When it comes to the current uncertain economic landscape one thing which is vital for any business is ensuring your employees are happy.
Loyal and engaged employees work for the company and profits tend to be higher. Conversely, if employees are unhappy or feel undervalued, they are unmotivated and profits can suffer. Studies also show that an unhappy workforce has higher absence times, perform worse and resist change.
However, it’s not as easy as just saying “let’s make sure we have a happy workforce then”. How do you go about ensuring your employees feel valued, engaged and motivated? Fortunately, there are some tried and tested methods which give your business an advantage.
Here’s our top three tips to keeping your employees happy.
1 – Be a good employer
Set out your expectations for all employees clearly, including letting them know what needs doing, when it is to be done by and what happens once it’s done. This is where clear leadership skills are invaluable, something which can be developed by using outside help from professional business coaches.
Use peer-to-peer training, create a culture of coaching, establish rules, regulations, policies and procedures by involving staff regularly to create them. A handbook or staff manual in which your workforce has a real input in developing can be an easy way of doing this.
Be consistent with all employees. Don’t let managers get away with things your junior workers can’t, like knocking off early or coming in late on a regular basis. It can lead to a build-up in resentment and a feeling of unfairness.
The more issues and expectations you establish from the off, the fewer problems will later arise, all resulting in a happy and engaged workforce actively promoting and working for your business.
2 – Make sure your employees feel valued
Offer praise and encouragement when appropriate and where necessary. Thank employees for doing a good job and let them know their work is valued by yourself and your business.
If something goes wrong or a mistake is made, don’t “punish” the person. Rather explain what happened, make sure they understand the right procedure and offer extra training and encouragement if needed.
As an employer, you are uniquely placed to make a difference to your staff’s lives, even if it’s just a friendly smile, or asking how their family are doing. Make sure your HR team is on top of any issues which might be going on and offer help, support and advice when necessary.
3 – Involve your employees
Create a comprehensive employee manual which includes procedures for handling every imaginable scenario including family emergencies. Ask your staff for their ideas on what should be included so they can feel a sense of ownership. Hold regular meetings where staff can freely express their opinions and concerns as well as their ideas and suggestions. You don’t know what improvement benefits might come out of these sessions.
Consider hosting company events where they can bring their family or friends along such as picnics, workshops, company trips etc. Create a sense of “family” at work and your staff will feel more involved.
When workers feel that they are a dynamic and essential part of the team, they are more productive and willing to go the extra mile for their colleagues and customers.
Give praise openly, set goals appropriately and take your employees’ needs seriously. By respecting and listening to your staff, you’ll give them the motivational push they need to stay loyal and committed to the company’s goals. And when you have a happy and productive workforce that is eager to contribute, your company can weather any economic storm.
Here at Sales Improvement Services we can help you develop all these best practices within your business through the use of our professional coaches.
Using a culture of coaching gives them a complete package which allows for career progression, diversity of responsibilities and allows a work/life balance.
Here’s just a few of the ways:
Mentoring – using a mentoring programme alongside a goal-orientated feedback system allows your employees access to a structured mechanism for developing strong relationships within the business. With a mentoring programme you can pair up someone more experienced with a more junior employee in the same area and have them work to develop specific competencies, provide performance feedback and design an individual career development plan.
Use communication – no matter how big your business, communication is central to retaining staff. Using an upward flowing information process, like a staff council or advisory group which solicits and acts on employee suggestions is just one method. A professional coach can help you draw up the correct format for your company.
Recruit from within – use a professional coach to help identify existing employees who have the ability to move up within your company’s ranks. They will be able to pick up on key skills like leadership qualities, empathy and identify employees who are already going that extra mile.
Coaching begins by setting expectations. Let your team know exactly what you want them to accomplish, and articulate these goals as clearly as possible and your business will be able to weather any uncertain economic climate.
If you’d like to find out how a professional business coach could help your organisation, why not take a look at how we supported Edge Gain, a cutting edge technology training provider, in developing a five-year plan for business growth.