Guest Blog from Kathleen McLeary – HR Manager, Blue Logic (www.bluelogic.co.uk)
In business, time and budgets are often tight, and focusing on employee satisfaction gets pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. But maintaining a happy, motivated and loyal workforce is key to running a successful business.
Securing top talent is hard enough, but keeping them on board is the real challenge. It is important to realise that your employees are just as important as your customers. If you fail to provide job satisfaction, you will struggle to retain your ‘A’ players.
Below are five tips that will help keep your team happy and satisfied:
Ensure all staff have personal development plans in place. Encourage your employees to push themselves professionally and personally. We get our team to think about one, three and five year goals and help them achieve them over time. Managers should chat through these, amongst other issues in a monthly catch up meeting.
You want to challenge your employees to push themselves, whether that be assisting them with getting a new qualification, hitting that internal target or taking that next step up the career ladder, whilst guiding them through the process.
Everyone, at all levels, needs training. New technologies, procedures and products mean you constantly need your staff to adapt to change. Whether you train on-site or invest in an external company, employees will really benefit from regular training programs. Showing staff you are willing to invest in their career will make them feel valued and important to your business, too.
We use the help of a behavioural analyst to properly understand our staff. A quick online assessment allows us to learn about an individual on a deeper level. This means we know which methods of communication, leadership and development will work best for them.
Never underestimate the value of conversation. Ensuring your senior management team engages with junior staff will help them feel valued and cared for, creating a friendly and sociable culture for your organisation.
We use a business social networking service, Yammer. Here you can engage in conversations, post interesting news and praise staff members for their achievements. You can then ‘like’ and comment on posts; often our Managing Director will comment and congratulate the team on accomplishments, showing them he has time for them and is interested in their successes.
We also carry out monthly employee engagement surveys that helps us quantify the positives and negatives within the work environment. It also provides key analysis to help us make immediate changes and implement a strategy about where we as an employer want to be.
Additionally, having opportunities where the team can step away from their desk to take a breather helps; if your budget allows, invest in a ping pong or football table, for example. A bit of healthy competition amongst the workforce allows people to bond with others they might not have spoken to previously.
- Be flexible
Offering flexibility to your employees is something they will really appreciate. Allow them to work from home occasionally, let them leave for their child’s sports day, offer flexi hours; these options will make life easier for your team. Not all companies do this, so if you are offering more than your rivals, your employees are likely to remain loyal.
The rise in cloud computing allows business’ to be flexible – technology means people can communicate with their colleagues no matter where they are. Employeebenefits.co.uk, reports ‘More than half (58%) of employee respondents cite flexible-working hours as the benefit they value as the most important’. source This shows offering flexibility is an important factor in keeping the modern workforce satisfied.
Mental health should not be a taboo subject in the workplace. You need an open-door policy, coming from the top level down. Encourage your employees to be open and honest and to be comfortable speaking with their line managers. Train your managers to pick up on signs of struggles, so they can give them the support they need.
Depression, anxiety and bipolar are conditions that people are dealing with on a daily basis.
If possible, team up with a psychotherapist who can offer personal therapy or look at 24-hour telephone counselling services you can offer to all employees.Free fruit, discounted gym memberships and on-site amenities should also inspire your workforce to live a heathier, happier lifestyle.
Introducing these pointers shouldn’t be a burden. Invest in your employees and they will pay you back with loyalty and commitment.