Text 1

Below are 5 ways to motivate people in a small business. Read the text, for each point, think of whether this is true only for small business, is true mostly for small business, is true equally for small and large business.

5 Ways to Motivate Small Business Staff (adapted from here )

1. Offer Some Flexibility

If there’s one thing that employees might appreciate more than money, it’s time. With today’s hectic life, more employees than ever are struggling to find the time for family, friends, hobbies, and health.

By offering your employees some flexibility in hours, you’re acknowledging that you know they have a life outside of work. Even if you can’t offer your employees benefits like everyday core hours or work-from-home shifts, you might still be able to work some flexibility into your employees’ schedules. Think about letting employees come in early in exchange for letting them leave early, or even consider rewarding a hard worker with an unexpected paid afternoon off.

2. Recognize Good Performance

Nothing’s more discouraging than working hard on a project, only to have your hard work go unnoticed.

You should provide your employees with recognition for their hard work on a regular basis.  Show him or her your appreciation right away, with personalized gifts and awards, small bonuses, or even just by saying thanks.

3. Provide Professional Development Opportunities

Giving your employees the chance to enhance their skills makes them feel like the company is just as invested in them as they are in it, so it can increase loyalty and motivation. Professional development opportunities also motivate employees to succeed, and give them the tools they need to accomplish more. Knowledgeable, skilled employees are more motivated employees, and they’ll be more valuable employees, too.

4. Foster a Fun Environment

 Your employees spend a good deal of their lives at work, and by making the workplace more fun, you’ll make going to work more enjoyable, which can keep employees motivated and engaged. How can you do that? Workplace parties, bring-your-dog-to-work days, and weekly employee happy hours are some common strategies. Ask your employees for their feedback on what would make the workplace more fun.

5. Practice Effective Communication Strategies

In a small business, employees have the advantage of being able to directly see the impact their contributions have on the company. By communicating openly and effectively with your employees about how the business is doing and how they’ve contributed, you can help your employees feel like a part of the company’s big picture. Take their input seriously, and they’ll feel like a more valued member of the team.

Text 2 – video

Wall Street Journal interviews CEOs of big US companies. Do they mention any of the five pieces of advice above?  What else do they mention?