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Start-Ups

Nurturing Internal Employee Growth

By Barbara Beauregard   |    September 17, 2015   |    1:11 PM

Once you have recruited talented individuals to work for your small business, you will need to retain their interest and keep them motivated by providing them with an environment that allows them to continue to grow professionally. Here are some methods you can implement to make that happen and keep your top talent engaged.

Recognition:

Make sure your employees feel that they are recognized for their achievements. You can do this by having an official program or informal system in place that provides employees with stimulus to keep on achieving. This will nurture their growth. Team members always feel happier when they are valued. You might think about putting some financial incentives in place for various achievements, such as bonuses or other perks, to keep staff motivated. You should also recognize achievements by giving employees more autonomy and opportunities to rise up the ranks.

Play to your employees' strengths:

You can do this in multiple ways. Firstly give your staff tasks that are well-matched with their qualifications and motivations. Secondly provide employees with projects that they are invested in on a personal level; this will nurture their growth. Even if all jobs involve chores that can be dull at times, by increasing the amount of time your employees spend doing work that they feel is purposeful, you will ensure that they feel more engaged. If you give employees roles where sole responsibility falls on them, you will nurture their growth by allowing them to independently develop the skills to tackle the challenges they meet.

Offer training opportunities and mentoring:

Nurture your employee's growth by providing them with the option to learn new skills relevant to your small business. You can encourage them to attend conferences and workshops. You may want to offer formal mentoring programs that help your employees to develop professional goals. You must inspire your employees to grow professionally as otherwise they may stagnate, especially if they continue to go through a repetitive job routine, failing to learn new skills.

One size does not fit all:

Some managers have attempted to put all employees in the same box but this often fails because every employee is different. Acknowledge that each employee is distinct and that therefore their goals, motivations and skill-sets will vary. Feed people what they need so that you can truly nurture their growth as individuals.

Encourage honest feedback and communication so people can improve:

Make sure your employees feel cared for by providing them with an environment where they can become indispensable for your small business's success, given that they are able to learn and demonstrate the skills necessary. Foster open communication and honest dialogue with your employees and encourage this across all management tiers. It is vital that principals and managers feel able to give critical feedback so that employees can learn from their mistakes and improve their performance. This dialogue can also be geared toward understanding the career ambitions of your staff so as to encourage their growth.

Rinse and repeat:

Make sure you consistently praise, reward and recognize your employees on a regular basis so as to nurture their growth. This will encourage them to work hard for your small business and both you and they will reap the benefits.