We’ve all had that job, that boss, or that work environment that makes it difficult to feel excited about waking up on a weekday morning. It’s hard to stay motivated and enthusiastic about doing your best when you begin dreading all of your interactions the moment you walk into work.
The tables turn when you’re the business owner. How you choose to run your business internally has a significant effect on how your staff operates, which will ultimately impact your customers and how outsiders view your business. It’s not a bad idea to remember that job, that boss, or that work environment in your life that made it hard for you to get things done. Ask yourself, what made working in those conditions so frustrating? Then, challenge yourself to rise about those conditions for the sake of your employees, as well as the longevity of your business.
How else can you keep your shop in high spirits and your staff stoked about creating customer products every day? Here are four tips to help ensure employee satisfaction for your team:
Consider using team coordination and scheduling software.
It can be stressful and frustrating when the company is experiencing a high-volume season, and no one knows what they're supposed to be doing. To avoid production hiccups in the customer ordering process, which can cause tension and co-worker blaming between employees, it might be a good idea to give a user-friendly project management software a try. Applications like Basecamp, Trello, or Teamwork make it easy for users to create custom solutions that help employees stay on task and understand what’s going on in other parts of the shop.
Suggest monthly staff field trips during work hours that promote teamwork and healthy conversation.
There’s something about closing up shop early on a Friday and taking everyone out for demolition derby or ax-throwing lessons. It makes folks enjoy working together a little bit more when Monday rolls around. It’s not a hard concept to understand. If your team exclusively knows one another in the workspace and that’s it, issues or problems that arise while working may affect their relationships with each other because they don’t honestly know one another. If they get the opportunity to get to know their co-workers outside of the 8–5 grind, then it’s easier for employees to understand their co-workers and look at them in a more three-dimensional light—as a person with feelings, beliefs, and a family.
Start an internal newsletter.
Here’s a fun way to keep your shop up to date on what’s happening every month, as well as show a little extra appreciation for members of your team. Depending on the size of your company, you can feature both an employee and department spotlight to give your employees a little insight into who they are and what they do. Include upcoming birthdays, company events, and important dates. Give everyone a rundown on anything exciting that’s happened, or that’s on deck for the near future. Feature thoughtful links about maintaining a healthy lifestyle or inspiration for sustaining a creative mindset. Keep it positive, use it as a tool to keep your team connected, and remind them you’re all in it together.
Since this newsletter is meant to help get your staff on the same page, try sending out an email once a month to give people the opportunity to contribute any news they have about their department. Keep them motivated to participate and remind everyone that this is their community bulletin. It's a piece of communication meant to give the company an inside look at how everyone fits together in the business, as well as serve as an inspiration for everyone to do their best.
Praise your staff when things go well, and motivate them when things don’t.
Let your staff know just how much you appreciate their hard work. This means acknowledging when orders finish on time, customers pay your business compliments, and employees come to you with ideas to increase efficiency. The best way to secure a business’ survival and ultimately increase profits and customer satisfaction is by keeping quality, happy employees around.
As all experienced shop owners know, not everything goes off without a hitch all of the time. Order details get overlooked, misprints happen, a disappointed customer walks out the front door after a tense conversation over a misquoted price—sometimes stuff just happens. It’s in those moments that you as the business owner have the power to turn a situation entirely around, both for your customer and your employees before further problems arise. Unhappiness is contagious, which makes it easy for frustrated staff members to pass their negative attitudes on to the other co-workers and customers they interact with daily. Instead of communicating to your team how upset you are (or worse, blaming the customer for the problem at hand), gather them together for a positive pep talk. Remind them that mistakes happen, it’s your job as a team to accept the circumstances and correct the issue moving forward, and that from here on out, you’re going to work mindfully together to smash customer expectations and produce results you can all be proud of, every single time.