The “How To” Series Pt. 4: How to Collaborate With Your Staff to Make Everyone Happier

Your staff is more than just people who clock in and clock out throughout the week. They help to make your facility fun, safe, and an environment in which pet parents and pets feel safe in. With this in mind, you want to ensure that you’re consistently working towards making your staff feel fulfilled on and off the job site.

Yet, this isn’t something that you should do alone. In fact, collaborating with your staff is the best way to find out where you can improve, how to make their job more fulfilling, and gain insight on how your staff is feeling overall.

In part 4 of our “How To” series, we’ll explore our favorite ways to collaborate with your staff to ensure that everyone is happy. These are tried and true methods we use at Kinn, Inc. regularly, so we know that they work!


Regular Monthly Meetings

One of our favorite aspects of our Kinn team is being able to catch up once a month. While our team is remote, which means we’re spread out across the country, we still make time to check in with each other. During this time we go over company insights, strategy, and of course, we catch up on personal details and make sure that everyone on the team is feeling good about the future.

However, with your pet care or dog training business, you have the luxury of being able to meet in person. While being remote has its advantages, being able to meet in person allows you to do face-to-face meetings that can help give you a better gauge on how your team is feeling. During this meeting you should go around the room to ask how everyone is doing, if anything exciting is going on in their life, and if they have any news they’d like to share. Remember, your staff are dynamic individuals with lives outside of work. Let them share some of their other facets so you can get to understand them better while at work.

Don’t forget that because they have lives outside of work, they might not be super stoked about meeting on their off day. Incentivize these meetings with lunch, coffee, or other delicious small bites to make the meeting more interactive and fun.


Make Work/Life Balance a Priority

At Kinn, we’re a small team, which means many of us wear different hats and, at times, it can get overwhelming. Which is why we like to emphasize work/life balance and strive to make it a priority for our team. This means keeping work during work hours and allowing our team to enjoy their life after work. Of course, this can get tricky when you work remotely since there isn’t a ton of structure.

Fortunately, your team has the luxury of being connected in-person, which makes it easier to maintain that work/life balance. Here are a few tips to keeping a balance and ensuring everyone is happy.

  • Keep work during work hours
  • Avoid contacting your staff unless it is an absolute emergency during their off days
  • Extend extra personal days if you feel your staff member is struggling
  • Ask what you can do to help improve their work/life balance

A simple question, “how are you?” can help you gain insight on if your staff members are getting that work/life balance they deserve. Keep in mind that when your staff isn’t at their best, they can’t give their best. It is your job to facilitate the structure that promotes a positive work/life balance.


Create a Career Pathway

As you get to know your staff members and collaborate with them on what makes them happiest, you can gain insight on their ultimate career path. While some employees may desire to hang in the background of a business, others may have dreams that allow them to own their own pet care industry business or service.

Once you understand what their ultimate goals are, you can help collaborate with them to carve a career pathway through your current business. This may mean

  • Letting them wear more than one hat
  • Providing opportunities to carry more responsibility
  • Promotions
  • Connecting them with individuals and business owners who share the same career goals and passions to move them forward

While you may love your employee and want them to stick around forever because they’re so awesome (duh) but you should also want them to grow and succeed. Even if that means eventually leaving your business.

However, ideally, you would create a career pathway that leads them higher up in your company. Did you know that offering career training and development would keep 86% of millennials from leaving their current position? Creating a career pathway through collaboration with your staff can help ensure that they stay happy and give their best to you and your clients.


Create a Positive Work Environment

No one starts a business out with the desire to create a negative work environment. However, it’s easy to let the environment slide one way or another. Maintaining a positive work environment can help keep your staff happy and motivated to continue providing the best experience to your clients.

But how can you create a positive work environment? It starts with you! Motivating your employees, boosting them up, using compassion, and compensating them appropriately are just a few ways to create a positive work environment. Additionally, you should be asking your employees regularly about what they would improve. You only have two sets of eyes and ears, which means you may be missing some important details that are causing strife or rifts amongst your staff. A happy staff is one that’s cared for and when you care for your staff, you’re ultimately creating a positive work environment.


Build Employees Up

This is one of the best ways to collaborate with your staff. Building your employees up means highlighting their talents and accomplishments while publicly thanking them for everything that they do. When leaders recognized employees’ healthy actions and outcomes, there was more improvement in population health (91%) and medical plan cost (87%) than in companies that didn’t recognize employees’ success.

Whether you offer medical insurance or not, the health of your employees is so important. You can assist in keeping their spirits high by building them up! Here are some ideas and ways you can build your employees up

  • Employee of the Month
  • Employee of the Week
  • Recognizing birthdays
  • Highlighting positive achievements
  • Thanking them while they’re on the job

Your staff is your life force and they should be treated with kindness and respect.


Keeping Everyone Happy

Maintaining a happy staff isn’t an easy feat. There will be good days, bad days, great fits, and bad fits. However, when you put your staff first you’re putting your business first. For more information on how to run a successful pet business, follow along as we explore the ins and outs of the pet care industry!