After running my business for 4 years, I have learnt a great deal about the various facets of business. The area that I’ve been thinking about lately though is people. Yes, those interesting and complicated creatures – people! What makes them happy and satisfied at work? What makes them dedicated and enthusiastic? What makes them eager to learn? I know that there are a gazillion business books out there that could tell me what makes people tick but over the last 1399 days of navigating this business of mine, I have come to my own conclusion. It comes down to 4 things; passion, working environment, compensation and flexibility.

Firstly, hire people who are passionate about their field. This may be difficult to accurately ascertain when interviewing someone but my advice is ask questions such as “What would you like to learn within your field that you haven’t already?” or “What is the best part of your job?” and really listen to them to see if they get excited about their work. That’s the first step, the second step is to try and ensure that your staff are assigned projects and tasks that fuel and sustain their passion. This may not be possible 100% of the time because all jobs have a certain amount of “paperwork” attached to them.

Your employees need to be compensated fairly and acknowledged for great work.  This is a basic requirement and if it’s not fulfilled, an employee will be left in a quandary, wondering if they’re really needed.

I work with a wonderful group of ladies. We get our work done but we also laugh and chat..and sometimes cry… over copious amounts of tea and coffee. The environment is friendly and relaxed but it’s also conducive to completing the work at hand. I believe that if people feel comfortable and happy in their working environemnt, they’re more likely to do a good job. So ask yourself, what is your work environment like? Do people feel comfortable there?

My last point is about flexibility which ties into the point above. No one leads detachable lives. And by that I mean that everyone needs to deal with admin at some stage, whether it is car problems, a sick child or general household admin. These can’t always be dealt with outside of work hours so accept that and create a flexible working environment.

I think if I had to choose the most important point though, it would be passion. It’s such a driving force and creates a solid foundation for everything else. I could go on a lot more about this because as I said earlier, I’ve learnt a lot in 1399 days of running my business but I thought I’d give you a bit of respite and save it for another time!

So tell me, what makes you feel satisfied at work? I’d love to hear what you think!
By Louise Sanders

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