Boosting Employee Success: Proven Strategies For Small Businesses

Explore effective strategies to enhance employee success in your businesses, especially if you’re operating with hourly workers and shift-based teams. You’ll learn practical steps that can be implemented to build a more productive and satisfied workforce.

Key takeaways

  • Regularly share your company’s vision to instill a sense of purpose and direction.
  • Foster a culture where every team member, from customer service to VP, feels their work is valuable and integral to the company’s success.
  • Acknowledge and appreciate employees’ contributions to boost morale and performance.
  • Ensure roles and responsibilities are clearly defined to avoid confusion and enhance team efficiency.

Table of contents

You’ve grown your business to the point where you’re ready to take on staff, you’ve interviewed the best and the brightest, and you’ve added some true rock stars to your team. So now, you can sit back and relax—right?

Of course not! Your staff is an important asset and it requires a lot of investment after the initial hire. Unfortunately, after hiring and training, many business owners and managers think their job is finished. They completely forget that they need to keep up with their employees and help them continue to develop and grow. As a result, they don’t get the revenue, retention, and overall level of success they’re looking for.

To help you avoid these same mistakes, consider the following ways you can take this year to boost employee success at your business.

Share the vision

Having a sense of significance is an important factor in job satisfaction. When you make it a point to regularly share the vision and direction of your company with your staff, they’ll feel energized and excited about the work ahead. Many times, day-to-day responsibilities can feel like a grind, but a team that knows the purpose and big vision of their department and of the company overall is able to power through and succeed at a high level.

Encourage job ownership

To help employees be more successful in their work, encourage them to own their jobs. From your customer service staff to your VPs, help all of your staff members feel that their work is valuable to the company. Help them understand and care about the company as much as you do by involving them in goal setting and empowering them to do their best.

This may mean that you or your managers need to step back and give your staff more latitude in their choices, but with proper guidance, putting your faith in your employees’ ability to do a good job will be rewarded with increased job ownership and satisfaction.

Related reads you may be interested in: The Impact Of Job Satisfaction On Customer Experience

Give positive feedback

Too many organizations only give feedback when an employee has made a mistake or can improve. But to help employees succeed, it’s just as important to give positive feedback as well.

In the book “1001 Ways to Recognize Employees,” author Bill Nelson demonstrated that the top two drivers of work performance are the perception of making a difference and being recognized for successful work. Unfortunately, 68% of the employees Nelson spoke with hadn’t even heard the words “thank you” in the past six months. If you want your staff to succeed, you need to show your appreciation and give them positive feedback.

Interested in learning how to better give positive feedback? Check out 18 Simple Ways To Keep A Positive Attitude At Work

Know your employees’ career ambitions

Having employees should be a win-win for both parties—you should be getting the benefit from their work, and their jobs should be bringing them closer to their professional goals. But the only way you’ll know if this is happening is to ask. Be aware of your staff’s career goals and help them move forward (within your own organization, if possible). This will keep employees engaged and continually reaching for better results.

Communicate VERY well

Nothing discourages your staff more than feeling like they’re being lied to or kept out of important business discussions. Owners and managers should communicate consistently and constantly about important changes in the company or work structure. This will help employees feel secure in their positions and keep them committed to the company and their jobs.

Clearly define roles and responsibilities

Employees struggle to succeed when they don’t know what standards or expectations they’re being held to. Even within a single project team, results will suffer if nobody knows what his or her specific role is in achieving the overall goals.

Instead, make sure your team members know what their responsibilities are, and align them carefully with their skills and expertise. When everyone is aware of their specific mission, they can focus on their success as an individual and also contribute to the overall success of the company.

Build team unity

Everyone loves to focus on their own success, but part of having a great company is team unity—which is why it’s so important to build activities into every month or quarter that help bring the team together. This could be a social time outside of work or a low-key lunch during the week—whatever you and your staff prefer. When people bond on a social and professional level, they’re more energized and excited to tackle their work.

Read more about team unity: 21 Employee Engagement Activities That Keep Employees Happy

Carefully listen to feedback

One way to help employees succeed at your business is to create a company culture they can brag about. This doesn’t have to mean expensive perks—many times, simply listening goes a long way.

While employees know they can expect feedback for their work, they also need to have an avenue to provide feedback to their managers about the team and the business. In order for staff to share their ideas, they need to feel that they won’t be judged or punished for suggesting a new way of doing things. Train your managers and yourself to listen carefully to employees—you’ll be amazed at what new ideas and improvements will be brought forward.

