Turn Your Employees On

Small businesses face a daunting task: making enough money to stay in business, and hopefully to make a profit that is worth the investment, risk and hard work you put into your business. In doing this, you are dependent on your employees to help carry out your mission.

The biggest way you can get your employees to get on board and to stay on board, is to turn them on, by recognizing their needs:

  • They need to make a decent living.
  • They need to be challenged by their work.
  • They need to have fun.
  • They need to be treated fairly.
  • They need to feel secure in long-term employment. If you can help them to realize those five goals, they will respond accordingly and will be loyal to you.

Part of "turning them on", is by rewarding the hard, conscientious workers more than those that do not work so hard, with discretionary bonuses, perhaps near the end of your calendar year. Rather than give them a Christmas Turkey or something else of rather small value that they might not appreciate, give the hard workers several thousand dollars, if you have made a substantial profit, and if you have made enough profit that you are not making yourself cash poor. Let your employees know well in advance that the size of their possible end-of-year bonus will depend on whether you make a profit, and the size of that profit. The size of the annual bonus should not be automatic, should not be guaranteed, and should differ from employee to employee, where appropriate, depending on a number of objective factors, e.g., level of responsibility, productivity, whether hour or exempt, etc.