By Linta Aliti

One of the most important things in a workplace is the work culture and the overall work environment. Whether it’s a restaurant, bakery or company, the employees constitute the face of your business.

Imagine a scenario in an office with no social content besides work, no laughter and no social relation to the rest of the office and the CEO. Being bossed around and not feeling like you are making a difference in the company. The motivation and drive to contribute something positive fades away, and productivity levels start to drop. A case like this would sooner or later affect the business if the majority of the employees share the same feeling. For a business to succeed, it is crucial to have happy and engaged employees because they in turn can lead to happy customers.

A well-run business has employees that care about the company and its success. The more the employees feel part of the company, the more productively they will work. But how exactly do you get your employees engaged in work, and most importantly – create a great working environment for them?

It takes some time to create a working culture that motivates and engages your employees, but with the right approach and patience you can succeed. Here are 5 tips to get you started.

  1. Make them feel empowered.

An empowered employee has a strong motivation to continue being productive, simply because their responsibilities make them feel important and valued. Don’t be afraid to give them the freedom to make their own decisions, and trust their opinion. Maybe even ask them how your business could be run better? You might get some great ideas.

Often times, your employees interact with your customers more than you do and deserve to be heard. This will make them more confident, and their ideas might contribute in a way that will benefit your company. If your staff are the ones listening to your customers all day, maybe it is worth listening to their feedback – you can always improve your service!

Happy employee

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  1. Give them the opportunity to find their talent, and let them pursue it.

No matter how much you try to empower your employees, it will all be a waste if they don’t know their own talent. Give them different tasks in different areas, so that they get to try different things and find out where they feel most at home in your business. Some people are creative, others love to get nerdy with numbers – and if you let people explore their passions, it is much more likely that your business will benefit from their talent!

Happy employee

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  1. Don’t let them fear mistakes or failure. They should see it as learning.

Fear of making a mistake, or failing at doing something at work, can be a roadblock for your employees when it comes to their work because it leaves them with a feeling of not wanting to try new projects. This way they will never learn from their mistakes.

If your employee makes a mistake, don’t get angry and start criticizing them. Instead, act as a leader and encourage them to do better next time. Mistakes are the best way to learn.

  1. Happy employee

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    Recognize their success and effort.

When an employee is being recognized for the success and effort they put in their work, it motivates them to be more productive. Give them recognition for their hard work when needed! When your employee has done a good job, make sure they know it. If they worked really hard the last week, make sure to tell them to keep up the good work. It keeps them motivated and encouraged to continue the work.

Happy employee

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  1. “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” –Stephen R. Covey

This guy has figured out how to keep employees happy. You would never be rude or bossy to your customers would you? So why would you treat your employees any different? Your employees are first in line to speak with your customers – they are the face of your business, and treating them nicely and with respect teaches them to treat your customers the same way. As a bonus, the employees will gain respect for both you and the company.

Happy customer

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So how exactly do happy employees lead to happy customers?

A happy employee will answer the phone in a happy and positive tone, and give the best possible service to the customer. Your restaurant may serve the best steak in town, or have the best coffee in the area, but if you have rude staff, then the customer wont return to your store. In today’s business environment, providing a high level of service is almost as important as the products you sell. If you don’t provide the appropriate work environment that makes your staff feel valued, important and influential, then you will never see their full potential or reap the benefits of their hard work. Let go of the handbrake, and let your staff show what they are worth.