Boosting employee success at your business doesn’t have to involve throwing money around (although few employees will reject your efforts to enhance compensation packages). By taking the steps above, you’ll position yourself, your managers and your employees to become more successful than ever in the coming year.

Empowering employees in hourly work

In the ever-changing world of hourly work and shift-based teams, empowering employees is your key to boosting success. Your workers face unique challenges, such as fluctuating schedules and varying workloads, so they require a tailored approach to management and support. Here are some strategies to empower your hourly employees:

  • Flexible scheduling: Use tools that give workers a voice in scheduling. This empowers employees to have a say in their work hours, leading to increased satisfaction and work-life balance.
  • Open communication channels: Establish clear and open lines of communication. This ensures that employees feel heard and valued, fostering a sense of belonging and commitment.
  • Training and development: Offer regular training sessions. This not only improves skill sets but also shows investment in their professional growth.
  • Recognition and rewards: Implement a system to recognize and reward hard work and achievements to significantly boost morale and motivation.

By focusing on these areas, you can create a more engaged and productive workforce, ultimately leading to higher levels of employee success.

Leveraging scheduling software for success

Incorporating scheduling software like When I Work into your business strategy can significantly enhance employee success. This software is designed to address the specific needs of shift-based teams and hourly workers. Here’s how it can help:

  • Streamlined scheduling: Simplify the scheduling process, reducing the time and effort required to manage shifts. This leads to better organization and less confusion.
  • Shift swapping flexibility: Allow employees to swap shifts easily. This flexibility is crucial for maintaining a balance between personal life and work.
  • Improved communication: Facilitate better communication between management and staff. Quick and efficient communication helps in addressing issues promptly and keeping everyone informed.
  • Time tracking and management: Efficiently track work hours and manage payroll, which is essential for maintaining transparency and trust.

By using When I Work, you can create a more efficient, transparent, and employee-friendly work environment.


Boosting employee success in shift-based and hourly work environments requires a combination of clear communication, empowerment, and the right tools. When I Work offers comprehensive solutions to help you achieve these goals. Sign up for a free 14-day trial of When I Work today and take the first step towards a more successful and satisfied workforce.

Boosting employee success FAQs

Q: How does effective scheduling impact employee success?

A: Effective scheduling ensures that employees have a balanced workload, leading to higher satisfaction and productivity.

Q: Can When I Work help in employee development?

A: Yes, When I Work facilitates better communication and scheduling, which are key components in employee development and success.

Q: What strategies can small businesses use to increase employee motivation and productivity?

A: Small businesses can boost motivation and productivity by creating a positive work environment, setting clear goals and expectations, and offering professional development opportunities. These steps help employees feel valued and understand their role in the company’s success.

Q: How can small businesses recognize and reward employees on a limited budget?

A: Small businesses can effectively recognize and reward employees without a large budget by offering verbal praise, public recognition, opportunities for growth and increased responsibilities, and flexible work options. These forms of recognition are often highly valued by employees.

Q: What is the importance of effective communication in enhancing employee success in small businesses?

A: Effective communication is key in small businesses as it enhances team collaboration, builds trust and transparency, and facilitates constructive feedback. This leads to a more engaged workforce and a stronger company culture.

Q: As a small business, how can we use When I Work to improve employee engagement and satisfaction?

A: When I Work is an excellent tool for small businesses looking to enhance employee engagement and satisfaction. By providing a user-friendly platform for scheduling, it allows employees to have greater control over their work hours, leading to improved work-life balance. Additionally, the app’s communication features facilitate better team collaboration and a sense of community among staff, which are key factors in boosting engagement and satisfaction.

Q: What are some cost-effective strategies small businesses can implement to boost employee success?

A: Small businesses can adopt several cost-effective strategies to enhance employee success:

  • Implement a system of regular feedback and recognition. Acknowledging employees’ efforts and achievements can significantly boost morale and motivation, and it doesn’t have to be costly.
  • Offer training sessions or skill development workshops. These can be informal, in-house sessions led by more experienced team members, focusing on skill-sharing and professional growth.
  • Use When I Work to offer flexible scheduling. This shows employees that you value their time and well-being, leading to increased loyalty and job satisfaction.

Additional resources

Check out these articles that can help you implement these strategies to boost employee success and ultimately increase your bottom line.

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Employee Burnout: Causes, Signs, And Strategies

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9 Strategies For Decreasing Labor Costs

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Rotating Shifts: A Manager’s Guide to Rotating Schedules

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How to Save Time And Money With Automatic Scheduling For Employees

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40 Employee Appreciation Ideas Your Staff Will Love

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How to Write Up an Employee in 8 Easy Steps