When evaluating small business success, sometimes the most important things can’t be measured.
Business owners tend to focus on hard data such as revenue, expenses, inventory levels and any other metric that can be quantified with a number. But many entrepreneurs overlook less tangible aspects of their companies, which can lead to underlying problems going unnoticed.
These aspects might include customer relationships or how consumers perceive a brand’s image. But one of the most commonly overlooked elements of business is employee satisfaction. Happy employees provide benefits to a business in a number of ways, from increased productivity to more focus, which means it’s a part of running a company business owners simply can’t ignore.
Here are a few reasons why entrepreneurs should make sure their employees are satisfied:
Satisfied employees might help a business owner accomplish more every day. A 2015 University of Warwick study found that happy employees are 12 percent more productive than their unhappy counterparts. The researchers concluded that happier employees are more productive because they use their time more efficiently than unsatisfied workers while maintaining a high level of quality.
“Companies like Google have invested more in employee support and employee satisfaction has risen as a result,” Andrew Oswald, one of the study’s authors, said in a press release. “For Google, it rose by 37 percent, they know what they are talking about. Under scientifically controlled conditions, making workers happier really pays off.”
With employees using their time more efficiently, business owners can worry less about day-to-day operations of the store and focus on devising strategies that will spur business growth and keep the company financially healthy well into the future.
If employees enjoy their jobs and the culture management creates in the workplace, they are more likely to stick around. This will help a business in several ways. For one, workers who have experience in their roles require less supervision. This means owners have time to work on other things such as creating new marketing strategies or improving customer engagement. More experienced workers will also have more knowledge about the business, its products, which will likely translate into higher-quality customer service than someone who has only been around for a few months.
Investing in employee satisfaction is also a cost-saving measure. According to Training magazine’s Training Industry Report, it can cost as much as $1,200 to train each new employee, according to ADP. Business owners who can avoid losing employees frequently stand to gain a lot back in terms of time and money saved.
Business owners working to improve company culture through wellness programs or other initiatives should consider applying for a small business loan to help pay for the venture. Unlike going through a bank, alternative lenders can approve applicants for money in as little as 24 hours without the hassle of onerous credit requirements.
Conduct employee satisfaction surveys
Instead of simply trying to guess what employees are thinking, entrepreneurs should ask them. Receiving feedback from workers can help business owners correct problems workers are having, which will most likely increase their job satisfaction. Listening and making employees feel heard is a great step toward fostering a better company culture and getting workers more invested in a business’ well-being.
To make sure that employee satisfaction surveys garner honest feedback from workers, business owners should allow individuals to submit them anonymously and they should carefully craft each question so staff are not prompted to answer in a certain way. After surveys are collected, it’s critical for a business owner to sit down and analyze employee feedback and then come up with ways to address the most pressing concerns. It’s important for entrepreneurs to act on information they receive from their employees, otherwise an employee satisfaction survey won’t do much good.
Business owners might find they need to make significant changes after reading over the results of an employee survey. To help finance any upgrades, entrepreneurs should consider alternative business financing, which allows them to get the cash they need quickly without jumping through the hoops banks often require.
Individuals who take the time to invest in their employees are setting themselves up to not only create a better work environment; they will also likely see their profit margins grow as their business becomes more efficient and effective.