Most entrepreneurs have a clear vision of what they want to achieve and a burning motivation to go out and get it. They’ve quit the nine to five to follow their dreams and many say they feel a real thrill in making things happen - now if only they could get their employees to feel the same way…
When you’re running a small business and leading a new team, it’s important to remember that it’s not just about you.
And while all of us know the importance of customer insight, there’s a temptation to assume in a small business that you instinctively know your workforce.
There’s a temptation to expect that the people you hire feel exactly as you do, that they share your passion for product and profit, and they understand your vision 100%.
And when things aren’t working quite as you expected and your team aren’t meeting you pint for pint with their blood, sweat and tears? Well, there’s a temptation to think that it’s down to a character flaw on their part rather than a missed trick on yours.
Most of us know that happy people work harder. They provide better service and are more effective. And while there are those that would argue happiness is a personal responsibility, it’s worth remembering that as a business leader in any capacity, other people’s wellbeing is something you need to invest time and energy in too.
In short - it pays to make people happy, and the most effective organisations know their employees’ emotional health and safety is as important as their physical care.
So how do you make happiness happen? Here are our top tips for building a happy team:
- Listen and understand
- Be flexible
- Be positive
- Trust is a must
- Remember your responsibilities
Keep your working environment pleasant, clean and hazard free. Think about your duty of care, protect yourself and your people, and remember that employer’s liability insurance is generally a legal obligation for anyone with staff, contractors, sub-contractors or interns.
By Darrell Sansom, managing director at AXA Business Insurance