A great group of employees is an invaluable resource to any company, but a drop in morale can hurt your business at the best of times.
Fortunately, there are any number of things you can do to make your employees feel valued and happy in their role, without taking up too much time or breaking the bank. Take a look.
Build great relationships
There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that the reason people often leave their jobs isn’t because of the workload or the company, but rather due to poor management or a lack of engagement with their boss or superior.
People skills are crucial to the success of companies in every industry, so make a point of opening your door to any staff members with a problem, a question, or a point to make.
Also, make an effort to learn more about each of your employees on a personal level – you might just discover hidden skills that could take your output to the next level.
Share the big picture
In many ways, being part of a company is a great thing, but it can also make individual staff members feel as though their efforts are going unrecognized. If confidentiality permits, share with your employees the future direction of the company and the contributions they each make towards that end goal.
Not only will it create for them a sense of unity amongst the team, but it will also allow them to envisage other avenues to be explored, which could use their particular skill sets. A team of people working together has the ability to hit targets much faster than individuals with their own agendas.
Everyone appreciates positive reinforcement, so when you see employees doing something particularly well or making improvements, make sure they know it hasn’t gone unnoticed. Some employees will be naturally skilled at certain aspects of their job, while others may take longer to learn, but by encouraging any and all signs of growth, you can create a culture of positivity and motivation.
Even when employees are feeling happy in their position, you should never rule out the possibility of progress and reward, for example, in the form of a promotion. Having opportunities to grow will see your most industrious employees sticking around for the long haul, and your company doing better as a result.
Nothing boosts morale quite like free food or beverages. On the most basic level, we all need to eat and drink, and that extra energy always comes in handy when the workload is piling up.
If you can afford to provide the occasional staff meal, organise birthdays (with cake, of course) or finance a fancy new coffeemaker for the office kitchen (click here for more information), it will all add up to a more satisfied crew, which means more energetic discussions and debates in the conference room.
Offices are places of social interaction as well as business, so give your employees ample opportunity to work together and get to know others within the company. After-work outings are a great way to help your staff bond and form friendships, which will also be hugely important when it comes time to work together on new projects.
Not only will they know more about each other in a personal and business sense, but they’ll also feel more comfortable communicating openly and working towards the best possible outcome.
Ask for input
When you want your employees to feel more involved in the company, all you need to do is ask. Getting their opinions on current projects, roadblocks, or future opportunities will make them feel engaged, confirming their skills and expertise are valued, and may also generate a host of brand new ideas.
This could also open up new opportunities for autonomy and internal leadership, especially where new projects arise, and by encouraging your employees to take ownership of a new initiative, you’ll be giving them something to be proud of. With a new-found sense of pride in the work, you’re practically guaranteed to get better results for the company.
The work-life balance has become more than just a buzz term, with more employees seeking work arrangements that will fit around the other important fixtures in their lives. You may have some staff members who are parents, while others are caring for a sick parent themselves – the bottom line is each of your staff members has relationships that require time and nurturing.
Try to be understanding for those who need to adapt their working hours, and encourage them to take breaks when they are needed; you might even go as far as to instate an inter-office policy for contact hours and ruling out business talk during weekends or holidays. Whatever changes you make will go a long way towards making your employees feel happier, at work, and at home.
Keeping your employees happy will serve you well in every sense, and it doesn’t have to require a significant investment of time or money. Think of it as capitalizing on your company’s most valuable resource, and enjoy the benefits that will come from bringing out the best in your people.