One of the key factors that contribute to the success of a business is utilizing the maximum potential of its inputs, and that includes human resources. As the owner of a small business, you need to keep your workers happy so they're motivated to perform to the best of their abilities. By doing so, you can reduce turnover levels and retain good workers longer. Here are some of the steps you can take. ➤Build a Connection Make the effort to get to know your workers. Interact with them on a personal level and understand the people they are outside of what they do for you and your company. Ask about their interests and reach out to them when they’re facing personal issues. A card or even a phone call goes a long way. ➤Welcome Innovations When an employee comes to you with an innovative idea for the advancement of the company or to perform better in her role, keep an open mind and encourage her resourcefulness. She will feel like a part of your business and not just a worker doing her job. ➤Allow Autonomy Give your employees space and freedom to do their duties. Allow them to take decisions on their own when interacting with customers and suppliers. Recognizing their talents and skills will boost their confidence levels and encourage them. ➤Develop a Vested Interest If possible, institute an Employee Stock Ownership Program in your company. By way of this program, you will be giving your workers a share in the profits of the company. Each of them will be encouraged to work better and consequently, earn better. ➤Offer Incentives Reward achievements with incentives. They need not be very expensive or elaborate. A small cash advance, a gift coupon, an extra day of paid leave, or simply, applause in front of the entire office can make the worker feel wonderful about him. ➤Understand Workers’ Problems Reach out to underperforming workers and get to the root of the issues they’re facing. Offer encouragement, support, and advice in a personal one-on-one. You’ll be displaying your commitment to your people. ➤Send Handwritten Notes In this day of electronic communications, a handwritten note expressing your appreciation for the efforts of your employees can convey a warmth and connection that emails cannot. Take the time to write a simple “Thank You!” once a year at Christmas and include it with your bonus. It is sure to be preserved and cherished for a long while. ➤Allow Short Breaks Recognize that people need to take a small break every now and then to maintain their productivity levels. Getting a cup of coffee or a short chat with co-workers by the water cooler can refresh an employee so she continues to perform well. This rule brings you to another important strategy, building a team. ➤Build a Team Encourage your employees to interact with one another so they work as a team, assisting each other when needed. Many companies organize staff picnics, excursions, and other such events where workers can get to know each other and build friendships. ➤Build a Great Work Environment Set up your workplace in such as way so that employees are encouraged to work better. Put up motivational quotes, artwork, or have motivational colors like green, red and blue on the walls. Make sure the office is well lighted and airy so that the ambiance lifts up spirits and is conducive to performing well. ➤Add a Fun Quotient Make sure your employees have fun at work. Organizing small events from time to time can turn the workplace into a fun place. For example, have a dress code day or set aside a day of the month to celebrates the birthdays falling in that month. ➤Offer New Opportunities Giving your workers opportunities to grow and evolve in their careers helps them know that they need not look elsewhere for advancement. They only need to work well and they can move up to higher positions and better salaries. ➤Offer Training Programs As against recruiting new workers for new tasks and positions that come up, sign up your deserving employees for training programs. Not only will they be able to advance their skills, but also you can continue to work with people who know your company well as against having to orient newcomers. ➤Lead by Example The work culture that you display is the one your workers will follow. When they see you working hard, following strict business ethics and being disciplined in your approach to your business, they are likely to follow suit. ➤Keep Communication Lines Open Be receptive when your workers come to you with any issue, personal or company-related. Often times, people just need to be heard when they have a grievance, and your employees should know that they can come to you for help. ➤Be Open About Company Status If your company is facing a downtrend or is expecting to see major changes, either positive or negative, be sure to include your employees. It is always advisable that they hear about it from you. By explaining the situation, you’ll be instilling confidence in their minds and a sense of belonging. ➤Never Allow for Favoritism Have a common set of rules for everyone that you follow in every aspect. It could concern promotions, misbehavior, disciplinary actions, salary hikes or any other. Try to make sure no one feels passed over or treated unfairly. ➤Respect Your People Take care never to shout or use offensive language with your workers. Word your emails carefully so that they are never angry or derogatory. Keep personal grudges out of the workplace and if you need to reprimand a worker, do so in private. ➤Be Loyal to Your Workers When dealing with customer complaints, business owners tend to accept that the fault lies with the employee in question. Instead, take the time to ask for your employee’s explanation. And, listen to her carefully before taking any action. You will be ensuring that you keep worker morale intact. ➤Be a Mentor Each employee is special with a unique set of talents and abilities. As the boss, you must recognize those abilities, nurture them and use them for the good of your company. Show your employees how they can perform better and you will have the lowest turnover in your industry. Using these strategies, you’ll be able to motivate your workers to be invaluable assets for your company. And, they will remain dedicated to their job and your company.