the go. Download the app today to see what it can do for your small business.