Studies have shown that if employees feel committed to the company they work for, they are more likely to forge deeper and more lasting relationships with the customers they serve.
This, in turn, contributes to a productive and profitable organisation. It stands to reason that happy people are more likely to represent their organisation positively to their customer base, generating more sales, retention and renewals.
In addition, estimates say that it costs more than £30k, on average, to replace a member of staff. That’s a lot of money you could save if you worked a bit harder not to lose them in the first place.
Keeping your workforce happy doesn’t always boil down to raising salaries, although of course remuneration is one factor. There are many other ways as an employer you can cement that relationship with your employees.
1. Lead by example. If you don’t do it, you can’t expect them to. Your staff look to you to demonstrate best practice, both in the way you conduct business and the way you conduct yourself. So make sure you operate in a way that they can learn from, aspire to and respect.
2. Identify training needs and support employees in their development. Make sure you understand the ambitions of those working for you and help them identify a clear career and training pathway to achieve those goals.
3. Value the individual and not just the team. If someone’s made an outstanding effort, then be sure to appreciate them one-to-one to make them feel recognised and valued. Regular reward schemes, such as “Employee of the Month”, are simple and hugely effective. Small stuff adds up.
4. Find out what matters most to your staff. They may be motivated by something simple that you can easily address, such as improvements to their workspace to create a more positive working environment or team drinks on a Friday night. So, ask them.
5. Communicate frequently and openly with your staff. Listen to their needs and talk to them. And keep talking—constantly ask for feedback and for ways to improve, both externally and internally. Often employees come up with the best ideas for change.
6. Make sure they are part of the big picture. It’s hard to be engaged and motivated when you feel like you’re a cog in a wheel and you don’t understand what the wheel’s doing. Make sure your employees get the company’s goals; what it does, why it does it, where it’s heading and how it wants to get there. And make sure they understand how their contribution affects the performance of the whole company, so they know they are valued and respected, whatever their role.
7. Demonstrate real commitment to their well-being; don’t just pay lip service to it. Offer a company-wide EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) to help them through tougher times; it costs pennies and is proven to reduce absenteeism and improve staff retention.
We’ve covered some more specific areas of employee well-being in this issue of “In the Loop” – for example, getting your sickness policy right in the wake of the recent flu outbreak.
We also look at how you can support your employees during the commuting crisis to try to make their lives just a bit easier when it’s a battle to get into work.