Igniting Workplace Enthusiasm

Leadership Development, Team Member Engagement

Five ways to drive engagement and build trust at work as a small business leader

by Dale Carnegie

July 30, 2014
13
Comments
If you’re a small business leader, repeat after us: "There is no greater asset to my company than my employees." You may already know this, but the next step is realizing that unengaged employees are a huge risk for your company—one a small business can’t risk taking. For example, a Hay Group Study found that "companies with fully engaged employees produced 2.5x as much revenue as companies struggling with low levels of engagement". This type of revenue increase (or loss) could make or break a small business.
 
If you run a business with less than 1,000 employees, here’s How to make sure every single one of your employees is happy (to be doing their best work for you):
 
1. Realize why they came to your company
Start by building trust in the workplace. Most people who sign on to work for a smaller business (and skip the perks of working for a large company, including possible better job security and promotion opportunities) want to be trusted at work to do their jobs with limited oversight, according to Dale Carnegie Training research. So make sure your employees know that there is help for them (in the form of mentoring opportunities, an open door policy, and regular check in meetings) but then let them do the job you hired them to do. If you need to alter their course, ask questions rather than giving direct orders, and let your employees find their own solutions.
 
2. Show them how they’re contributing
Employees who choose to work at a smaller company want to see what comes of the effort they put in. So if you use an entry-level marketing assistant to proofread a speech you’re giving to a major industry conference, consider bringing him along (or at the very least, sending him a video of the speech with a short thank you for his involvement in the final product). This is a way of including employees in the end result while also building trust in the workplace.
 
3. Focus on what you can give them—not what you can’t
As a small business, it’s possible that you can’t create a formal promotion track or compete with job perks like tuition reimbursement. But you can be progressive in offering ways for employees to find that allusive life work balance, by implementing flexible schedule opportunities across the board. Sure, you might not be able to offer 7 months of maternity leave-but you can make your workplace family-friendly by offering parents the opportunity to work at home or job-share.
 
4. Vary their responsibilities
When you’re managing a small business, it can be easy to let people stay in the same roles—why fix what ain’t broke, right? Just because people are good at what they do, and have done it for a long time, doesn’t mean they’re content doing just that. Talk to all of your employees on a regular basis and see if they’re interested in taking on more responsibilities. Varying responsibilities is a win-win situation as it increases trust at work and empowers the employee. Better to learn that now rather than wait until they take another job offer and learn it then, right?
 
5. Provide training
Sure, it may not be possible to put together an in-house training program with staffers solely dedicated to training. But outsourcing leadership and communications training to Dale Carnegie Training will help all of your employees, from managers to entry-level personnel, not only increase their own productivity, but also their engagement. And the effects will continue between trainings. Internally, you can also form mentoring programs where senior staffers work with junior members to increase productivity, communication and prevent turnover.
 

Download Free our White Paper: Employee Engagement Best Practices for Smaller Businesses

 
 
 
 

Post a comment (13 posted)

  1. Leonardo /

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  2. Leonardo /

    Thanks Mark! Some of the highlights are:If you're new to Social Media, get on LinkedIn first!We are now in the Relationship age, not Technology.Imagine that, buinlidg relationship, what a great concept!

  3. Leonardo /

    Thanks Mark! Some of the highlights are:If you're new to Social Media, get on LinkedIn first!We are now in the Relationship age, not Technology.Imagine that, buinlidg relationship, what a great concept!

  4. Cristina /

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  5. Cristina /

    Thank you for writing this reivew and thank you for creating this blog. Honestly, there is so much garbage out there and so many bogus reivews out there for the Ex2 System that it's friggin ridiculous! You gave me pretty much what I was looking for. It's just so confusing trying to figure out what's going on inside her mind and it's driving me nuts! I just want to get her back and move on with my life instead of all of this flippin drama and trying to be nice just isn't working. What Matt Huston's book has gots makes sense. So, thanks for the honest Ex2 System reivew and I'll let you know how things turn out!

  6. Mariam /

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  7. Mariam /

    Thanks Mark! Some of the highlights are:If you're new to Social Media, get on LinkedIn first!We are now in the Relationship age, not Technology.Imagine that, budiling relationship, what a great concept!

  8. Mariam /

    Thanks Mark! Some of the highlights are:If you're new to Social Media, get on LinkedIn first!We are now in the Relationship age, not Technology.Imagine that, budiling relationship, what a great concept!

  9. Serge /

    , "what keeps us in the game." it's absurd to conamepltte "killing/annihilating" or in any way doing anything other than nurturing it so it's healthy enough and strong enough to expand into the most radiant, authentic expression of our highest self possible. As ken wilber says, it's ego-plus, not ego-minus--we need to transcend and INCLUDE not transcend and exclude. plus: it's always interesting to me that the peeps who think they need to "let go" of their ego are often the ones who have the least firm grasp on it in the first place. telling them to do that is, in my mind, really unhelpful and ultimately unhealthy. what they really need is a good exercise program, consistent meditation and a healthy sense of self they can grow into. you've gotta have the lower case "self" before you can capitalize it to "Self," eh? fun. -bri

  10. Serge /

    , "what keeps us in the game." it's absurd to conamepltte "killing/annihilating" or in any way doing anything other than nurturing it so it's healthy enough and strong enough to expand into the most radiant, authentic expression of our highest self possible. As ken wilber says, it's ego-plus, not ego-minus--we need to transcend and INCLUDE not transcend and exclude. plus: it's always interesting to me that the peeps who think they need to "let go" of their ego are often the ones who have the least firm grasp on it in the first place. telling them to do that is, in my mind, really unhelpful and ultimately unhealthy. what they really need is a good exercise program, consistent meditation and a healthy sense of self they can grow into. you've gotta have the lower case "self" before you can capitalize it to "Self," eh? fun. -bri

  11. Serge /

    , "what keeps us in the game." it's absurd to conamepltte "killing/annihilating" or in any way doing anything other than nurturing it so it's healthy enough and strong enough to expand into the most radiant, authentic expression of our highest self possible. As ken wilber says, it's ego-plus, not ego-minus--we need to transcend and INCLUDE not transcend and exclude. plus: it's always interesting to me that the peeps who think they need to "let go" of their ego are often the ones who have the least firm grasp on it in the first place. telling them to do that is, in my mind, really unhelpful and ultimately unhealthy. what they really need is a good exercise program, consistent meditation and a healthy sense of self they can grow into. you've gotta have the lower case "self" before you can capitalize it to "Self," eh? fun. -bri

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