Recruiting and experienced team is key to any business. As a small business owner, training and knowledge transfer takes a lot of time and trust; so, retaining employees is as critical.  How does one retain a great team?  Compensation, benefits, and a great culture are all ways to keep employees happy, as happy workers tend to be engaged, productive and creative. Motivating employees doesn’t require a wealth of resources. However, it does take creativity and commitment.  We’ve outlined a few tactics that might just help you inspire your employees.

Give your employees independence.  While it might sound counterintuitive, giving employees freedom is a key way to keep them committed.  When you’ve hired competent professional, you need to trust that they will get the work done.  Giving employees autonomy shows that you trust them, and even gives employees a sense of ownership in their work and the business.   This does not mean you’re entirely “hand-off” the process.  It just means that you set goals and deadlines and let go.  By trusting your employees and giving them the freedom to lead, you might find them becoming more productive.

Help your employees improve – at work and in life.  High performing employees are driven and thrive when they can meet and exceed goals. To inspire their dedication, you can help challenge them by finding new ways for them to grow and learn. You can support them by offering them career opportunities for enhancement and growth; and you can offer programs that support their personal growth, which will benefit them individually and could help support their family life at home.  Some employers bring in health coaches, host fitness or family events, or partner with meal delivery companies to offer employee discounts.  Whatever you decide, when you make your employees’ lives better, they know that you care – and work harder for you.

Involve your employees.  Invested employees play an integral role in a company. To motivate employees, engage them in making important decisions.  Invite them to sit in on leadership meetings, when appropriate.  Consider creating a special Advisory Committee, led by employees, that meets regularly to provide insight to leadership.  Because employees are “in the trenches”, they could offer important input on issues that may not be readily visible to executives.  You could also do regular surveys to get input on key issues and reward the most innovative solutions.

Have Fun.  A hard-working employee’s greatest enemy is boredom. If a high performing employee is bored, they could disengage, and this could reduce their productivity.   You can keep things interesting by organizing team outings to sporting events, dinners and by hosting volunteering activities.  People bond when they are having fun and making a difference together.  When teammates spend time together outside the office in a group environment, they have experiences together that can create bonds that benefit you and them, in the workplace.

Make the workplace comfortable.  No one likes sitting around in a dull and uncomfortable workspace all week.  A drab environment will quickly demoralize even the most energized worker. To make the work environment more pleasant, consider investing in a bright, comfortable space.  Invest in the right equipment, artwork, and comfortable furniture… and don’t forget to consider lighting.  Creating an environment that is welcoming is another perk that can make your employees happier and more comfortable when they work longer hours.

These are a few tips to help you learn how to inspire employees, keep them engaged and committed.  Implement them and you’ll see your team dynamic change for the better.

The DCSBDC is focuses on helping small businesses grow and thrive. We offer free, confidential services that can give you practical, hands-on support to grow your business and empower your team.  Visit us at