When you own a small business and you don’t have a vibrant bustling office packed full of people, it can be hard to keep up staff morale and motivation; especially on days where everyone is busy and doesn’t get time to pop their head up for a chat. How can you help to keep a positive atmosphere among your team, and energy levels high?
Post Weekend Pick-me-up
If there’s only a few people working for you (i.e. it’s not going to cost you a fortune), drop into a local coffee shop on the way in to work on a Monday morning and bring in a round of fresh drinks for your team. Throw in a pack of biscuits or cakes (or fruit if your staff are being healthy) and you’re well on your way to starting your week off more positively.
Time off in Lieu
Think about all those extra 15 mins that your staff put in during the week by coming in early, working through breaks and staying late, and consider letting them go early every now and again on a Friday afternoon as a treat. Some businesses even let staff work 30-60 mins extra during the week so that they can get a lunchtime dart for the weekend. It may not be an option if you run a tight ship and need someone there to answer phones or emails for you, but if you are having a quiet day and you know they’ve put in extra time, an early exit on a Friday will definitely boost team morale.
I'll work my Birthday said no-one ever
Whilst you may not be able to offer more money or paid overtime to your staff, time back for free costs nothing really to you (provided you have adequate cover) but it can massively boost positivity in the office. A lot of companies now are offering staff their standard holiday package plus their birthday off as a little booster. If this really isn’t an option for your business, is there a way you can celebrate their birthday? A small gift such as flowers or a bottle of wine and a card can go a long way!
Nurture a good working relationship
When working in an office with few members of staff, it’s really important to keep everyone happy and for you all to be working together as a close team. To help nurture a good working relationship, why not invite staff for drink after work on payday to thank them for their hard work. Or, if you are a family business with 1 or 2 employees, perhaps you can invite your staff to large family events such as birthday parties to help them feel part of your team, after all the office is like an extension of your family and those who feel appreciated will put more in.
Say Thank You
This one sounds obvious, but if your staff are working hard for you, let them know they are making a difference. Particularly in small companies, 1 or 2 dedicated members of staff help you make your business what it is, you wouldn’t cope without them, and their ideas contribute towards making your company a success. Make sure they know this, and if you do particularly well with something, then share some of the good fortune with them. A Christmas bonus or gift is a lovely gesture.
Always be careful that the atmosphere doesn’t become competitive in a small working environment. If you have 2 or 3 members of the team, make sure they are all getting treated equally and are not being negative towards each other – if they sense you may have a favourite, or 1 member of the team can “get away” with more, then this will create a bad atmosphere and your productivity will plummet. Nip any negativity in the bud, and pull aside any members of the team with a bad attitude before it gets out of hand.
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