You don’t need a ton of cash to create a rewarding work experience and have satisfied people. Years ago people worked for their pay cheques and that was good enough for them. Times have changed and that’s a good thing! Today, if you hire the right people they want to be engaged with the work they do. They want to contribute, they want to be heard and their work needs to be meaningful.
A recent survey found that that just 3% of employees said pay was the main motivator at work. Purpose and meaning represented 73% of what meant most at work. If you’re a small business stop saying you cannot compete with the “big dogs” when it comes to hiring talent. Stop saying you cannot pay people enough to recruit the best people. Yes, money and remuneration for what people do within your organization are important but it’s not the end all to be all. Here are a few tips to help make your small business tick.

1) Does Seniority Really Matter?
People know on your team who’s who in the zoo. They talk. When you recruit new teammates, make sure they understand everyone is equal. Seniority can be poison in a small business. Make sure the people you work with know and feel that their opinions matter, they have something to offer regardless of what they do for your organization. Get rid of the stigma in your building about starting at the bottom and working your way up.

2) The Little Things Matter.
It does not matter your size, every small business has something to offer. Free coffee, treats, choice of music in the office. A little slack when it comes to the time clock. A little flexibility when it comes to their time. Let them access their favorite social media. If they are doing what they’re hired for and getting results don’t get bent out of shape when they’re texting or when you walk by their workstation and their screen changes because they’re doing something on their computer other then work or their heads are down and they’re texting their friend on their phone. It’s all about moderation.

3) Ask Questions, Lots of Questions.
How is your job going? Do you like what you’re doing? These questions are good ice breakers when you’re talking with your people who make your company tick but you need to dig deeper. Why is their job going well? What do they like the most about what they do? What do they like the least? Find out what makes your people tick. Be engaged – be genuine about this.

4) Take the Time
You’re a small business owner, so you have many things on the go every day. Sales meetings, planning sessions, customer relations, marketing and the list goes on and it’s all very important. The most important thing you can do regularly is to take the time to check in with your people. Listen, ask questions, don’t be judgmental. Just because you started the company and know your sector of the business and industry does not make you the smartest person in the room. In fact, sometimes the best thing you can do is be the dumbest person in the room and listen, ask questions, get other people’s take on things. Believe me, it will pay off.

I certainly don’t have all the answers but in my almost 30 years of running small businesses, I have learned so much. Much of what I have learned is from the mistakes I have made and tried not to make them again. Much of what I have learned is by listening to successful people.

Finally, much of what I have learned is because I am surrounded with great people. Good people will come into your business and make a difference. If your Core Value is People like our business – and you mean it, money will matter but not as much as how they feel, how you make them feel, how they are treated. Thank you are two of the greatest words ever heard.

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