Tips for Keeping Employees Invested in Their Jobs and Your Company
Most people say they aren’t happy at work. In fact, now there’s a number to quantify that. According to Gallup’s “State of the Global Workplace” survey, 85% of employees aren’t happy at work. As a manager and mentor to employees, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks to create a productive, happy workforce. I hope they help you keep your own employees out of the unsatisfied majority.
Keep Employees Invested by Investing in Them
Health, dental and vision insurance affect not only your employees but their families. Give your employees decent benefits and they will give you more at work. Though they cost a bit more, several other programs help you build loyalty, such as:
- Paid sick/vacation time
- Tuition assistance
- Flex-time and/or remote work opportunities
Everyone loves free stuff, so I sprang for freebies that kept employees in the office and fueled their brains, such as:
- Free Keurig coffee
- Healthy snacks in the break room
- Free lunch or dinner during month-end closing or other crunch periods
The bottom line is, the more you invest in your employees, the happier they’ll be and the more productive your workplace will be.
Integrate New Hires Quickly
Over the years, I have heard horror stories by newly employed friends left alone in an empty cubicle, waiting days or weeks for the appropriate equipment, system access and even acknowledgment from their boss or other team members. Maybe this type of treatment accounts for the fact that over half of all voluntary terminations occur within the first year. One of the main reasons cited is lack of engagement.
Getting new employees comfortable with their responsibilities and including them in team meetings helps them feel included and gives them a sense of purpose. Here are some tips to help you integrate your next new hire quickly:
- Provide a clear schedule and agenda for the first few days to help them feel productive
- Give new hires a run-down of how you manage and what you expect from them
- Let them know how their role contributes to the business
- Encourage questions and ask their opinion on various topics
- Provide opportunities to interact with coworkers
- Invite them to lunch
Create Work/Life Balance
If you’ve created your business from scratch, you may still be “on” 24-hours a day. However, the people you hire are much more likely to stay if your business keeps predictable business hours. Some industries work around shifts that require nights and weekends. However, balance is possible for any company that’s properly staffed and well-managed. Be that business.
Your employees are the public face of your company, so it’s to your benefit to make sure they are getting enough time with their families and to sleep. Burnt out workers move on to greener pastures. On the other hand, if your flexible with time off and acknowledge they have priorities outside of work, you’re likely to get more out of employees while they’re in the office, driving around clients, or on the retail sales floor.
This is a sticky point with a lot of business owners, especially small to midsize businesses. Nearly 90% of working Americans are stressed about their bills. Business owners want to maximize their bottom line. Minimum wage workers make about $20,000 a year, which barely pays the bills. If you want your employees to concentrate on your company’s goals, pay them enough so that they don’t have to get second jobs to support their families.
To stay competitive without giving away the farm, check out Glassdoor and other websites for accurate pay ranges based on industry, role, and location.
Some people may be content to stay in the same job for the same pay year after year. However, I have found that most employees want to know what their chances of advancement are. It’s easy to create a career path in the restaurant and retail industries. Employees who work hard move from the stockroom to the retail floor to assistant manager positions, or from the dish room to the hostess station to the restaurant manager’s office. You may have to be creative structuring positions in an office environment with low turnover and a flat organization chart, but it can be done. Give people something to work toward, and they’ll stay long enough to achieve it.
What kind of culture do you think employees are attracted to? According to Deloitte, culture is more important than leaders ever realized. People want to go to a workplace where they are accepted and like their coworkers. A clear culture is nurtured in every aspect of the business, from the people you hire to the people you keep and in the example set by your leaders.
There is a saying, “Your vibe attracts a like tribe.” This is true. Acknowledge people’s ideas, good or bad. Say, “Thank you!” and “Good morning.” and solicit feedback from all levels of the organization — because you need everyone to run a successful enterprise.