Small businesses owners entering the growth stage are often challenged to develop effective strategies to motivate and encourage innovation among employees. Creating a work environment that allows employees not only to fulfill their required duties, but also to develop strategies that can help a business grow faster through outside-the-box thinking is key to success.
How can you develop a culture and atmosphere that encourages and motivates employees?
There are dozens of articles with information about developing an optimized atmosphere in the workplace, but the article that caught my eye was an article from Small Business Trends entitled “11 Tips for Building and Managing a Team.” In the article, members of the Young Entrepreneur Council were asked for one tip they would provide to entrepreneurs building a team. The full article contains all 11, but I would like to highlight a few.
“Teach employees to never need a manager”
It isn’t realistic to expect employees to be able to achieve business goals without leadership. Giving employees the tools necessary to complete tasks within certain parameters, however, can go a long way to promoting innovation in a business. This requires spending time to develop mutual trust and clarifying your goals. Investing the time building trust provides managers with time to work on more pressing tasks.
“Hire for the ability to get things done”
Employers must be prepared to train employees. A self-starter with ambition and potential is a often a better candidate than an individual who has more experience but less drive. Taking the time to train a motivated and creative employee can lead to innovative solutions that may not occur to an employee who has been doing the same tasks for years.
“Culture is king”
If employees are treated well, they will be motivated to take better care of customers. By focusing on developing relationships and a positive atmosphere within the office, employees will be motivated to engage with customers and grow the business. Culture will vary from company to company. If you haven’t yet taken the time to reflect on your businesses culture, meet with staff to develop shared work goals and a commitment to developing a sustaining your unique corporate culture. Incorporating staff feedback shows them that good ideas are recognized by management and empowers staff to sustain a positive work environment. These strategies will give you a competitive edge; studies show that too few businesses encourage feedback from employees at the cost of innovation.
What are some techniques that have worked for you? What impacts have these techniques had on your business? Share your knowledge and experience to create a culture of best practices and innovation in your business community.
This post contains information from: "Small Business Trends." 11 Tips for Building and Managing a Team. Small Business Trends, 18 Jan. 2012. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. http://smallbiztrends.com/2012/01/11-tips-for-building-managing-a-team.html.
Content contributed by Michael Cooney, State of Ingenuity SourceLink (Wisconsin/Illinois).
State of Ingenuity SourceLink is a proud affiliate of U.S. SourceLink, America’s largest resource network for entrepreneurs.