The attitude of your workers set the tone of your company. Enabling your employees to have positive attitudes and positive behaviours is what gives your business the best chance to succeed.
In this post, we'll look at steps you can take as the owner of a small business to shape the attitude and behaviour of your employees.
Lead By Example
Think of your ideal employee. How would they act? How would they dress? How do they interact with customers? How do they go about their daily performance on the job?
Make a list of all the qualities you'd envision in this perfect employee, then strive every day to personify each and every one of those qualities.
As the owner of a small business, you have to serve as an example for all the employees. This applies across the board - work ethic, performance, and appearance. It's on you to lead by example.
Make Your Expectations Clear
Your employees can't behave the way you want them to do if you don't tell them what you want. From day one on the job, communicate to them very clearly what you expect from the job. Write it down and post it somewhere visible if you have to. Ask them for feedback on whether or not they think they can manage your expectations.
Having the conversation is important because it allows you to clearly explain the values you believe in for your business. You explain what type of behaviours you'd like them to exhibit so there can be no doubt later on.
It's important to hold yourself and your employees accountable for their decisions and performance. When your employees are held accountable for their actions, they're more likely to exhibit positive behaviour.
This doesn't have to be overbearing or strict. You don't have to punish someone who has a less than stellar customer review. But it's important that everyone maintains a level of accountability for what they do. There are resources available online that can help train your employees on how to display accountability in their roles.
Foster a Culture of Inclusivity and Safety
According to one study, employees who felt safe felt a greater sense of inclusion with their employer and business. Listen to the concerns of your employees and ask for their feedback on your business's actions, direction, and policies. You may lead the way, but let them help inform the path your company takes.
Employees who feel heard and recognised are going to hold their employer and business in higher regard, having a more positive attitude about their workplace.
Empower Them to Make Decisions
As the leader, many decisions will fall to you. However, don't micromanage your employees. Empower them to make decisions and trust them to make the good decisions you hired them to make.
Making every single decision for each one of your employees breeds a culture of distrust and insecurity. Giving them the freedom to make decisions will help them develop into stronger leaders. An organisation with strong leadership at multiple levels will eventually grow stronger as a whole.
When your team makes a sale or gets a great review, sing it from the rooftops. Reward them somehow. If you can't afford a bonus, some type of certificate of appreciation still goes a long way. An "employee of the month" program may seem tired and cliche, but team members with some kind of recognition appreciate it and that translates to harder work and better outcomes.
Help Them Learn From Failure
When something goes wrong, allow them to learn from their mistake. Ask what they would have done differently. Tell them what you would have done differently. Use your position as a leader to educate them.
Using a mistake as a learning opportunity rather than a chance to criticise is how you build better employee habits. The next time your employees are faced with a similar circumstance, they're much more likely to turn in a superior performance.