Whether you’ve recently launched a startup or you’re decades into a thriving enterprise, one thing is for sure: there are certain areas of a company that owners and executives can’t afford to overlook. Those areas aren’t just limited to the bottom line. As you strive to ensure your financial sustainability and continued growth, be sure to also invest in changes and implementations that will have a substantial impact on the company as a whole. Below are five places to start.
- Build Employee Loyalty
From employee development programs to making the office a comfortable place to work—you can’t afford to not spend money on your employees’ satisfaction and engagement. Ideally you want to hire employees who won’t jump ship in a year, leaving you to go through the hiring process all over again. Instead, putting a system of employee development in place signals to employees that you are invested in their career growth.
Not only do you want workers who are more capable and productive thanks to development initiatives, but you also want employees who simply feel heard, appreciated and genuinely respected. Little office perks go a long way to fostering this “I see you, I appreciate you” connection with your workers.
This doesn’t mean you have to go out and invest thousands of dollars in an office game room or a huge shipment of bean bag chairs. Small, affordable perks are great, too. Buy a used ping pong table on Craigslist or visit BJ’s or Sam’s Club to buy sodas, juices and water in bulk to stock in the refrigerator every Friday. Employees also value when companies offer extra time off around the holidays or unlimited paid time off (though unlimited time off may seem counterintuitive, anecdotal research shows it boosts productivity) because they promote work-life balance.
- Improve the Work Environment and Office Culture
But employee perks alone don’t define a workplace culture. If your company has a crummy culture—there’s usually no ifs, and’s or buts about this; you know when your culture needs a makeover—then you mustn’t turn a blind eye and hope that the culture will fix itself.
One tip to try today: Implement the three Cs: Collaboration, Creativity, and Community. “Combine the excitement and camaraderie of a start-up with the solidity and reliability of a mature business,” writes Forbes.com contributor Kate Harrison in the article “4 Tips to Improve Company Culture.”
- Establish an Authentic Web Presence
A meaningful web presence doesn’t necessarily mean an expensive website. You can build a unique and relevant online brand just as easily when you create a free or affordable website along with well-executed and frequently updated social media profiles. Remember that your web presence isn’t limited to your webpage; it’s about the content of your search results.
- Master Project Management Software
What company doesn’t need or want a productivity booster? When it comes to delegating, organizing, and executing tasks large and small, project management software provides a helpful solution. There are a wide variety of project management software packages, including web-based applications. Last month, PC Mag released its own list of the 10 best options of 2016.
- Document Business Operations
“No one wants to actually spend time documenting what they do. It’s time-consuming and you could actually be ‘doing’ it rather than writing it down,” writes business writer and entrepreneur Janine Popick for Inc.
The biggest reason you should invest the time in documenting your business practices is this: As valuable as your employees are, your business exists beyond your workers. When your employees aren’t around you need to be able to pick up the pieces yourself or hand the pieces over to the next worker.
Also, with documentation come best practices and best practices are what great businesses are made of.