It is widely known that happier employees work harder and stay in a company for longer. They can also be more creative, loyal, passionate and innovative, as well as working better in a team and being fantastic advocates for your brand. But how do you keep your employees happy? Here are a few crucial things to consider if you’re considering implementing a real change in your company ethos…
A pleasant working environment
Let’s start with the basics. Your employees need a comfortable, healthy and pleasant environment to work in. Fresh air, natural light, attractive décor and perhaps a little greenery too will ensure they look forward to coming into work each morning, rather than dreading it. Other important elements include:
• Refreshments, including fresh drinking water, healthy snacks and cooking facilities
• Breakout spaces, staff rooms and comfortable areas for relaxation and socialising
• Comfortable, ergonomic office furniture
• An ordered, organised working space that they can personalise
Incentives and rewards
Believe it or not, employees aren’t always just motivated by money. You can offer top salaries and still suffer poor staff turnover rates, simply because the culture and working environment of your business doesn’t offer enough to tempt staff to stay. This is why organisations implement employee incentive programs and corporate rewards
schemes, to gear the whole workforce towards achieving its goals and to create a more satisfying, fulfilling working environment. These schemes can encompass a wide range of incentives and perks, some tailored to specific goals (i.e. sales targets) while others ensure the company is an attractive one to work for generally.
Transparency and respect
Employees that feel trusted, valued and listened to are more likely to be happy in the company and stay for longer. Conversely, those that feel that management make decisions without their input and who aren’t given freedom and trust are more likely to leave for pastures new. You need to implement a new ethos in your workplace, one that respects employees as adults and individuals – all of whom can have a say in how the company is run. Make sure to keep staff informed of any changes and explain the rationale behind them, especially if a decision is likely to be unpopular. Even better, get input and thoughts from staff before making changes that will affect them, and use this feedback to shape the decision you make.
Some of the companies with the best staff retention rates are those that value the work-life balance just as much as their employees do. With this in mind, keep a careful eye on working hours and overtime to ensure an unhealthy culture doesn’t develop. You can also offer perks such as flexible or home working, and make it easier and more affordable for parents to access childcare. Start a sports and leisure scheme for staff, and plan lots of outdoor team-building activities, staff parties and other non-work-related events. These are the things that strengthen bonds within a company and promote a healthy balance between work and everything else.