I’m spending some time this week with a close friend who owns a successful wellness practice in metro Atlanta, GA: John’s Creek Wellness Center.
During my trip, I’ve realized that one of the challenges of being a small business owner is developing and energizing talented employees.
Limitations: Time, Money, and Expertise
Leaders of small businesses don’t have the luxury of in-house training and development consultants, coaches, and organizational development tools.
In Dr. Joe’s case, when he’s not seeing patients, coaching, or tending to the operations of his business, he’s staying current on cutting edge research on integrative wellness, and launching new programs like his Working to Wellness system, in order to better serve his clientele and the Greater Atlanta community.
All to say, for the small business owner, time, money, and expertise are barriers to boosting energy, engagement, and employee morale. The good news is that boosting employee energy doesn’t have to be costly.
7 Strategies for Energizing your Small Business
Here are 7 strategies for small business owners to help them energize their workplace:
1. Invest in your personal/professional development: Seek out a certified coach or a reputable consultant to support you in developing an energy-centered plan that fits your business context. You are the Chief Energy Officer of your small business, so equip yourself with the knowledge, tools, and enable yourself to start acting like one. When you are accountable for the energy and climate in your workplace, it will be recognized.
2. Make sure employees know what you and your business stand for. What are your mission, vision, and values? Don’t have any yet? What a great opportunity to involve your employees in defining what you stand for. What differentiates you from others in your industry, region, and market? Think global AND local. Your local flavor and/or service to your community may be an energizing element of your employee value proposition and you may not even know it.
3. Express gratitude to your employees for the value that they add to your business. Say thank you and let people know that their good work matters. This is the cheapest, easiest, and one of the most effective ways of building positive energy. When expressing appreciation be timely, be specific, and be sincere.
4. Create space to celebrate successes–big and small. If you don’t have regular staff meetings, try implementing them. Use these meetings to celebrate a good week, month, or quarter. Also, use meetings to gather input from your employees about what’s working and what could be even more effective.
5. Enable employees to “Wow” customers, clients, or patients. Give employees the tools, equipment, and flexibility to create an extraordinary experience for your clientele. Provide training sessions to close skills gaps that are meaningful to employees and that align with your business objectives. You may be able to offer a training seminar on your own, or trying connecting with local universities and/or independent consultants to tailor energizing programs for you and your staff.
6. Create space for reflection and renewal. A well designed off-site retreat that allows employees to discuss task related issues (e.g., strategic priorities for the next quarter) and relationship related matters (e.g., how are we working as a team? How do we want to be with each other as a team? How are people experiencing the quality of communication in the business? What would make working relationships even more effective?).
7. Personalize your relationship with employees and Dream Big with them. What makes your employees tick? What do they “want to be when they grow up?” How might you help them achieve their dreams while also growing your business?
Many thanks to my friends at John’s Creek Wellness Center for sharing their experiences with me, helping me boost my physical wellbeing, and providing me with an inside look at the challenges and possibilities of creating a high-energy small business.