Picture this: you've followed your dreams and started your own business. The business is doing well, you're offering a high-quality product, and there's a flowing income. Better yet, you're starting to expand by hiring new employees and contractors!
While this may seem like the opportunity to take a step back and simply pass work onto other hires, it is more important during this time than ever to focus on the kind of business you wish to grow.
All companies, whether big or small, need to build a culture and purpose in order to be successful. The best businesses have employees who are consistently happy with their jobs and feel a sense of purpose every day they step through the door. Here are six ways to become one of those businesses.
Define Your Core Values
Your values as a business and an entrepreneur should constantly be in the back of your mind, whether hiring new employees, making decisions about revenue, or anything in between. Without core values, a business is not much more than a money-making machine, which can easily not bring a lot of fulfillment for those involved.
Figure out your core values by asking questions like:
- Why is what we're doing important?
- What traits are important to this company?
- How can we make each day better?
Keeping core values in mind will make the difference when your company grows from one person to one thousand.
Create Consistent Communication
Strong communication is one of the most important ingredients to a successful business with happy employees. If you keep successes to yourself, or don't speak with transparency during difficult times, your employees may feel concerned, unfulfilled, or even betrayed.
Create avenues to help with consistent communication. Many companies use Slack and send out regular email updates for this reason. The larger companies even have internal communications teams solely dedicated to this purpose. This is because communication can make or break your business.
Emphasize the Importance of Breaks
The time spent not working is often just as important to an entrepreneur or employee as the time spent working. Humans get tired, distracted, and lose focus when doing one thing for too long. In fact, there's been research insisting the full five-day work week is not the most productive and cost-effective strategy for businesses.
I'm not hinting you should cut hours, or days, out of your work week. But I am saying you should emphasize the importance of taking breaks just as much as the business emphasizes getting work done. It'll make for better productivity, and your employees will feel appreciative and lucky.
Spend Time Outside the Office
Along with breaks, employees should feel like they can take time outside of the office in order to have a good culture. This can mean eating lunch outside or having walking meetings. It could also mean taking an hour off of a Friday for a team happy hour. Let employees know you care about them outside of the office, and they should in fact take time to be outside of the office for their own health.
Offer the Small Perks
Some companies exist nowadays offering full bars, exercise rooms, and actual playground slides in the office. Of course, these perks are out of the question for most businesses. However, we do suggest offering smaller perks to create a happy office.
These perks can be free snacks, a couch to take a break on, or product discounts. And of course, more necessary perks include medical, dental, maternity, and paid time off.
Overall, don't be afraid to create a playful and collaborative environment. You are running a business, and employees do need to get their jobs done, but that does not mean the environment can't be enjoyable. In fact, the more enjoyable the environment is, the more likely you'll continue to see success as an employer and entrepreneur.