It's a good idea to begin with making sure that your employees feel like they are working in a safe and stable environment. If your staff members don't feel like they have a secure job position, that alone can wipe out the enthusiasm of the best of people.
Enthusiasm is fueled by creativity and imagination, and as a good leader and employer it is up to you to see to it that both are fueled.
Take a close look at how you manage your company. Do you hold the reins tight and not allow your employees to self-manage? Employees need to feel a sense of freedom in helping a company reach its goals and objectives.
Are you including your people in decision-making and goal setting? This can often be an overlooked area. Some employers think that only they can make goals and decisions. The truth is that many times it's the people on the front line that have a clearer vision of what's going on. Sometimes it's the decisions made by management without involving those on the front line that that can kill enthusiasm.
ENTREPRENEURIAL TIGHTROPE: Bosses taking credit for your ideas
I remember going to a hair salon where the owner was constantly mailing coupons to her steady customers. Her efforts were not bringing in any new business. A couple of employees kept telling her to offer discounts to senior citizens, especially since two senior living developments had been built within walking distant to their location. The owner felt she knew better and ignored the suggestion.
The stylists continued to make suggestions, and the owner continued to ignore them. They suggested other minor changes that would h! ave increased business, such as adding a manicurist. The owner reminded them that she was the owner of the shop and if they didn't like how she operated they could leave. They became indifferent about their jobs
Their indifference didn't last long. They formed a partnership and opened a hair salon that offers senior citizen discounts. They have a manicurist and pedicurist on duty daily, and the business is booming. They also ask their employees for creative input to help the business to continue to grow.
The company that they left soon went out of business. The owner failed to see that the community was changing, which was something her employees recognized. Perhaps if she had at least considered their suggestions her business might have lasted.
If you really want to go deeper into ways of keeping employees fired up, justimagine what you would want for yourself if you were in their shoes.
Gladys Edmunds, founder of Edmunds Travel Consultants in Pittsburgh, is an author and coach/consultant in business development. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.