8 Steps Towards Happier And More Productive Employees
When it comes to running a business, many owners focus solely on their customers and what they need. However, one of the most important features of running any successful business is to make sure that your employees are taken care of as well. After all, a happy and satisfied employee is a much more productive and enthusiastic employee, and are much more likely to have higher output, thus increasing your profit. Not only that, employee retention is likely to be higher, saving you money on recruitment and training costs.
But how do you make sure that they are both happy in their work while being more productive? This is what we are going to explore in this post.
Recognize their achievements and progress
Unfortunately, many employees are quick enough to give out criticism, whether it is constructive or not, but are not so quick off the mark to praise and recognize the good things that their employees do. Obviously, you do need to give them guidance and point them in the right direction, but at the same time, make sure that you spend some time acknowledging them individually for their achievements. Show them that you are aware of where they were when they started and how far they have come.
Trust your employees
Hopefully, you hired your employees because you trust their judgment and their ability to do the jobs that you give them. It is important, therefore, to delegate the necessary tasks without micromanaging and hovering over them. Once you show your employees that you can trust them, there is more chance of them working hard to impress you. Give them more projects to do using their initiative and ask for their input on ideas for the company.
Respect their time
Obviously, your business needs change from time to time – perhaps you need people to work different shifts at particular times of the year or to cover other staff absences. While it is not unreasonable to hope that your employees will be flexible, it is essential to realize that your staff have lives outside of the workplace and that their own time should be respected. Make sure your scheduling is fair, and your teams are given as much warning as possible when it comes to their shifts. You can also manage transitions and clocking in and out with some of the best mobile time clock apps.
Take an interest in them as a person
It is vital that you get to know your employees as individual people rather than just people that work for you. Get to know what they like, what they don’t like, what they are good at, what they struggle with, what drives them and motivates them. This knowledge can then help you to understand them and use their passions and interests to help move your business forward.
Give them the tools to be successful
Where possible, give them a safe environment to be creative and solve problems in their own ways rather than give them strict rules and guidelines. You never know, they may have an ingenious idea that makes a difference to your company.
Keep employees in the loop
There is nothing worse as an employee than being kept in the dark about what is going on in the company. Studies have shown that when it comes to employee satisfaction and happiness, transparency and honesty were right up there as some of the most important things. Research in 2017 by TINYPulse showed that transparency and employee professional growth were linked. Those companies that kept their staff in the dark saw less progress from the people that worked for them than others. Look at setting up weekly meetings, or even just a quick email, informing them of anything going on and events that week. It will give your staff a sense of purpose and make them feel valued and part of a team.
Facilitate their career growth
If your staff see their jobs as little more than a means to an end, i.e. a way to pay the bills, they are going to do the bare minimum to get through the day. If you help them to develop a career path in your business, it gives them something to work towards and enables them to develop new skills and enhance existing ones.
It has been found that millennials generally are more interested in career development and personal fulfilment than money, so if you want to keep them interested and loyal to your business, you need to help them to achieve their career goals and show them that you have a vested interest.
Ask for their feedback and input
Your employees are the people most immersed in your business, who observe it every day and can provide useful insight into internal processes that external stakeholders can not. Therefore, encouraging your employees to open up and share their views is crucial to the growth of your business.
This feedback mechanism is not only important for management teams, but listening to the workers will make them feel respected, invested in, and understood in return.
It is not enough, of course, just to collect feedback from the staff: there should be recorded proof of management listening to and acting on the suggestions and pain points of employees.
Whether you formalize feedback with quarterly reviews or regularly have brainstorm and team sessions to refine processes with your team, ensure that you maintain a log of all employee feedback. This will then allow you to recognize trends and prioritize the issues and barriers that are most important to your employees as a whole.
Human capital – your employees – are the most valuable asset that your company has. A business is only ever as strong as the people who work for it, so investing time, effort, and resources into your staff is essential for not only their wellbeing but the future growth and success of your company.