You’re the boss. So you practically have no excuse knowing the ins and outs of you business. You attend conferences. You join associations and guilds. You read every darn magazine and newsletter on topics involving your trade. Sure, you’re up-to-date on so many things that you could probably predict how business will fare 9:57 AM tomorrow. But you’re just one man.
One thing overlooked by many small business owners and entrepreneurs is that, with a small organization, your employee might as well be your partner. And you don’t keep partners in the dark, do you? I think that in a small business, hierarchy isn’t really that existent or important. How many levels of management do you have anyway? One (you) or two perhaps? That isn’t much in terms of distance from rank-and-file to the higher ups, so why make one.
Well, sure, some information will remain classified but that doesn’t mean that everything is. Exposing your employees to the current trends and issues in the business will help them see the proverbial big picture. Letting them have an idea of how the company stands and how their work affects the business helps on their realization of worth and value to the company and that tends to motivate employees. Besides, they might have some defining new idea that they can come up with given the proper information and exposure. That beats just you thinking about new business strategies and tactics.
Here are some ways you can expose them to trends and issues:
- Make them aware of the business situation in regular intervals. Make the gathering light (provide some cheap snacks) so that it wouldn’t seem like another boring meeting.
- Schedule to have some of them attend trade shows. Sending them as company representatives also helps boost their morale. Let them report what they found out to their colleagues in a light Friday afternoon get-together. Colleagues echoing ideas is much better than having you “lecture” about it.
- Place magazines and newsletters in the lounge or pantry among other reading material. Good employees wouldn’t skip reading them.