It is essential to set the ground rules of your business very clearly, so that your current and future employees can start on the right foot. Often small businesses focus on financial results and growth and overlook the inner workings of their company. It is important for sustainable long-term growth to pay close attention to your employees and how they approach day-to-day interactions. As a leader, you have to set an example and create boundaries to promote a positive and productive small business culture. Set clear goals, reward, inspire, and be open to suggestions.
Give your employees the freedom to achieve goals their own way. Build your small business culture so that you don’t have to micromanage and be able to delegate. Request regular updates but give them enough freedom so they can be productive on their own terms. Educate your team on the best practices to meet deadlines. Trust will ease office tension and lead to more productivity. It will foster positive relationships and reduce conflicts in your team.
Encourage a competitive working environment where the highest achievers receive rewards in the form of bonuses or other tangible benefits like game tickets, trips, and weekend getaways. You can host regular events with food and drinks at which you ceremonially reward the winners. Thank your entire team for supporting the winners in their efforts and show them you know that everyone in the team matters for achieving the company goals.
Smart office space
Encourage open-floor shared offices in which collaboration and creativity can thrive. Keep some traditional structure to your work place where it is needed, like in the numbers-heavy departments where seclusion can enable enhanced focus. Let your employees work from the couches or lounge areas, as long as they can be more productive. Use technology to improve communication and productivity – messaging apps, tablets in common areas, TVs, modern furniture.
Keep an open door
Create a culture of open discussion within your company. Keep an open door for suggestion and concerns and address them in timely manner. If employees are too reserved or afraid of sharing their suggestions, create a message board where they can voice their opinions anonymously. Create a family-like environment where everyone is interested in improving company methods and goals. This approach gives you a multi-perspective view of your business and helps you improve workflow.
Respect your employees’ time off
Working overtime shows dedication, but in the long run it can burn people out and make them less productive. It is important to respect the time your employees need to spend with their families and recharge their batteries. Coming early, leaving late, and working weekends can be a short term solution to workflow surges but make sure you reward them for the extra work. Make arrangements to add more team members so you don’t burn out your loyal employees and lose them.
Trying to get your startup on the right track? Check out our article on How to Encourage A Learning Culture in Your Startup.