Everyone is happy when they accomplish something great. That’s why we’ve all seen the “World’s Greatest” mugs: “World’s Greatest Teacher!” they proudly proclaim, with a cheerful red apple and an illustration of an A+. Or, “World’s Greatest Mom!” with images of hearts and flowers. We’d all like to be the greatest at SOMETHING, and if you’re a small business owner, you probably want your mug to read, “World’s Greatest Team Leader.” And why shouldn’t you?
You take pride in your company, you love what you do, and you’re always looking for ways to improve your business practices. But one important question the “greatest team leader” ought to ask him or herself is:
What do I do to keep the team happy at my company?
One of the trademarks of a happy team member– employee, contractor, subcontractor, and so on– is his or her level of productivity. There are lots of things you’re probably already doing to help keep your team productive and cohesive.
For example, you may offer special perks to those who sell the most of a particular product, which leads to healthy team-wide competition. You may even provide other traditional incentives, such as a Christmas bonus or a raise every couple of years if an individual has stuck with you for a long time.
But do these markers of appreciation truly help to keep team members fulfilled in their jobs, or are they merely measures to keep them from quitting?
The Challenge We Face
It’s a tough market for bosses, especially small business owners. Depending on what product or service you offer, it may be even harder to build and hold fast to a team of quality workers. But it shouldn’t be this way– on each side of the line, the goals and objectives are the same. Your team wants job security, and you want them to do a good job, and ultimately to stay with your company. So it really is in your best interest to keep them happy, and find out what keeps them fulfilled in their positions.
Tips to Create a Happy Team
To keep these quality workers engaged, you may need to get creative with your tactics. They are probably go-getters like you are — something about them made them attractive, right? — so they’ll need plenty of projects to get involved with.
- Keep them productive by giving them clear tasks with measurable results
- Applaud their progress along the way
- Help your team establish and reach for reasonable outcomes.
- Play to your team’s strengths, you can grow your business in ways that helps your overall workflow;
- Keeps the individual members feeling confident about their contributions to the team.
- In the same vein, reminding your employees and contractors of your business’s overall goals can also help motivate them. Stellar team members love to feel like they are contributing to the greater good.
- Clearly communicating your vision for what you hope to achieve company-wide may help to keep team members fulfilled, since they know they are working for something greater than just a paycheck, and are ultimately lending their talents and expertise to something more than just themselves.
- Instill in them a sense of pride in their work, and not only helps keep them productive, but also moves the company forward on the whole.
So How Do You Keep Your Team Happy?
At the end of the day, your team will only be able to shine if its individual members feel like they are succeeding, and great bosses know this. Thus, testing out ways to keep your team happy that range from tried-and-true to brand-new, can ensure that you have a great product– and that you may just be worthy of drinking out of that mug!
So, what do you do to keep your team happy? We’d love to know — tweet it to us @YourAlterEgos or leave your thoughts in the comment box below.
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