The bottom line is that if your employees aren't happy working for you then your company is going to suffer. If you see, or even sense, that this is becoming the feeling for most of your staff, you need to fix it right away.
I was talking with a chauffeur the other day. He didn't know who I was, and we started talking about his job. He told me that he had been driving for about 10 years and had been working for his current company for a little more than a year. That's when he launched into how unhappy he is at his current company. He said that he wasn't really motivated to go into work for his current employer.
I thought to myself, employers need to retain veteran staff members. Especially when times are tough. The best way to do this is to make sure your staff's morale is up, and make them want to work for you.
I think back to what Doug Werdabaugh, senior vice president at Carey International said at the LCT Show this year. He explained that good managers enroll their staff in the vision that they have. You need to communicate with them and make sure that they are able to see what you see. Communication is the key to keeping your staff on the same page as you and keeping them motivated.
This needs to be the same for your entire staff. You may interact with your office staff on a daily basis, but you may not always see your chauffeurs as often. This being the case, you will need to make an effort to make sure that your entire staff feels included. Company picnics or lunches on a quarterly basis are a great way to help everyone feel a part of the team. It's a great time for you as the owner to inform the entire staff of updates as well as thank them for their hard work.
Another way you can help make members of your staff feel a part of the team is by acknowledging something about an individual. For example, if you know that one of your chauffeurs just bought a fishing boat, take a minute the next time you see him and say: "Hi Bob, how's that fishing boat working out for you?" It may sound silly or you may not think that you have time for this, but the benefits of this kind of acknowledgement will pay off for you down the road. Your staff will feel more like a part of a team rather than just an employee.
Also, when a member of your staff does something good, whether it be something that saves the company some money, gets a big account for you or something worth praise, be sure to let them know you appreciate it. And let them know in public. They saying goes, "praise in public, criticize in private." This will do a lot to boost the morale of the staff.
The economy is still not where it was. So in these times, when you will be demanding more from your employees, it's critical that you make them feel a part of a team. Feeling like a part of a team and that their leadership cares about them will help motivate them to work hard for you.