This is a contributor’s blogpost …
In the business world, your employees are your most valuable asset. They possess the skills, the culture, and the talent to create business growth. Without them, it simply can’t happen. But, at the same time, some employers have developed a different mindset when it comes to employees: Employees are dispensable and can be easily replaced, or so they think. This approach is common in the manufacture sectors and large industries, where employees are often only a number. For small and medium-sized enterprises, it’s the kind of human resource management that can permanently damage your business. There is no other way to say it: if you don’t care for your staff, they don’t care about your company. In other words, employers who value their employees tend to experience positive productivity and engagement. This leaves only one question. Namely, how do you care for your employees?
Photo courtesy of RawPixel via Pexels
#1 When was their last training?
You may sit in the manager’s chair, but your employees are the ones running the business, using their skills and experience to keep it ticking day after day. Knowing that can make one feel humble, at first. But it means that you need to keep track of your staff’s skills. When was the last time you sent them on a training course? Some companies plan regular training programs for their employees, ensuring that everyone gets to learn new skills throughout the year. While that’s a brilliant idea, it doesn’t also work well in practice. For a start, you can’t plan a training marathon for your staff, expecting them to digest a variety of skills and new methods over a few days. It’s not only incredibly dull, but it’s also impossible to apply to their everyday work. Keep the training to small, regular, digestible bites that are applicable and relevant to their tasks.
#2 Make it easier for them to work
Dirty office, hard chairs and lack of a work/life balance. These are the most common complaints that people have about their offices. Your employees need to feel that it’s easy to work for the company. They already have enough to do with their daily tasks. Keeping the office tidy, safe and comfortable may not seem like much but it can make a significant difference, especially when it comes to sick leaves. Poorly maintained offices are stressful places that can carry germs and weaken the immune system, as health and safety consultants are quick to explain. The fewer unhealthy obstacles you put on their way, the more productive employees can be.
#3 Do you value their time?
“Can I borrow your brain for a minute?”
It’s a common question in the workplace. In fact, it’s so common that interruptions like this can now cost your staff up to 6 hours of daily productivity. Indeed, according to several studies, people spend on average 11 minutes on a project before they are interrupted. After the interruption, it can take up to 25 minutes to get back to the initial project. More importantly, frequent interruptions can cause health issues, related to stress and exhaustion. That goes without mentioning the loss of quality caused by the interruptions. In short, if you’ve let a policy of interruptions settle in your company, it’s now time to stop it and show your staff that their time is valuable.
#4 Equal treatment for everyone
Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, your employees may not receive the same treatment in the office. It can happen easily. Imagine that a new employee starts on a team where everyone knows each other very well. At lunch time, the team goes for lunch together, like they always do, except that they leave the new member of the team behind. While this is not meant to be an act of discrimination, it can be upsetting and isolating for the new employee. In some cases, an employee can even feel bullied by another member of the team, especially as most people don’t realize when they adopt an abusive behavior. Emotional abuse seems invisible, but it can leave serious damages. Consequently, it’s important that you keep your eyes open for any suspicious behavior and that you address it before it drives an employee to resign.
Photo courtesy of RawPixel via Pexels
#5 Are you approachable?
As a manager, you need to be one of the team too. It’s important that employees can approach you easily and without fear. For a start, you need to make it clear to your staff that they can talk to you. What does this mean in practice? Here’s a simple example: If you keep the door of your office shut, it’s a sign that you don’t want to be interrupted. But if the door is shut all the time, it’s an indication for your staff that you don’t want to hear anything from them. Practice keeping the door open whenever possible. As a leader, it’s essential to be able to listen to what your team has to say and to react accordingly. Some employees might have bad news – such as a client is canceling their services, for instance – but you need to make it a priority to control your reactions. Being approachable means that people can talk to you without being worried about a future punishment.
#6 What are the workplace facilities?
What are the perks of working for your company? Naturally, the coffee machine and the trendy tech matter. But you need to be realistic. People don’t stay with a company because they can get good coffee. They do because the company offers the right kind of perks for their lifestyle. There’s a growing trend in the business world, and that is remote work. Your staff wants to maintain a family life outside of work. Remote work enables them to be there for their kids throughout the day, without worrying about getting late to work. Another important perk that is making a strong appearance is the possibility to support people’s hobbies and out-of-work life, with discounts to fitness gyms or entertainment venues, for example. Why does it matter? Because it sends the right message about your company. It shows that you want your employees to keep a healthy work/life balance.
Caring for your employees is about making their work and social life easier as much as you can. Building a successful business starts with keeping your employees satisfied and healthy. It’s a human-centric approach, and it’s going to revolutionize the traditional business world, a company at a time. Make sure to follow the trend and put your employees first.