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Employee engagement is the secret for small businesses to stay productive and make money

(BPT) - One of the biggest worries for a small business owner is training and investing in quality employees and then losing them to a larger company - potentially a competitor - that might be able to offer larger salaries or better benefits.

It might look like a no-win scenario for a small business to entice quality employees to stay, except for one factor - engagement. When employees are engaged in the company business, they're less likely to jump ship, they'll be more productive and they'll make the company more money, according to a Hay Group Study.

'Why should anyone care if they have engaged employees?' asks David Fagiano, chief operating officer for Dale Carnegie Training. 'Engaged employees create superior results. A Gallup study shows that companies with more engaged employees outperform others by up to 202 percent. That translates to a substantially better bottom line.'

How can a small business owner encourage his employees to become more engaged in the company? Consider the following drivers of engagement:

* A sense of value: Employees who feel valued tend to be fully engaged in a company's goals and help achieve big milestones. Supervisors have the ability to create this sense of value, which can lead to confidence, empowerment, enthusiasm and inspiration. Review how your employees are supervised. Are they trusted to do their jobs without heavy review? Do they ask for help only when needed? When requested, do they receive assistance? Finally, do employees feel their supervisors are being honest when presenting information or answering questions? According to the Dale Carnegie Training 'How to Drive Employee Engagement in Small and Mid-sized Businesses' whitepaper, 67 percent of employees deem that having help or support when needed is important, compared to 46 percent who report that compensation increases above the cost of living is important. Download the whitepaper at www.dalecarnegie.com/employee-engagement.

* Continued training: Investing in employee training develops a bond between the employee and the business. Additional training shows the employee there's room to grow in the company, and that the business values his or her expertise. Plus, the company benefits by having employees learning the latest information in the industry.

* Improved communication: There is a difference in opinion on how well employers communicate with employees. According to the whitepaper, employers think they do a better job of it than their workers report. Because of this discrepancy, employers need to make more effort in communicating business information. Consider holding a weekly progress report meeting or developing a newsletter. Involve employees in meetings discussing the future of the company, and give everyone tasks to help achieve the goals that are decided upon. This allows employees to feel they're taking an ownership in the company, which will lead to them becoming more engaged.

Making an employee feel like he or she is important can take the professional relationship far. 'Engagement means winning the hearts as well as the minds of employees,' Fagiano says. 'It's the difference between someone in your company saying, 'I understand where this company is going,' versus, 'I believe in where this company is going.' If you can generate belief at that level, you can drive spectacular results.'

Download the whitepaper to learn more about how you as a small business owner can drive employee engagement at your business. It may help the company keep employees and bring in more revenue.



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