Empowered employees = 250,000 “likes”, a stronger community, a successful business

Employee development can help grow your small businessAsk any successful business owner what is their greatest asset and they will tell you it’s their employees. At the cafe, we encourage business owners to spend a great deal of time planning employee development strategies. We offer explanation and suggestions in our Marketing Tookit section of the cafe.  If you haven’t read through this training, I highly suggest you do.

Employees can make or break your business

In today’s heavily social environment, your relationship with employees has become even more integral.  Social media has helped companies build stronger relationships with their customers and employees, and that’s a very good thing!  Of course, most important, you must take the time to hire the right employees.  Take a moment to read through the Forbes annual 100 best places to work list.  These are companies nominated by employees and you will find most of the reasoning is around how the companies treat their employees and how much they involve them in decision-making.  An employee who feels valued and appreciated can be cultivated into your greatest brand advocate.

Use good will and community-building to develop employees

For today, I want to narrow our employee development focus to the topic of encouraging good will and community-building with your team.  As small business owners, we rely heavily on our local community to support our business.  As a local business, we have the advantage of truly connecting deeply with different sectors of our community and making a difference.

To strengthen the community-building culture in your company, consider forming teams of employees and let them decide on community-building projects.  Give them free will and free reign to make a difference in the community.  Take lots of pictures and videos and share the events or projects with your social media communities.

At the same time, when employees do something good for the community or any one person, ask them to share about it with you.  Share these incidents on your social media channels as well.  UPS is doing a great job with this currently on Facebook.  Not only is UPS reaching their followers, but they are reaching a broader audience because followers are sharing the posts with their friends.  As of today, this particular post has reached a quarter million likes and over 12,000 shares.  What do you see in this post?  I see a company that cares about its employees, the communities it serves, and people in general. I’m interested in them.  Aren’t you?

Share the good will projects on digital media channels

Community projects provide exceptional content for digital channels.  When sharing about your company’s projects, include a picture with these kinds of posts.  Your audience wants to see what or who you are talking about, and they are more likely to share a picture than a simple status update from you.  The most important outcome of this strategy is modeling good corporate behavior within your community.  Before you know it, other businesses will see the difference you are making and follow suit, and that’s good for everyone.

Earlier, I mentioned the importance of hiring the right employees.  Sometimes we make mistakes with our hiring or we inherit a team that might include talent we wouldn’t have hired.  Don’t dismay in this situation.  It’s never too late to begin the process of cultivating and developing your team.  If you have any questions or want to share about a situation you are facing, reply to this blog entry or shoot me an email.  Let me know if I can help in any way.