In many businesses, up to 50% of the workforce can be unhappy with their job. You may find that some are doing the bare minimum required of them and spending the rest of their time watching the clock or making coffee. Then there’s the ones that are blatantly miserable doing what they’re doing. In fact, they’re so miserable that they barely finish the tasks set for them and refuse to join in team activities. You don’t want your workforce to feel this way because it lowers productivity. So, how do you keep your workforce happy?
Give Your Employees a Say
No-one really likes to go to work to make money for someone else. Studies have shown that employees who feel invested in their companies are far more likely to strive for success. So, when you need your employees to help you push the business forward, you need to give them a say. Let them air their suggestions, let them learn about other parts of the business and always keep them informed about what’s going on. If they feel like part of the business, they won’t become so easily detached.
The last thing your employees need is a boss who shuts himself up in an office all day long. It’s important to form relationships with your employees so the lines of communication always stay open. It may be that one of your employees has an innovative idea, while another may just want to discuss a private family situation. If you’re on good terms with your employees, they’ll be more inclined to do good work for you.
Give Them New Responsibilities
If you know your employees well, it will be easier to identify their strengths. Some employees become bored and do the bare minimum because they feel stuck in the mud. If an employee has ambition but nowhere to climb, a job can become suffocating. By creating new opportunities for employees, you not only give them the opportunity to stretch their skills, but you also let them know that you’re willing to take a bet on them. That kind of blind faith can do wonders for an employee’s self-esteem.
Respect is a two street. So, if you expect it from your employees, you’ll need to earn it and give it in return. Many employers make the mistake of looking at their employees as tools, rather than human beings. But, your employees have lives outside of work, just as you do. The more effort you make to get to know your employees, the more you’ll learn about their lives. That’s where respect is earned from both sides. You may find out things about them that you never knew before, and vice versa.
Flexibility is important to modern workers. After all, many of them are working around families and other commitments. It’s important for you to listen to your employees concerns and work around them if possible. That may mean altering working hours or allowing employees to work from home. Take a look at the article, 9 Free Employee Scheduling Software Tools, if you need some help getting it right for your employees. It may seem like flexibility means less productivity, but the exact opposite is often true. If employees can be flexible with their work, their often free from distraction while working.
Ask for Feedback
If you’re not constantly receiving feedback from your employees, you may not know when there’s a problem. Even if you’ve done all you can to make yourself approachable, employees still may not want to bother you with problems. If you want to keep your employees happy and productive, there’s needs to be a consistent narrative between you and them. Set up a way of receiving feedback and comments, without having to waste time on organizing meetings every week. Perhaps an online feedback form that employees can return anonymously?
That doesn’t mean you need to be handing out raises left, right and center. One of the most important things you can do for your employees is to praise them. If you have enough time, praise people individually, rather than as a team. When you reach certain goals, you can reward employees with free treats in the break room, or treating them to lunch. There are lots of different ways you can show your appreciation for a job well done, and your employees will gain extra motivation from it.
As an employer, you can’t do everything and be everywhere. So, why not select a handful of employees to be mentors? There’ll be times when new staff need to be shown the ropes or existing staff need a little extra help. Selecting a mentor does two things; it takes the job off your hands and gives an employee an excuse to excel at his role. There’s a lot of satisfaction to be gained from mentoring another person and seeing the fruits of your labors. There aren’t many better ways to show an employee how good they are at their job.
Build a Team
Being part of a team can make you feel like you’re part of a family. It can be a lonely existence if you keep to yourself and don’t make an effort to engage with others. As an employer, it’s your job to encourage your employees to build relationships. That way, your employees have other people to bounce ideas off, or even complain about the job if they need to. Taking part in team building activities is an excellent way to get employees working together. Why not consider a day out to an obstacle course or paintballing?
Help to Create Goals
Do your employees know where they could go next? It can help with productivity if your employees know they have the opportunity to climb the ladder. Help your employees to create a career path and do what you can to develop them and train them in the way they want to go. It’s much easier to get up in the morning and go to work if you have goals in mind. If there’s something to work towards, employees will do their best to get there.
Lead by Example
Everyone has their bad days, but if you’re constantly walking into the office in a bad mood, why should your employees be happy? As an employer, you have to set the example when it comes to having a positive attitude. If you want your employees to take the job seriously, you have to too. Walk into work dressed suitably, motivated for the day and with a smile on your face. There may be times when it’s hard to do, but your employees are looking to you to lead the way.
Remember the Importance of ‘Thank You’
Praising your employees for their work is important, but so is saying ‘thank you’ on a regular basis. There will usually be times when employees have to go above and beyond in their job roles. Employers who make the mistake of expecting this and not thanking employees in return are likely to lose those employees quickly. If your employees are doing work that isn’t necessarily in their job description or working overtime to meet business demand, you must always remember to say ‘thank you’. Just those two simple words tell your employees that you’re appreciative of what they’re doing and their extra work hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Employee engagement is something that shouldn’t be ignored, so do your best to keep your workforce happy and they’ll work for you.