An idea is nothing without action. Implementation of an entrepreneur’s ingenuity doesn’t come to fruition by itself; it takes help. A small business owner’s employees are on the front lines and in many cases are the single biggest factor towards building a thriving business. Without great employees and high retention rates, a small business owner is left exposed to poor customer service, higher than normal personnel costs, and more. As such, as a small business owner, should always take care of their employees. Beyond the basics (paid vacation and sick days, holidays, bonuses and even perhaps 401K offerings), an entrepreneur should treat their employees like part of the family. Treating your employees with integrity, honesty, compassion, and opportunity will, in most cases, empower them to help build your idea into a reality.
- Healthy opportunities. A sound mind, body and spirit isn’t accomplished only through a decent health insurance plan, but with a solid health and wellness program. Maybe allow each employee the option to receive a free or discounted membership to a local gym or health club. Provide free snacks that are healthy instead of ones that are loaded with sugar and caffeine. Promote and supply employees with information regarding local support groups for various needs. For instance, at FirstLight Home Care, we provide information for caregiver support groups for our caregivers, should they feel the need to release certain stresses or worries associated with their job. Perhaps for internal company contests, instead of the prize being a cash reward, what about giving the winning employee a certain amount of days off work, (paid, of course), or a spa gift card. Rewards and bonuses don’t always have to be monetary. Be creative and figure out ways to improve or help your employees maintain a healthy state of mind and well-being.
- Rewards and Recognition. If you give your employees something special to work towards that has meaning and value to them, they will take care of your customers. For instance, each year FirstLight Home Care awards a “Caregiver of the Year” award to a FirstLight Home Care caregiver who not only met the basic FirstLight Home Care standards in terms of service to clients, but also went above and beyond to provide extraordinary care for every client, each and every day. This way, our caregivers are motivated to administer our promise of excellent care and service. The fact that they may receive this awards more than once allows for them to set personal goals for themselves continuously each year. We also award our franchise owners After all, they are the ones who hire our incredible caregivers. Their time, energy and hard work play a key role in producing excellent quality care.
- Recreation and Activities. Holiday parties, birthday celebrations, monthly or seasonal get-togethers that involve not only employees, but their families as well, can be a tremendous added benefit. These activities allow employees to stay social and active outside of work and still spend time with their families. It also creates a sense of value for family. Employees will feel comfortable knowing who they work for is family-oriented. Encouraging employees to start a company, recreational sports team for a local sports league can be extremely rewarding and beneficial. It builds teamwork, yet allows employees to relax and enjoy a passion or hobby.
- Set Goals. Sit down with each one of your employees and talk with them about their dreams and goals. Get to know their passions and aspirations. Help them set goals so they are able to move forward and make their drams comes true. Help them determine how to meet each goal and check in with them frequently. Be their accountability partner. Keep them motivated!
Treating your employees as part of the family should be necessary. Lifting employees up, motivating and empowering and allowing them to grow and helping them to achieve personal and professional growth will keep your business on path to longevity.