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Sep 12, 2013

Keeping employees happy may not immediately strike you as your most important duty as a leader … but it is.

Don’t get us wrong; your small business or mid-market business needs you. You lead it, direct it and envision its bright future. Your business will be your coffin though, if you don’t realize that your success lies with your employees.

Yeah, you pay them and maybe you think that should be enough. Maybe you think a few perks and benefits show how much you care. They show up to work, you make sure they get paid on time.

That’s true, but that’s all.

If you want the best talent around, you’ll have to fight for it. That means providing certain things that employees will truly value (and it’s not just a parking spot and a paycheck anymore).

1. Autonomy

Hire the smartest and the best. The most business-savvy thing you can do next, would be to get out of the way. Let them work and thrive.

Even try letting them chase some creative endeavors not directly tied to their obvious job functions. If they’re that talented, who knows what may come out of it (for your benefit)?

2. A point

Give them something to strive for that’s not a quarterly projection. Meaning and purpose will drive more action and success than just cold hard dollars.

Whatever problem your business solves, make it totally clear that your employees make the world better.

3. A say

We hope you don’t go through all of the trouble of effectively hiring only to stop listening to the employee in the interview.

Let your employees know that the company values their:

  • Words;
  • Insights;
  • Ideas.

They will appreciate the faith you extend and live up to it. Valuing their contribution comes from more than just pretending to listen; it comes from actually using their contribution.

4. Expectations

We’re not talking about performance goals. Your employees need to expect certain things from you.

Whatever your temperament, keep it the same with everyone. Fairness and transparency in your decisions will keep everyone on the same page — your company’s page.

This article originally appeared on The Resumator Blog.