BBB tips: Grow your business by putting workers first

Check out these six tips to increasing and maintaining employee engagement at your small business.

Check out these six tips to increasing and maintaining employee engagement at your small business.

By Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Cleveland

If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us about the modern business world, it’s that the human factor is more important than ever. Employees drive your business. They make sales, interact with customers, and perform essential duties. Your business isn’t going anywhere without those things happening. Investing in employees will not only keep you afloat but will also set you up for growth and long-term success. Employees who are happy and satisfied with their work will likely give their best in the challenges they encounter. When given regular encouragement, feedback, and recognition, many might even go beyond what they believed themselves capable of doing. This worker-first mentality contributes to the overall culture of your team while you continue to build a business that is stable and primed to grow.

>> RELATED: Why workplace culture matters

So, how can a small business owner increase and maintain employee engagement? Check out these six steps:

1. Open communication 

A simple first step could be to ask your employees how valued they feel in the workplace in a one-on-one. You might consider a survey to solicit their feedback. The answers you receive can provide insight into any issues that need to be addressed.

2. Ask for employee feedback

Take your employee communication one step further by asking your employees to share their suggestions for improving your workplace and business as a whole. You may want to look at ways to solicit this information anonymously to gain the most honest insights. Make it a weekly, monthly, or quarterly commitment, and be responsive and open-minded to their thoughts.

3. Show your employees you care
Find creative activities to maintain a level of caring that will motivate employees to show up every day while unifying them as a team and aligning their vision with your company’s core values. Consider ideas such as hosting team-building events, awards, and annual retreats.

>> RELATED: Employee appreciation tips

4. Give employees tools to succeed
Put your team first by supplying them with the tools they need to succeed. These tools will keep your operation up to date while also doubling down on the efficiency and effectiveness of your people. Consider providing physical tools as well as updated software, training, and additional support. 

5. Provide professional development opportunities

Make a plan to identify professional development opportunities for your staff and then pursue them when schedules and budgets allow. Employees want to feel they are valued members of the team with continuous learning opportunities. Encouraging these opportunities shows you are invested in them for the long haul. When employees are invited to grow within their roles and develop their skills, this is a win for your organization, too, as you level up your people and their skills. 

>> RELATED: 3 things to know about retaining talent

6. Offer your employees choices and workplace flexibility

Everyone likes to feel they are in control of their environment and this feeling extends to the workplace. Over-regimenting your employees’ activities can create an environment of tension and stress. Present your employees with choices that are meaningful to them, especially those that can increase productivity. Remote work is one solution that’s given many employees the time and space to thrive in a way that works for them. Give employees autonomy by accommodating flexible hours and individual task management and technology preferences.

For additional tips and resources, visit to help keep your small business thriving. Contact your Better Business Bureau by calling 216.241.7678 or emailing Interested in becoming BBB Accredited? Find out how you can apply for BBB Accreditation.


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