How do You Keep Employees Motivated in a Small Business?

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Keeping employees motivated is crucial to maintaining or improving productivity which has direct benefits to your business. Employee satisfaction is necessary for optimal productivity, and there are several things you can do without splurging to keep your employees happy. Most businesses assume that motivating employees is an expensive and time-consuming process, and they feel that there is no better motivator than a paycheck. However, with a few simple management practices, you can dramatically improve motivation.

Be flexible in terms of work location

Working from home may not be possible for certain types of jobs and roles, but where it is possible, employers should certainly provide that bit of flexibility. You need to do this to stay competitive and doing so is a simple practice that does not affect your firm negatively. You can fix a certain number of ‘work from home’ days that an employee can avail every month, however, be wary of employees who are liable to abuse this provision. Certain employees are also likely to be more productive when they are working from home, and this could dramatically improve retention and job satisfaction rates.

Provide small perks


Small perks, especially when they catch employees off guard, can be very beneficial for short-term productivity. You could randomly treat the workforce to cakes and bagels, and this can do wonders for the productivity of that day. You could screen a huge sporting event in the office so that employees can watch it and simultaneously work. You could create a culture of flexible work stations where employees can be free to wander off and work from wherever their preferred location is. You could hold an impromptu games session as well. A healthy number of small perks that are doled out in moderation can do real wonders for productivity.

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Have a truly open line of communication

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Every firm likes to say that they have an open line of communication but this isn’t so in practice. Instead of paying lip service to this factor, senior managers need to play an active role in keeping communication lines open. More often than not, this is likely to involve subtly coercing employees to share information as most employees are reticent about sharing information, especially negative feedback. Have regular one-on-ones even if they are for a short period of time to gauge employee motivation levels. Make the individual feel valued. You may need to put in some degree of effort on each individual employee before your efforts turn into viable results.

Schedule some fun activity every week

At least once a week, employees should be able to take their mind off work at the workplace. This may involve some form of team lunch, team building activity or sport. Top level managers need to provide team managers with the flexibility to decide what is right for their team, and this is true for small businesses as well. In addition, rather than scheduling the activity in advance, you can spring it onto employees a couple of hours before to create an element of spontaneity.

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