Keeping Them Happy – 4 ways to ensure your team is content

February 9, 2013 by Dave Ramsey's Entreleadership

To win in business, you need a happy, satisfied team that loves what they’re doing. But what if you don’t have a Google-sized budget for mega salaries or hundreds of cool things to do to keep them engaged? Take heart! Although you need to pay your staff a decent salary and add a line item to your budget to reinvest in your team as your company grows, there are other ways to keep them happy. Here are a few ways to increase workplace contentment—without blowing your bottom line.

1. Show Them It Matters

According to a new poll by the Gallup organization, one of the key factors for happiness on the job is engaging work. Your team wants to know what they’re doing is important.

How to Do It: You don’t have to be developing the newest life-saving vaccine or feeding starving children to do work that matters. Every company is fulfilling a need. Repeatedly let your team know the why of your business through your mission statement, vision casting, storytelling, and any other way you can think to get the message through to them.

2. Let Them Know You Care

Your team is made up of real, live, breathing humans with feelings. They’re not units of production. They need to be treated with respect and kindness. As Dave says, “If you want your team to buy into your dream and execute with every ounce of passion they have, you must be caught caring about them personally and treating them with dignity.”

How to Do It: In every area, decision and action, follow the Golden Rule: Do to others as you would have them do to you. It’s that simple.

3. Don’t Work Them to Death

As a small-business owner, your biggest expense is labor. It’s easy to fall in the trap of demanding more and more of your team, causing them to usually stay late to get projects done. But that path leads only in one direction: burnout followed by turnover.

How to Do It: Respect your team by respecting their time. Although there are exceptions when everyone may have to put in a bit of overtime, let your people know they are not expected to work thousands of hours. You want them to have a balanced life. Make sure they have the right tools to get the job done and enough time to do it.

4. Sense of Ownership

Want your team members to fight for the win every time? Then give them a sense of ownership in your company.

How to Do It: Commission, profit sharing and bonuses are all great tools to use to boost your team’s passion for the win. Dave uses a combination of all three so non-salespeople can share in victories too.

Dave’s friend Rabbi Daniel Lapin says God is inordinately pleased when we are obsessively, compulsively preoccupied with the needs of others—and that includes your team. Knowing that you care makes them care. And then, everyone is smiling.

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Used with permission from To learn more about business, team building and leadership, download Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership podcasts, which include lessons from Dave plus interviews with key business leaders from across the nation.

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