At the end of the day, your employees are just as important as your customers. They are the backbone of your business, and if you don't treat them that way there's no doubt your superstar staff members will go running to more attractive employers. Last week we began sharing tips on how to be the best boss. Here are some additional tips from our experts to make your star performers feel appreciated.
Keeping employees motivated is a surefire way to maintain your company’s performance level. Barry Moltz suggests ten simple ways to do so, including challenging and empowering them. Increasing their responsibilities and giving them the ability to make their own decisions not only motivates them, but also reminds them of the potential advancement they could experience within the company.
Moltz also suggests paying the best in order to expect the best. “Give your best employees golden handcuffs by paying them above market rate and provide incentives to be the highest paid employee in their field,” he says. But even if you can’t afford to pay all your employees an above-market rate, simple perks can also help the employer-employee relationship, says Dylan Love. “You do not need to be Google and do free laundry on-site or add a huge cafeteria with free food for every dietary need. Simple things like cookies at lunch or the one-time purchase of a communal ping-pong table will go far.”
Mike Michalowicz warns against being too self-involved when it comes to leadership style. He lists “failure to give individual recognition” and “claiming credit you don’t deserve” as two of the 11 Leaderships Styles You Must Avoid. “When a project is completed successfully, publicly recognize the individual contributions everyone made,” he says. The best leaders are those who inspire others and take every team member into account.
Thinking of employees and their outside-of-work needs can also go a long way, according to American Express OPEN’s Susan Sobbott. Even though many small business owners see requests for flextime as costly, Sobbott insists that “a carefully managed flextime program will not only help you retain key employees, but also can hold down costs and boost workplace morale and company loyalty.” It might be compelling to know that “86 percent of women who left a workplace cited a lack of flexibility as a key reason for their departure,” according to a recent report. So instead of risking the resignation of talented employees, why not just give them the work-life balance options they need? There’s no doubt your employees will be thankful.
"There are few things more frustrating than the boss who not only is not happy with your work, but tells you how to do it to boot! Great bosses trust that the people they hire are smart enough to do their job, even if you might do it differently," he says. If you need tips on how to curb your micromanaging, check out this article to help you get off your employees' backs.
Loosening up your managing practices will go a long way. Fortune's annual list of the 100 best companies to work for include several companies in their top 20 that are known for their flexibility and the understanding nature of the management. For example, many of these companies offer benefits that outdo typical employers, like unlimited sick days, laundry on-site and discount childcare.
Strauss emphasizes a creative and fun culture, a la Google, as one of the top signs that you're a great employer. Fooseball tables may seem like a waste of time and money to you, but it's those perks that "cultivate an atmosphere of looseness and creativity" and pay off in the end.