Investing while still in the “small business stage,” is a hard concept to grasp as a small business owner. In order to truly grow your business you will have to invest in it, and that investment includes your employees. I understand it may be difficult, I am a small business owner. While some argue, “I’m giving them a salary, isn’t that enough of an investment?” the answer to that is no. If you want quality employees who are loyal, and will stay with your company, you are going to have to invest in their personal development. Below are some tips on how to best do this.
Invest In Training & Continuing Education
Giving your employees the tools for them to succeed and progress forward is a wonderful place to start when investing. The best way to do such is via continuing training and education; these are the easiest things for investment averse business owners to get into. Since the world is not static and your employees’ skills and knowledge should not be either. Continuous training including job-specific topics is great but it should also include variety. For example, your marketing manager could be trained on the newest Google Analytics functions, and also go through an intensive on how to use Adobe Photoshop. Both of the subjects pertaining to their job, but one may be considered more “enjoyable.”
Furthering employee education is a great way to invest. However, be cautious not to confuse training and education in this case, I like to think of continuing education as going back to an official school, where you will be given a grade at the end and possibly a diploma. Great options for this can include helping employees pay for an MBA program or offering courses on management and becoming a better leader.
Engage Employees In Growing and Improving The Business
Employees that feel as though they are included in decisions, however minor, are going to feel like a true “part” of the company. They will feel engaged and valued. In one of Gallup’s most recently released polls, they state that 70% of workers don’t feel engaged at work, and this translates to employees leaving companies more often.
While the initial costs of investing in your employee development may be a bit daunting, it is more effective than hiring new employees. I personally get my employees engaged by eliciting their opinions about things around the office and in their jobs and following through with their ideas for improvement. This has included providing access to programs to help them with their jobs and offering new office perks. I like to think of it with the philosophy that you’re challenging them to help you grow.
In small business, teamwork does, in fact, make the dream work. Cheesy phrasing aside, you need a team that works together like a well-oiled machine if your company is going to be successful enough to continue employing said team. One way we do this in my office is by doing a daily informal meeting. Everyone will usually go over their agenda for the day, share if they need any help, and share their “win” from the day before (work, or non-work related). It brings us closer together as an office and keeps us all on track for success.
I also like to throw in team building activities every month or so. This can be anything from going rock climbing as a group, or just out for happy hour. Creating a team building environment doesn’t have to be an overly complicated process, but it will be an investment that will pay off in the long run.
Hopefully, after reading this, you have been inspired to invest in your employee’s development, whether it be their personal development or as a group!
This is a great take Aaron on the importance of employee training and education. Keep posting great stuff.