Updated: Aug 10
I chat with a lot of small business owners who genuinely care about how happy their people are.
The Owners I work with understand that a happy team is integral to their success but they’re often reluctant to invest in ‘making the team happier’ because it seems woolly and to be honest makes them nervous.
So the Small Business Owners we work with want to do something to help their people AND get the added benefit of boosting productivity. Makes sense.
I often hear that they’ve tried things like survey software, cash incentives and wellbeing classes to help their people and improve the business but found them to be hit and miss and difficult to quantify.
Despite pulling out all of the stops in this way many Owners still find themselves broadsided by a resignation they didn’t see coming, spending a fortune on recruitment, sat doing another onboarding and personally training up the new replacements… as if they weren’t working hard enough!
Is this you?
If it is then you’re not alone.
I speak to hundreds of small business owners like you.
What if I was to say that prioritising employee happiness WILL boost your profits, make you look like a super boss and lead to you feeling happier and more fulfilled in your small business?
All you need is a 5 step process and 90 days to nail this problem for good and start reaping the benefits.
1. The Process Starts With You
If you’re not happy with the how and why of your business then it will suffer, and any investments that you make to boost employee happiness won’t stick.
My advice is to clarify what you personally want and what you’re trying to do with your business in order to make you happy first.
Compare your vision with an honest appraisal of where you, your people and your business are right now.
With a goal and a starting point you’re then ready to create strategy around how to reach your goal and, just as importantly, in the way you want to achieve your goal.
When you’ve hatched your master plan, share it with the whole team.
2. Information Is Gold
Many Entrepreneurs, me included, naturally prefer getting into action, making decisions, being hands on, being there for their team, coming up with ideas and driving the business forward.
If this is you then you probably know that data and systems are important but they’re not exactly your first love in fact they’re a drain.
Every successful Small Business Owner (even this one) eventually learns that systemising and collate good data is important because it improves the business, make your more money and enables it to grow without you.
Happiness is no different. Putting some structure in place to track employee happiness data (engagement and wellbeing) and their current motivation levels gives you the insights to be able to spend your limited budget more wisely.
For instance, if everyone is complaining about feeling overwhelmed and being short on time then perhaps that new super deluxe smoothie maker you bought on a whim won’t give you the best bang for your buck.
3. Talk Less Coach More
You’ve got clarity on what you’re doing and you’ve shared it with the team.
You’ve got the data. You know what’s great and what’s just ‘ok’.
Time to stop ‘telling’ and start ‘coaching'.
Ask your employees what THEY need to be happier and more motivated.
It WILL NOT always be money. Small businesses often feel like family, leverage on that by coaching the whole person. What are their goals out of work? Can the business help them achieve them?
An accountant client of mine managed to retain a highly valuable employee who wanted to “help the third world”. Sounds like a stretch but a charitable donation based on a percentage of their billable hours later and the employee felt that everything they were doing was making a difference and motivation and happiness went through the roof.
Stop guessing about how to make them happy. Combine data, coaching and listening and they will start telling you..
4. No Burpees Or Marathons!
Health is so often overlooked or not joined up to your overall business strategy.
Many Small Business health initiatives are little more than perks and one offs. A gym membership only a few people use. A one-off yoga class where a few people felt awkward as hell. Collectively signing up for a 10k run.
Whatever you do it seems as if the usual suspects get involved and those people for whose health you actually worry about feel alienated or don’t participate at all.
Health is an integral part of happiness. If you employees are in pain or unhealthy it impacts negatively on their happiness and your profits.
So what’s the answer? No burpees or marathons*
Led by your data and coaching conversations, focus on providing a basic level of education around health and some monthly company culture challenges around being healthy not fit.
Walking to work (or into town), moving more, eating a little better, cutting down on alcohol (a little), getting a good night’s sleep, talking about how you’re feeling with each other – these are simple things that you can encourage as an Owner that are inclusive and have much more impact on the basic health and happiness of your employees than a burpee or marathon ever will.
….*For the record we love burpees, they’re awesome and a great movement to build towards in time if that’s your bag. If not, no worries. As for marathons – I think we can all agree you’re crazy.
Step 5. You Again
Who’d have thought your employees’ happiness would be so dependent on you!? But it’s true.
If you’re not happy then they won’t be and neither will your business profits.
That means looking after yourself.
Finding a work life balance.
Empowering your managers and giving your team the tools and space to run your business for you even when you’re not there.
Getting yourself a coach to keep you honest and focussed on your goals.
Be sensibly selfish.
Having this mindset will ensure your long term productivity and the happiness of your team and the size of your profit margins.
It’s that simple! Go for it!
Want a partner to walk with you and your people through the process and be a healthier, happier, more profitable small business in just 90 days?
The Better Happy system blends strategy, systems, coaching, health and owner care to help you, your business and your people succeed and boost profits in just 90 days.
Delivered live by expert coaches in a series of team workshops; we partner and support YOU as a busy owner, we ensure your team’s buy in and support them through the journey and work closely with your business to reduce people costs and boost productivity to maximise profits.
Find out where you are right now by taking our Better Happy Owner Scorecard for an instant breakdown of where you are right now within our 5 step process to start your journey.
Within 90 days you, your small business and your team will be better happy.