There are many benefits of having an open, collaborative relationship with your employees when you run a small business. People are likely to be happier in your business, making them loyal and more productive.
Aside from the professional benefits of fostering a positive working culture, developing meaningful relationships with your colleagues means running your business is a more enjoyable experience for both you and them.
But as a small business owner, it's also important that the individuals that work for you respect you and your position.
So how do you foster good relationships with your employees, while ensuring you still carry authority?
An overwhelming number of people feel undervalued at work so finding ways to counteract this can help to build meaningful connections between you and your employees. Peer-to-peer recognition is a very simple but effective way of increasing engagement and productivity, while also building a positive workplace culture for staff.
Whether you choose to pick from one of the standardized programs or create your own, peer recognitions systems - when implemented properly - can go a long way to increasing staff morale and loyalty. One of the best things is that everyone can get involved. Although you want to position yourself as a trailblazer of the scheme, it's important that other members of staff feel they can participate and nominate their colleagues.
To maintain a good working relationship with all of your employees, it's important that you're as consistent as possible. This is just as important when you are celebrating staff as when you are having to discipline people, as anything that makes employees feel as though they are being forgotten will have a negative impact on your relationship with them.
This is why having a program or structure in place for rewarding and disciplining employees is a wise idea, even if you only have a handful of people working for you. It removes any concerns that individuals are being discriminated against or being given preferential treatment.
Prioritize team building
It may sound like something out of a cheesy workplace manual, but team building can actually be a really good way of developing relationships between your employees. This can be in the form of structured days out or more casual drinks after work, whichever you choose, it's important that you spend time with your colleagues outside of the office.
Work can be incredibly stressful at times, especially when you're in charge, so allowing your employees to see 'non-work you' is a great way to build meaningful connections with your team.