Tips on maintaining good relationship with your employees

Brief: In order to increase productivity in your business, you have to maintain a very good relationship with your employees.

As an entrepreneur who is just starting, it is sometimes very difficult for you to find the right person to work with. One of the main reason is that it’s a young business with limited cash flow. In this regard, you need to be very careful when hiring. Make sure you go for top talented ones.

However, the biggest problem is keeping the employees – you may be able to pay them what they are due, but they’ll still leave. With this in mind, you have to work more on building a stronger team spirit. This will make them believe in the vision of your business than just the monthly pay you give them.

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Most well-to-do businesses or organisations derive their success from a strong employee-employer bond. This bond increases efficiency, productivity, loyalty and reduces conflicts leading to peak performance of the business or company.

More often than not, the employee-employer relationship is developed or enhanced by the employer. Many employers do not master the art or lack the know how to develop such a good relationship with their employees usually leading to inconveniences and low productivity of the organisation.

As a young business, you should look at your employees like team members who matter. How can you maintain a good relationship with your employees or team members?”.

Below are some important tips every young business owner should know and practice in order to run and grow their business in Cameroon.

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1. Involve your employees in decision making

Seek the opinion of your team members or employees even when you know you can sort out things alone. It helps you view things from different angles, make your team members or employees feel valued and willing to contribute to the success of your business.

2. Encourage and motivate your employees publicly and privately.

We all know what happens in Cameroon – once you are the owner of a new business, you believe more in the titles and the privileges. Many walk on their employees with no respect. Many have the ‘Savior’ attitude towards their employees. Something you need to avoid at the beginning of your business and most importantly when you have achieved success.

You have to be a supportive, honest and respectful employer. Offer rewards to your employees and give them room to grow. Always be transparent and share positive feedbacks with your employees.

Ask them what they want even if you can satisfy all their needs. Motivation is not only about giving incentives and gifts. It is much more than that. Research has shown that encouragement and feeling recognized work as a motivating factor more than money.

3. Teach and empower your employees

Most business owners in Cameroon want to be the only cock that crows in their business. Their all-knowing attitude always make them to neglect one of the most important things to keep employees glued to their company. I am talking about teaching and empowering them.

Many of them have the feeling that if they do so, their employees will leave and start a rival business. However, contrary to such thoughts, employees feel at home when they are given tasks and works to carry on their own. Their employer may then evaluate the employees capacity and give them feedback or amend where necessary.

In order to have a good relationship with your employees, you need to listen intently to your employees, believe in them, forgive their mistakes, praise their efforts, ask powerful questions and provide growth paths for them.

4. Treat all employees equally and with respect

I remember I was once yelled by my first employer because I asked him for my pay that had not been coming for 4 months. I didn’t even wait for him to finish because I packed my things and left never to return.

This is a common attitude amongst employers of small and medium sized enterprises in Cameroon. Yelling or raising your voice shows a lack of respect to your workers. You don’t have to downgrade your employees in front of their peers. No body likes being degraded or treated as an inferior. You can take them aside point out what they did wrong.

You need to be a great listener and always personalize your approach towards each employee. Discuss issues with them individually. Learn their key strengths taking into consideration knowledge, skills and education. Make sure you communicate with them frequently, empower and develop them by finding out what drives and motivates each of them to perform better. Don’t forget to reward good work when you notice one.

5. Appreciate and congratulate the efforts of your employee

It is rare to find small business owners who appreciate the works of their employees in Cameroon. It is always “I” and never “We” without considering that it was the joint effort of the employees and you.

As an employer, you must always recognize and differentiate excellent work. Workers who perform highly are usually motivated by doing excellent work that impresses others. If you don’t give credit to such, they will soon with time redirect their efforts towards work that just meets the desired needs.

Just a simple recognition of the employee’s effort can be a fantastic reward. It will help maintain a good relationship with your employees as well as motivate them to carry future tasks.

Appreciate everyone equally. Never take the glory for your works and never take the glory of your (employee’s) work. A simple “Thank you” will make them open to working happily.

In addition to the above, you need to make ensure an effective flow of communication. Make the employees know their opinion counts as well as their worries, doubts, inquiries and suggestions.

You can organise career improvement seminars. This will help improve their skills and educate them thereby updating them with the development pertaining to their fields. This will make them them feel continuously useful.

It is often said that a happy being is a productive being. These are a some essential tips to maintaining a good employer-employee relationship for small businesses in Cameroon.

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Edited by Kermann Lobga

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