“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou

We live in a world where change is fast and we can not control it. Life is stressful and sometimes we feel powerless. Families that were once around the corner, are often either fractured or distant. Even marriage isn’t the reliable safety net that it once was. We are richer than ever before and we buy more goods than any other generation, and yet statistics keep showing that we are unhappier than ever.

As a small business owner you will be working on average 63% more than other workers. Nobody ever became a business owner so they could avoid working hard.

Running your own business stretches anybody’s work-life balance to the absolute limit. And it has emerged that micro-business owners are working an average of 52 hours a week, 63 per cent longer than the average worker.

Many micro business owners are both time and cash-strapped, they need to make the most of every day because the amount of time being squeezed into the working week is enormous.‚ π

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” Chinese Proverb

When you started up in business and thought about the perfect workplace, what came to mind? For some it may be an office that is full of chitter chatter, smiles and high levels of productivity. Others may see it as employee’s sitting around on beanbags brainstorming ideas in an open office environment. There are some that see a perfect workplace as quiet order with work being done. For me it was everything that I didn’t like in places I had already worked ‚ ¨ I wanted my work place to be fun, challenging, encouraging, developmental and with abundance of respect and loyalty. I don’t go to work to be miserable so why should others‚ π

As a small business owner you can be at the mercy of your employees. You cannot after all control how your employee’s get up each day or choose their attitude or how their day will pan out. This unknown can cause difficulties in a workplace as the different personality types, outside experiences, and choices a person makes can ultimately effect others.

What we can do however is nurture a workplace that many often dream about. From my experience of workplace’s and as a small business owner myself, I have put together 8 tips to build that mythic, dreamed about, idealized workplace from the ground up.

Essentially however, in my opinion, as a business owner the best way to get a dream work place is – treat others as you would have them treat you‚ π

Tip Number Six

Treat each employee as a person. Remember to recognise people not only for what they do, but who they are. Understand that each employee yearns for respect in both their work and their personal lives. Get to know your employees. Celebrate personal and professional milestones. Support employees when they face personal challenges. A little bit of caring goes a long way toward employee and brand loyalty.

I read a statement in Lauren Clemett’s book, Selling You, that sums the above up well Work can be liberating or it can be alienating, exploitative, controlling and homogenizing. Create an authentic workplace and fully realize human potential‚ π

Remember to communicate with staff and test the pulse of what they are feeling. As although you as a business owner believe that you are treating people fairly, the key is the employee’s perception. A person could be being treated fairly, and be seen by others as being treated fairly, but if a person does not think he or she is being treated fairly, then their motivation will most likely be low.

Here are some things to think about;

  • Highly engaged employees are on average 50% more likely to exceed expectations than least engaged employees
  • Business with highly engaged employee’s outperform businesses with disengaged employee’s by;

54% in employee retention

89% in customer satisfaction

and fourfold in revenue growth

  • Employees who feel welcome to express their authentic self to work exhibit higher levels of workplace commitment, individual performance and willingness to help others


8 Tips to build your dream workplace for small business owners