You may have heard successful entrepreneurs and business owners like Richard Branson say: “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers.” This is great advice. However, whilst many SME owners acknowledge that their employees are their greatest assets; team building and incentives are still widely considered to be a perk of ‘big business’.
So why are SMEs missing out?
A big part of the problem is that SMEs are often strapped for cash and therefore worry that they won’t see a return on investment if they spend money on incentives and team away days. Another common misconception is that these types of events are very expensive. In difficult economic times it can seem extravagant to spend money on staff away days and training.
So what’s the truth? Certain types of events such as large-scale family fun days can be expensive. However, there are a number of ways you can celebrate with your team for as little as £45 per person. Team away days are much less expensive than other financial incentives such as pay increases and bonuses, so if you want to motivate or reward your team but have a limited budget then team building may be the best solution. In addition, most businesses will see a real return on investment with both staff moral and productivity increasing after their event creating a positive ROI overall.
So why should you consider planning a team building event?
Employee engagement is a hot topic right now, with many businesses recognising that in order to attract, retain and motivate the best staff they need make their company stand out as a great place to work. It may sound simple but individuals are much more likely to remain loyal to an organisation if they feel like their managers and leaders care about them.
Showing your staff that your company values its employees can make a significant difference to employee attitudes. This in turn impacts the work that they do and the experience your customers receive. Taking your workforce out for a team building day, paying for activities, a meal or a hotel stay can make a big difference. Why not surprise your team by celebrating achievements part way through the year rather than waiting for the annual Christmas party to say ‘thank you’.
Getting incentives right for small businesses
When it comes to engaging employees, being small offers distinct advantages. Organisations with smaller teams find it much easier for managers to get to know their employees and to build meaningful relationships with their staff. Ensuring that your leadership team is visible is critical. In a smaller company your CEO or Director really can take the time to speak to each individual within their business.
Talk to your team to find out what they want from an event. Combining training and conferences with a fun interactive activity is a great way to get started. For smaller teams we would recommend getting groups having fun together in an informal environment rather than opting for a more structured day.
Another top tip for small businesses is to get people out of the office. Book a room in a hotel or conference centre for your next big meeting. By changing the location of your event you change the dynamic. This helps individuals to step out of their comfort zone and to take on new roles within a group. By adjusting the environment you create new opportunities for people to meet, communicate and accomplish their objectives.
Whatever you choose to do, if you make your staff your priority this year we’re confident you’ll see increased employee satisfaction, customer experience and improved sales figures. So what do you have to lose?