Article | May 16, 2011

How To Profit From Getting Your Staff Engaged In Your Business

As a business coach, I work with CEOs and/or business owners and one of the main topics that presents itself over and over revolves around employee issues. Through the repetition of this process we have discovered that small businesses have these employee issues because they have not found a way to get employees engaged in their business.

So, how do you get your employees to engage in your business while getting them thinking outside of the paycheck? In this article I will share some thoughts and ideas with you about this.

Actually, getting employees engaged isn't all that difficult. As the business owner it is your responsibility to make your company a great place to work. It doesn't matter if you are 2 or 3 person company; just do what it takes to become the best place to work, period! I know what you are thinking, how do I go about making this a great company and a great place to work? Let me answer that question with another question. When you started your business, what was your vision? What did you expect your company to look like 2, 3, 5 or 10 years down the road?

Think back to when you first started your firm. You felt on top of the world, didn't you? You had focus, a plan, you were driven and motivated to achieve goals. But, what about the dreams and goals of your employees? Do you have any idea what they are? Has it even occurred to you to ask? If you haven't taken time to sit down with them to discuss their personal goals and dreams since you first interviewed them then you are missing out. Have you ever entertained the idea that they might one day hope to start their own business? What if they want to go back to school to get more certifications or a degree? Do you think their goals and dreams can help you to grow your business? Of course they can and they will. But first you will have to communicate with your staff about these issues. Some employees will have clearly defined goals and dreams while others may struggle to identify them. But with time and effort you can uncover them. Only then will know how to help them achieve their goals and this will lead to your employees becoming wholly engaged in your business.

So now that you, the business owner, have discovered what your employees want, how do we get them to think outside of their weekly paycheck? I have a 3 word phrase for you to think about, "Incentive based payroll." By implementing incentive based payroll, the staff won't get paid unless they generate revenue or billing time. Let me give you an example. One of my coaching clients has a policy that when he hires a new "consultant" he pays them $80/hr and he guarantees them 20 hours a month. But, if they want to make more than $1600 per month, they need to up-sell the existing clients as well as bring in new business. Let me tell you the lowest paid consultant makes over 80k a year. Incentive based payroll works and it gets your employees engaged in your business. Plus it builds stickiness which will keep your staff loyal to you for many years to come.

As I close out this article, I would like again for you to remember back to when you started your company. Think about how much fun it was in those early days. Now that your business is more successful and you have staff, an office and maybe even some company vehicles. Ask yourself if you are having fun running your company. If you aren't having fun then it's time to take a good hard look at what you are doing each and every day. Simply put, it's time to start having fun and get your staff engaged with the business. Work is a nasty 4 letter word, but if you make it fun, it is a great way to grow your business!

Stuart Selbst is President of Stuart Selbst Consulting a business consulting firm who focuses on building profitability in MSPs and IT firms. Stuart Selbst started, built, ran and sold a very successful MSP. In 2009, he began consulting with MSPs as a business coach. Since that time, the MSPs that he works with have grown over $3million in new recurring revenue.

In 2009 and again in 2010, Stuart was named to the MSP Mentor Top 250 Most Influential People; also in 2010 Autotask named Stuart to the elite group of Autotask Rockstars and awarded him with the Best Member Blog at the Autotask Community Live conference.

Stuart Selbst can be followed on Twitter and Facebook. You can always follow Stuart's own blog at or on the Stuart Selbst Consulting website at