As a business owner, you know that you want to attract great employees. And you want them to stay, because job retention translates into profits, because people are knowledgeable and they love what they do. The result? Fabulous customer service. And...job satisfaction.

An important question every entrepreneur should ask: What makes someone really care about their job? Read the list and choose five things that you can do, starting today.

  1. Fair pay. Employees understand that all jobs are not created equal. The receptionist (although some would argue the position is vastly under-appreciated) doesn't expect to earn the same as the CFO. But, when responsibilities are similar, people expect to be paid the same.
  2. Recognition. Everyone plays a part in the company's success. "Small" contributions can add up, making the workplace a great place to be. Taking a minute to acknowledge someone, writing a thank you note on a Post-It, or starting a Rubber Chicken Award can mean more than you know. Never hesitate to give credit to those who deserve it.
  3. Feedback. Closely tied to recognition, employees don't want to wait until annual reviews to learn how they are doing. Honest and thoughtful feedback helps people know where to improve. Positive feedback motivates people to do even more.
  4. Petty crap. We've all been there: a crisis or urgent matter causes us to dig in and make things better. But the little stuff? Crazy-making. And morale-busters. Eliminate or minimize as many daily irritations as possible, and your staff will carry you out on their shoulders.
  5. Control. The more employees feel they can take charge of their day, the happier they are. If you've hired well, trust people to do their jobs. Your door is open if they hit a snag or want your input, but otherwise, expect that they will deliver, on time, every time.
  6. Variety. It can be challenging to come up with new things for people to do, but everyone will appreciate a new challenge and the opportunity to tackle it. Boredom leads to disengagement, a company's worst enemy. Ask employees what they'd like to do or learn. You may be thrilled with the results!
  7. Culture. The happiest employees get along with their co-workers, and even continue to see them outside the workplace. An environment with unnecessary stress, flexibility, attitude of acceptance, and supportive supervisors make people glad to come to work every day.
  8. Rewards. A University of Arizona study showed that offering rewards made teams more cohesive, even when the members didn't all get along. Incentives need not be expensive; time off, gift cards, or a special parking space have been successful.
  9. Leaders. When employees can respect and trust the leadership team, they feel secure. Leaders who are accessible; can communicate well; give honest reports; and listen to employees are key to job satisfaction.

As a business owner, the best thing you can do for your employees is to provide them with job satisfaction. When they are happy, they will do anything to make the company successful. In the end, everyone wins!

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