As discussed in our previous article, keeping your employees can be challenging with a number of factors affecting their happiness and contentment at work.
It is essential that as an employer you are aware of the potential issues that could arise. The next step is the more difficult part as it requires foresight and the ability to take action whether pre-emptive or reactive.
Money, money, money
Obviously the clear answer is to simply give everyone a huge pay rise so that none of them will ever want for anything ever again, easy right? I’m guessing however that this approach might interfere with one or two business plans…
Whilst giving everyone a huge pay rise might not be a practical option, ensuring that everyone is paid fairly should definitely be high on your list of priorities. The staff you want to keep should be on salaries that not only match industry standards but the contribution that they make. This is something that should be done proactively rather than a last resort when they’re about to walk out the door.
You would hope that money isn’t absolutely everything to your best staff and it definitely isn’t the best motivator, however the discovery that they would be paid better if they worked for any of your competitors will definitely peak their interest and not in a good way.
For many employers, pay rises just aren’t a viable option, not immediately anyway. In these instances it might be worth setting up a pay plan in which you let an individual know at what point in the future a pay increase might be possible and what would be necessary on their part to achieve it. This serves to reassure people that you do consider them to be valuable and have a plan for them in the future.
Another alternative to pay increases are benefit schemes, these could include subsidised gym memberships, travel season ticket loans and healthcare plans. These work well as rather than giving your employees more money, you are saving them money on other things. It is normally easy to arrange deals with gyms and similar companies as you will be increasing their customer base.
Talk is cheap, but not talking can be costly
Communication is absolutely key, it might be that you don’t have time in your day to have regular communication with everyone in your organisation and that’s completely understandable. It is however essential that your employees receive regular communication from someone.
One-to-one meetings give you the opportunity to gain a better idea of what they want from their work and what their ambitions are. This allows you to take action, should you wish to do so. It also gives you the opportunity to inform your employees of where they stand and what you expect from them. These meetings can also be a good way to ensure that your employees are adequately challenged in their work, if this is not the case then you have the opportunity to act on this and ensure that they do not become bored in their work.
Communication should take place on a greater scale too, this should take the form of team or even company-wide meetings. This provides an opportunity to communicate a company vision and keep employees updated on news and developments. Achievements should be recognised, shared and celebrated. Ensure that all employees see the bigger picture and are aware of the role that they play in the organisation’s performance. Allowing them to enjoy successes is a simple yet highly effective motivation tool and a workforce that takes pride in their work and the contribution that they make is a great asset to your company.
Let’s get comfortable
It may sound simple but providing a comfortable working environment is absolutely essential. This ranges from ensuring that your employees have the proper working tools in order to fulfill their duties to making sure that they can do so in comfort. It is important that your employees feel appreciated and forcing them to work in an environment where they are not comfortable is going to get you nowhere fast.
Simple steps can make all the difference, make sure that everyone has a decent chair, provide a decent break area so that people can relax, replace those computers that are ridiculously old. I’m not saying that you need to miraculously transform your working space into the Google offices but you should want to make sure that your employees feel like they are viewed as professionals who deserve a bit of comfort and proper equipment.
It is also important to promote a healthy work/life balance, whilst having employees that come early and stay late everyday might sound ideal, you might find that eventually these individuals become burnt out with stress and fatigue. Ensure that there are opportunities for your employees to enjoy themselves, organise social events and give them the chance to blow off some steam. This also serves as an opportunity for your staff to bond and make new friends which can greatly contribute to their happiness at work.
An employer that overlooks the happiness of their employees does so at great risk. A negative atmosphere and poor staff retention can become a culture in itself and before too long you might find that the few people you have left aren’t doing you any favours.
These are by no means all the answers, just a few helpful tips that should hopefully contribute towards a happier workplace filled with positive and productive employees.