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How to improve morale at your small business

Small business owners quickly find that their employees can often feel like family after only working together a short time. However, just like families these "work families" can have their ups and downs. Because of this it becomes crucial for small business owners to work on improving employee morale. No matter how large your workforce is it is important that every small business owner be aware of the level of employee morale. The reason for this is that employee morale whether high or low can affect your company in so many different ways. Here is what you need to know about how to improve morale at your small business-

- Employee morale can be affected by many different things-Savvy small business owners understand that employee morale can be affected by many different factors. These factors include but are not limited to: job security, management issues, limited opportunities for advancement, outsourcing, feelings of being under paid and many other issues.
- Employee morale often takes a multi faceted approach to fix-It is important to understand that there is "no one size fits all" solution for improving employee morale. You will need to be sensitive to the needs of your employees and understand what will motivate them. You should understand that if your staff is suffering from low morale it can take awhile to fix the problem.
- Employee morale can affect many different aspects of your business-Many times' small business owners are tempted to leave the problem of employee morale alone and hope that it somehow fixes itself. This is rarely effective. Every function of your small business can be affected by low employee morale. This can include but is not limited to: productivity, profitability, and a high turnover in your employees. In addition, studies have shown that small businesses with low employee morale are at high risk for failure.This makes it crucial that you address the problem and not simply ignore it.
- Employee morale can be improved by the use of several different low cost methods-The good news is that it doesn't cost a lot to improve employee morale. However, small business owners should be cautioned that once they implement ideas they should continue with them. Simply using them once and assuming the problem is fixed will not be a permanent solution. Some of the low cost ways to improve employee morale include:
1. Have an open door policy-Studies have shown that small businesses that have an open door policy also have much higher employee morale. When your staff knows that you value their input they will feel that they truly matter within your small business.
2. Recognize your top performers-Your employees will appreciate the fact that their hard work is being recognized. You can do this by having a bulletin board, making an announcement or even sending out an email. It can also be nice to send out a thank you note to your employees that have gone above and beyond.
3. Put some fun into work-Whether you treat everyone to lunch or a night at the movies your employees will appreciate that you thought of them. When your employees know that you appreciate what they do they will be much more likely to work harder for you with better employee morale.
4. Offer some perks-Even though you are a small business there is no reason to not offer some low cost perks to your employees. You can do things like offer an exercise room, discount gym passes, or even just put an air hockey table in the lunch room. All of these perks won't add up to a lot but will mean a lot to your employees.

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