This article is contributed by Eden Jose.
One of the biggest problems facing businesses is keeping the right balance between keeping their staff happy, and being seen as a soft touch. While as a manager or business owner it is vital that your staff respect you and are productive every day, it is also important that they enjoy working for you and aren’t as likely to be lured away by your competitors. Whether you employ minimum wage workers or top level sales executives, it is still better to keep the staff you have invested in hiring and training than replace them, and attrition is a problem in just about every industry there is.
It can be hard for managers and CEOs to actually know if their staff are happy or not, and if you have a lot of people working for you then it can be even more difficult to get a sense of whether your staff love you or spend every evening whining about you to their partners!
Here are some tips for gauging what your staff really thinks, and improving their working experience if you find there is a problem.
Do Some Detective Work
Your staff will probably never come out and say ‘you are a horrible boss’, or ‘this company is terrible to work for’ to you, but with a little detective work online you may be able to get an idea of how they represent how they feel about their jobs. Try looking at people who work for your company on Twitter, and if you see a lot of stuff where they are complaining about their day or dreading Monday, even if it is quite vague, then this hints at some unhappiness.
Everyone moans about work to some degree, because even if you work for the nicest people in the world, working is still not the most fun thing you could be doing, but if you see trends where many of your employees seem disgruntled it may be a good idea to address the issue. Don’t stalk them, but take stock of what your people are saying about your business from time to time.
Incentivize and Recognize
Staff members tend to be more motivated and likely to stay when they feel there are actual benefits for them when they work hard. This doesn’t necessarily just mean corporate awards and gifts, though these can be great ways to recognize good performance and encourage people to try harder, but can also be things that make their working lives easier. Offering things like home working, an early finish on a Friday or a day when people can dress casually tends to make people feel more valued because these things give them a tangible benefit.
While gifts and ’employee of the month’ type schemes are all well and good, things that make life easier on a daily basis for everybody you hire have the most powerful effect in terms of staff loyalty. It is good to find a balance where you can single out and really recognize the best achievers, but where everyone else also feels like their contribution is being rewarded by good, fair treatment in their working environment.
Eden Jose is part of the team at Crystal plus, leading suppliers of corporate awards and gifts. He is an ardent reader and enjoys writing about business and finance.
- applause image courtesy of photostock from freedigitalimage.net
- team meeting image courtesy of Javier Ignacio Acuña Ditzel
- home office image courtesy of Shane Adams