How to: Create a Great Place to Work

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Treat Everyone With Respect and Understanding

It’s easy for you to be enthusiastic about your company. You built it, probably from the ground up. The hard part is getting the same passion and zeal out of your employees.

A Gallup poll showed that only about 30% of American workers are engaged at work. This means, then, that roughly 70% of U.S. workers aren’t reaching their full potential, “a problem that has significant implications for the economy and the individual performance of American companies.” Why? Because, the report states, engaged workers are the bread and butter of an organization, increasing the business’s overall productivity, profitability, and customer rating while decreasing turnover and absenteeism.

At Direct Capital, we want to help make your business the best it can be, both in the eyes of your customers and your employees. We do this in two ways. The first is by providing financing for your business needs, whether it’s for a remodel, payroll, or new equipment. The other is by offering up expert tips and advice to small business owners like you so we can help you achieve growth in numerous ways.

In the December/January issue of Inc. Magazine, author Paul Keegan put together five rules for keeping employees engaged and creating a great place to work. With those tips, and our own industry knowledge, we’ve generated this list:

  1. Use negative, anonymous employee reviews as inspiration: Inc. sites a Workplace Dynamic study that shows Glassdoor reviews only represent about 1.6 percent of all employees out there, and most of them with workplace gripes to complain about. Plus, unhappy workers will be five to eight more times likely to post a review than someone content with their job. So first, don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember that someone will probably always be out there to get you because, well, you just can’t please everybody. With that said, it is important to not shrug them off completely. Take a look at what the former employees (or current) are saying about the company and work to improve them. Have staff meetings addressing the issues and invite others to comment and share their ideas for improvement.
  2. Give credit where credit is due: Believe it or not, employees are often happy with their current position (and pay) if they get recognized for a job well done. In a survey, 70% of employees said that meaningful recognition has no dollar value. Continuing to show your appreciation for the work your team members do will keep morale and productivity levels high.
  3. Realize your engagement efforts won’t always work: No matter how many employees you have, they will always be different in personality. Some will be shy, others exuberant. Some will enjoy fun activities in the middle of the day, others would rather finish their work. The engagement activities you implement in your office – a holiday party, lunch ice breakers, birthday parties, etc. – won’t be for everyone and you have to be okay with that. Don MacPherson, co-founder and president of Modern Survey, said in the Inc. article, “One thing entrepreneurs should not worry about is trying to engage everyone. It’s perfectly acceptable to write off the employees who will never buy in.”
  4. Implement new technology: With the “millennial” generation entering the workforce in streams, this becomes even more important. People want to work at a company they feel is new, fresh, and innovative. Whether you’ve been around for 20 years or 2, there are always ways to keep your company at the cutting edge of technology – and that’s by investing in new equipment, software, and products as soon as they arrive on the market. With equipment financing through Direct Capital, that implementation has never been easier.
  5. Determine your company’s purpose: Handing out raises, getting fun furniture for the office, and offering other perks will only go so far in keeping employees happy. The Inc. article states, “While it’s important to pay employees well, most carrot-and-stick motivators don’t work in the long term, because people get so fixated on the reward that they lose interest in the activity itself.” When employees feel that the job they are doing is making a difference for the greater good or for the company itself, it matters more than you think. A study found that recent graduates would be willing to work for a significantly lower salary if they really believed in the job they were doing. Figure out what your business’s purpose is, share it with your whole team, implement those core values, and continue to build team spirit to see engagement levels rise.
  6. Be an open book: You don’t want to share all your business secrets with your employees, but being open to a line of communication is key. In a survey of 210,000 American workers, less than half were satisfied with information given to them by upper management. If you implement an open door policy, employees feel they can come to you with not only problems, but ideas as well.
  7. Did we say engagement? Never mind: While getting employees active and engaged in the workplace is important, the number one thing to remember is to always treat your team with respect and understanding. Listen to them, help them grow, and, perhaps, even grow with them. Engagement may come, and it may not, but by keeping a positive attitude every day, your employees will be happy to work for you.

The most important takeaway for you is this: You aren’t just creating a great work atmosphere for your employees; you’re doing it for you too. When you feel confident that you have the best team working for you, almost anything is possible.

For more small business tips, or to discover what our financing options are for your business, give Direct Capital a call today at 866-777-0117. We can’t wait to hear from you!