Whether you’ve got three employees or three hundred, making sure that they are happy in their job will increase their productivity and the quality of their work.

As Richard Branson said, the key to being a great business to work for is to “Train your employees well enough so that they can leave, and treat them well enough that they don’t want to”.

But how do you do this as a small business?

Personal Development and Training

These two things are closely linked and necessary for any business. Training your staff, whether they are learning something completely new or they’re refreshing their knowledge, is a way to invest in your employees. This will make them feel valued as a part of your company. The Container Store has a budget of approximately 160 hours of training per employee, per year. Their annual turnover rate is 15-20% whereas the typical turnover rate is 100%. While you may not be able to train your employees this much as a small business, offering them the opportunity to learn will always be welcomed and appreciated.

Personal development is slightly different. Through coaching or mentoring, like the service that Watt Works Consulting offers, you can help your employees develop skills that will help your business, but also as individuals. Through both training and personal development, your employees will be empowered.


Every job should have its perks. Whether it’s staff socials, free food or a football table, it’s important to have days to look forward to. For inspiration, look to the big companies. Google, for instance, has free cafes, funky offices and games. They have on-site healthcare, you can scribble ideas on the walls; bring your pets in, and much more. This is all in aid of creating a happy and healthy place to live. Use their ideas to inspire your small business and what you can offer. It doesn’t have to be expensive – having a ‘bring your pet day’ might mean more time playing and less time working, but it will make people happier, and therefore more productive.