When running your own business, there are a lot of factors that will determine how successful it will be. Similar to hiring a strong team or securing loyal customers, a key factor in guaranteeing success is being able to create meaningful relationships with your employees and customers. Mastering collaborative relationships is essential in the continuous growth of any business.
After a dramatic left turn in my life – battling the hardship of a divorce – I pivoted my career to take over my family’s business, owning and operating our Chem-Dry franchise. This was only made possible by having strong relationships. By embarking on this journey, it allowed me to reflect and understand just how essential the principles of relationships are to success.
Below are skills that are seen in teams with strong collaborative relationships that can be tactfully implemented by small business owners.
Practice Open Communication
In any relationship, communication is at the crux of everything. In business, it gives employees the transparency that they need. It can help them understand their role in the organization better and make them feel empowered and trusted.
Employees are the real assets in every business as they add to the stability of the business which is essential for continuous growth. Creating space for your employees to communicate adds to the success of your business by assuring everyone’s needs are being heard and addressed.
Open communication allows for a healthy workplace that fosters creativity and motivates positive direction. Allowing employees to openly communicate validates that they are an integral part of the team.
Invest in Emotional Connection
It is important to invest in emotional connections, and not just customer satisfaction. Instead of viewing customer satisfaction as the benchmark of success, make emotional connection the goal. Identify the emotional motivators of a customer and weigh how a business decision could strengthen or weaken their experience. I like to say, “Aim to treat every customer like your grandma.” Customer feelings matter, so remember to always show you care.
Developing a relationship with your customers is one of most effective strategies a business can adopt. A great customer relations strategy delivers tremendous ROI, helping boost customer acquisition, loyalty, and satisfaction.
Having an emotional connection with employees should also be prioritized in your business plan. When an employee establishes an emotional connection, there is more effort and time dedicated in the workplace. While this is good for retention, it also adds to having a healthy workspace that fosters collaborative relationships.
A healthy collaborative relationship stems from being able to acknowledge and celebrate accomplishments – both big and small.
By celebrating employees and showing them appreciation, the workplace becomes a place with a strong team morale. Employee satisfaction is directly tied to how your team feels valued when they come to work.
Celebrating the accomplishment of team goals is also a moment for your employees to be reminded of the objectives your business has in place. Everyone is able to reflect on the impact of their work and how it’s contributing to the success of the business. This will encourage and motivate employees to continue to exceed and reach new goals.
Establish Proper Team Structure
The makeup and structure of your team is the foundation of your business. It is important to clearly identify the day-to-day responsibilities of each employee so there is consistent awareness of roles across the team. This will create ‘experts’ in specified roles and the ability to come together as a holistic team to better the business.
Remember, if you invest in your team and give them the tools to success, they will, in turn, contribute to the success of your business.
Practicing open communication, establishing emotional connections, celebrating success, and having a proper team structure are simple yet effective best practices to master the art of collaborative relationships that will have a direct impact on the success of your business.
Kurt Shoenick, Franchise Owner of Chem-Dry, a leading carpet and upholstery cleaning franchise. For more information about Chem-Dry and its franchising opportunities, visit Chem-Dry.