Importance of Happy Employees

Building a business on loyalty

Building a business on loyalty

In my recent posts on questions to be constantly asking yourself as the owner of a small business (10 Questions to Keep Asking About Your Business and  Readers Respond: Questions to Ask About Your Business), the area I seemed to miss was in regard to employee satisfaction. Yet, this is a critical component to the success of your business, and deserves a significant amount of attention.

As a small business owner, you have few employees, and know each and every one of them by first name. They are, in essence, the family of your business. However, unlike your biological family, who are always part of the family, these people can come and go as they please. As a result, it is up to you to ensure that they stay around. The most effective way to do that is not to pay them more.

Money will only buy you so much loyalty. Think about the recent recession, in which businesses were forced to cut costs in order to survive. At times like those, a business that has been buying the loyalty of its employees will find that this is an expensive endeavor, and attempt to cut expenses. If money was the only incentive for loyalty, then the employees will leave at the first opportunity.

As a small business, then, loyalty must be earned. This is done by providing each employee with what makes them truly happy. While a nice paycheck helps, other factors can come into play.

If you have an employee who is creative, are you providing an environment in which they can express themselves?

If another employee likes challenges, are you constantly pushing them to expand their horizons?

Each person has a different issue that they find to be important. As the owner of the business, it is your responsibility to determine what those issues are (if you aren’t sure, you should ask each employee what is important to them in a workplace besides for salary). If your employees are happy and motivated, then you will find their loyalty to hold strong through the thick and thin.