Five ways small businesses can improve staff morale

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By James Daniels

A small business is heavily dependent on each staff member. With only a few employees, they often have to work much harder and fill in gaps that are not a part of their job descriptions. As the owner, you need a professional team that greets customers warmly and moves your products efficiently. Motivating employees for top performance requires excellent management skills that a new boss is still learning. We have distilled the available information into five key ways that you can bring out the best in your staff and stay ahead of the competition.

Appreciate your staff in practical ways

A popular management saying is, “Catch staff doing something right”.  It is a manager’s job to know their people and how they perform. But you have to go further and let them know that you see and appreciate their work.

Rewarding staff need not cost a lot. If the whole team completes a project successfully, you could take them to lunch using the company’s expense account. A thank you card that mentions the behavior you are recognising goes a long way, although sometimes a verbal thank you will suffice. Remember to reward the employee who has improved as well as your best staff members.

Be careful how you handle mistakes

If you want to discourage your staff, take them to task for every mistake. There is a better way. Help them to fix their mistakes by demonstrating the correct procedures. Do this kindly with the aim of helping them improve.

It is still your job to make sure that employees do theirs correctly. Follow up in a few days to see if the individual is performing the task acceptably. If not, you will need to show the person again. But if they have learned from their mistakes, be sure to praise them.

Managing performance

Although issues should be dealt with promptly, you still need to conduct formal performance appraisals. This will provide feedback to staff on all their duties and highlight any shortcomings. These should take place quarterly, with the end-of-year one determining any bonuses. Keep these separate from annual cost-of-living increases.

Use flexible work schedules

Nowadays, flexible working hours have become normal for many businesses. This reduces the time staff take off for dealing with family responsibilities, doctor appointments, and other problems that used to require a day’s leave. Working from home during certain hours can be implemented by providing employees with cheap laptops such as Lenovo sale laptops and a dongle for data.

Businesses are paying employees for meeting outcomes, not purely on hours worked. This is a win-win for employers and their staff. It is quite simple to manage if you have a mature workforce that can stick to the task at hand without constant supervision.

Get rid of deadwood

No matter what you do, some employees are lazy, incompetent, and do not care about your business or their jobs. Such people can create friction with other employees, lower company morale, and cost your business customers with their bad attitude.

Just like weeding your garden, you need to remove these employees by following the right steps so that they will not have recourse for reappointment or reimbursement.

Using these tips, you can create the working environment that leads to the achievement of your business goals.


James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.

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