You can increase employees commitment and loyalty
As we weave, bob and meander through the intricate and tangled web that is business, one of the biggest challenges we face as business owners and managers, and one which often eludes us, is how to maintain a happy and engaged workforce.
One of the most fascinating and sometimes frustrating aspects of business is its ability to constantly evolves in line with shifts in the cultural, economic and political and infrastructure. Similarly, employees hold the same propensity to change, as their personal and professional circumstances adapt and/or shift to accommodate what they want, need or would like from their professional life.
From a business perspective, with unemployment levels at their lowest since 2006, and with employee engagement presenting somewhat of a conundrum for businesses, this potentially dangerous cocktail could lead to dissatisfied employees looking for a new role and new company that they feel better suits their criteria. In light of this, it is crucial that employers place an emphasis on retaining talent by incorporating small changes to their workplace culture, which make employees feel valued, motivated and a real asset to the business.
Constructing a clear career path
On the whole, employees are generally attracted to an organisation which presents an opportunity for them to place their mark on the business, whilst continuing to learn and develop in line with the growth of the company.
From day one of employment, employees look to create a connection to their role and the company by finding ways to adapt and improve their role within the business. An employee needs to see that there is room for growth and that as an employer, you want to see them succeed beyond the initial parameters of their job specification.
With this in mind, employers should work in collaboration with their employees to build a career plan which sets out goals and objectives both the employer and they would like to achieve. Beyond regular performance appraisals, managers should look to hold regular catch-ups with their employees to determine how they are finding their role, where they are excelling and where they may need additional training, whilst also ensuring that the role they are doing coincides with where they see their career heading. This is a mutually beneficial process, which can build a positive working relationship between the employer and the employee.
Thinking about their needs
Whilst we like to think that personal matters don’t enter the workplace, our personal and professional lives often intertwine. As a result, it is important to adopt a flexible approach to managing your workforce, which may include looking at how to accommodate employees’ needs with regards to working patterns, annual leave and as mentioned above their training and development.
Flexibility allows for both employers and employees to reach agreements on arrangements which suit both parties. Some businesses require a much greater degree of flexibility from employees and employers, but that flexibility ensures that work-life balance remains in check and the employment relationship prospers. Taking employees’ needs into consideration may seem like an afterthought, but taking the time to do so, will demonstrate that you are making an effort to fully integrate them into the organisation and see them as a valued member of the team.
Consistent and clear communication
I have bared witness on many occasions, where a lack of communication within the workplace has resulted in the dissolution of working relationships, workplace productivity and the levels of happiness/wellbeing within the business.
It sounds so simple, yet many workplaces neglect this vital component, in favour of just getting on with the daily rituals. This is where many employers lose important assets to their company. Without clear communication, how can employees understand what is expected of them, how react to changes within their departments and/or roles, and what policies they should be following as part of their job.
Communication also provides an opportunity for employees to air any grievances they have within their role or within other areas of the workplace including co-worker disputes. Often, such grievances can go unresolved or escalate to a potentially damaging problem. However, facilitating communication in the workplace is a great way to avoid misunderstandings from occurring and will go a long way to ensuring your employees are happy at work.
Encourage team bonding
Employers and employees alike spend a significant amount of their adult life in work, which means that we are naturally inclined to build relationships with those with work alongside. Despite this, due to the busy nature of the modern working environment, these relationships are often neglected, and as a result workplace morale generally suffers.
Providing opportunities for colleagues to build closer bonds with each other will help them develop a strong, collaborative network, which can act as a supportive structure to guide them through any challenges or obstacles they may face. Furthermore, these bonds can encourage the development of a more positive work environment, which can enhance productivity and the general wellbeing within the company, benefiting both the business and the employees.
Team bonding should take place outside of working hours, to allow employees to get to know each other within a more informal setting. This can range from social drinks and quiz nights to company weekends away or encouraging active involvement with a charity in your local community.