Anyone who has owned a business for over twenty years knows that today’s employees have different expectations than in previous decades. Work-life balance has become a priority, and perks that seal the deal are considered before accepting a position. While compensation is significant, there are other ways to retain good employees than passing out raises. The challenge for owners is to keep employees motivated and engaged in the business.
Teams that work well together are more productive and are committed to achieving their goals. In giant corporations, it’s easy for people to get lost in the shuffle and become jaded about the value of their contributions. Sometimes individuals can work for years on a project without seeing any meaningful results. When employees are demotivated, their performance drops, which can negatively impact others on the team.
One of the primary goals of employers is to focus on the well-being of their staff. That requires understanding what’s important to the people you’ve hired. Different people need different things to motivate them to stay with a company. Smaller independent retailers are in a better position than chains to promptly address store associates’ concerns.
Generally, there are specific red flags or warning signs that signal trouble ahead. It’s best to avoid being so rigid that you have few options when problems happen. These are issues that cause discontent and loss of motivation among employees.
Unwilling to be Flexible
While people are still willing to work hard, only some want to dedicate their life to the company solely. They want a balance between work and family that reflects their specific circumstances. Mothers with small children in daycare may want to start an hour later in the morning or work part-time. Someone who is a student might prefer working only on weekends. Flexible work options are a necessity to help employees avoid stress, burnout, and job dissatisfaction.
Lack of Appreciation
Everyone wants to feel valued and appreciated for their contributions to the business. Any celebrations of success or acknowledgments should be sincere and not orchestrated for the sake of appearances. People like being told they’ve done a great job or receiving a thoughtful token of appreciation like a gift card, group lunch, or an extra day off.
Limited growth with no Career Path
Many independent businesses cannot offer employees a progressive career path that makes them feel like they’re moving up in the organization. Larger independents tend to have store managers, department managers, buyers, and specialists. Employers should discuss the person’s career expectations before hiring to determine whether the individual fits the job. Keep in mind everyone doesn’t want to move up the corporate ladder—for some, less stress and a positive working environment fit the bill.
Research indicates “bad bosses” are one of the primary reasons people leave their jobs. It’s difficult to lead if employees lack confidence in their manager or the overall leadership is ineffective. In these instances, employees may feel demoralized. Communicating company objectives and goals is critical to instill confidence and provide direction. Leaders must strive to be inclusive and approachable to gain support and loyalty from employees.
There are times when workloads are too heavy for any individual to manage, so they will fail to meet their demands. When the workload is unrealistic, they quickly become stressed and unmotivated. They dread coming to work and think the best option is to seek employment elsewhere. A similar situation can also happen when employees are bored because they need more work to keep them busy. When people feel they are wasting their time and talent, they lack fulfillment and leave the company for more meaningful work.
Owning a business includes ensuring the well-being of employees to the best of your abilities. This responsibility encompasses the total team. Understanding what type of support the person needs to do their job successfully will give you a good idea of how to keep them motivated.