2016 has been a hard year for a bunch of people. It’s likely that your staff were negatively affected by the many impacts of this year in one way or another.
And that’s not ok. If your employees are unhappy at work, not only is it going to affect productivity, but they are going to be sad. As a leader, you might want to do more to ensure your employees are ok, and not just ok to work.
Happy employees ensure happy profits, according to financial experts Forbes and they are right! Writing for the website, Meghan Biro had this to say: ‘I can walk into a company and tell within seconds whether or not its employees are well treated and happy on a basic level. The level of employee engagement, warmth and sense of a shared purpose is palpable. It’s something I simply feel after being in the business of talent management for several years. And while my conclusion may be subjective, there’s plenty of hard evidence that shows that happy employees lead directly to better performance and higher profits. Last year revenues increased by an average of 22.2 percent for the 2014 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these same companies added new employees at rate that was five times higher than the national average.’
If someone can walk into a workplace and instantly assess the happiness of your employees, you might be blind if you’re struggling after working with them for so long. That being said, fresh eyes on a situation can uncover hidden issues, but you should be the person to solve these issues. It’s your job!
Not only that, but happy employees are going to do great things for your workplace. Professor Andrew Oswald found that ‘companies that invest in employee support and satisfaction tend to succeed in generating happier workers. At Google, employee satisfaction rose 37% as a result of those initiatives—suggesting that financial incentives aren’t enough to make for highly productive employees.’
If things aren’t going well, it can be far too easy to make a bad, and drastic decision. It might not be time to react in a silly manner, but more a time to refocus and get ready to fight back in the coming year. 2017 is coming up and if 2016 has been a bad year for business, it’s time to change that with the new year. There are many ways you can fire up your employees and even though some changes may be drastic, it’s better than not making changes at all!
For starters, are you paying your staff fairly? People can access paygrades through sites like Glassdoor and sooner or later might wise up to you if you’re being tight with the purse-strings. Pay people what they are worth or they will move on. While many will love their job, they are their for the cash. Make sure you are compensating fairly or you’re going to have problems on your hands. Problems you could have solved a long time ago. Paying people what they are worth isn’t something you should avoid. As proven above though, it’s not always about the cash.
Training your staff is something you should also be doing. And no, not just for the good of your company. Talk to your team about where they want to go and personalise their development. It’s all about being relevant as well – If you have a staff member who wants to improve their skills in marketing, send them on marketing training and not something like a database management course. Doing the wrong thing in regards to development is a great way to bore your staff and waste money.
If your business is doing well, make sure to pay some dividends onto the staff who got your business there in the first place. If you reward your staff with bonuses when the good times are around, they will aim to keep your business in the black and doing well. Again, don’t be stingy as the cost can be huge. On the opposite side of the coin, if your business isn’t doing well, don’t ignore the advice of your staff. In times of crisis, the entire workforce should be the leadership team.
Make your business a fun place to work. Start off by sacking off the pointless morale boosting activites. Simply encourage your staff to be themselves at work. Laughter and fun are the best stress busters of all time and rarely require your own effort. Don’t stamp down with authority when it isn’t needed.
There should also be places for your staff to decompress. Consider a workplace gym, which can help your staff let off steam, or even redevelop a workplace canteen stocked with food suggestions from your employees. All these little methods can help in the long term.
Customized employment perks might do wonders for your team in the future. For example, if you can’t afford to build an on-site gym, why don’t you try and offer gym memberships for your employees? An easy perk is to offer a flexible working environment and thanks to Dropbox and other cloud storage solutions, your employees can pretty much work from anywhere they have a computer and an internet connection.
Firing up your staff and workforce all falls onto your shoulders. Drilling and boosting your employees doesn’t just involve paying them well and shoving perks into their faces, but it involves you being the best leader and boss that you can be. You are in that role for a reason and it’s a role that requires many faces. One day you can be a trainer, the next you might have to pretend to be a best friend and sometimes, for younger staff you might have to act as a parent. Be there, at all times, for your employees and don’t just make sure you’re getting the most out of them , make sure they are getting the most out of working for you! Work hard and well for them and surely they will notice it and repay you. It’s about moving in one direction as a united team and not leaving anyone behind.