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Three ways to keep your staff happy

small businessRunning a small business is never easy, no matter how well you’re doing with clients and turning profits. There’s so much that’s constantly evolving and changing, so many challenges that seem to be never-ending. For many entrepreneurs, that’s the reason they do it – they like the stimulation and the pressure of getting things right and growing their venture.

But if, along the way, you don’t keep your staff interested and motivated in work, you could end up having a high turnover of workers which could disrupt the flow of your business – and for all the wrong reasons. Here are three ways you can try and hold onto the talent you attract.

A happy working environment

Perhaps one of the most important ways of keeping your workforce motivated and into their jobs is to provide a happy working environment. By that, we’re talking about an environment where everyone feels valued, respected and trusted. A place where everyone can excel, using their individual talents and skills, and one where no one feels afraid to speak up, suggest improvements and to grow.

Then there’s the physical environment. If your company is based out of an office, it’s important that the workspace is well-defined, clean, fresh and an area where people feel comfortable. You’ll want to ensure that you have ambient décor, quality furnishings – such as desks and chairs – and equipment, like computers, which are up to the job, with all the relevant software.

All of this makes for a happy working environment, one which is likely to help you impress your staff as they look to the future.

Room to learn

As well as having a nice working environment, you’ll also want to think about the individual performance and progress of each of your workers. You need to really understand who they are, the areas where they excel, and the areas where they need to improve. You should also be taking into account their experience to date and whether they require any flexibility around working hours or days.

Part of this is ensuring that you have regular performance reviews with your workers, to keep track of how they’re doing and where they want to go with the company. Keep in mind training opportunities, to help staff develop knowledge in a particular aspect of running the company. You could possibly fund this training or allow one of your workers to take time out to study, helping them to get a CIPD qualification in the area of human resources, for instance.

A clear career-path

As part of the appraisal and training process, you should be keen as the boss of the company to help your workforce recognise their career ambitions – not to try and squash them. You may be afraid that they may leave your company and take all their new-found skills elsewhere. Yes, this can happen. You can’t stop everyone. But you can maximise your chances of retaining staff by taking an active role in their professional development and opening-up promotional opportunities to them. A career ladder they can climb within your business over time.