As a business owner, it is easy to see why happy employees make for good workers. If you feel like your employees could be happier, there are some easy ways to improve this. A low turnover is a good thing for a company and can help you to attract dedicated staff who are willing to work for you for quite some time. Here are some easy ways you can improve your employee satisfaction.
Take Their Ideas on Board
When you are getting ready to launch a new project, you will inevitably have to undertake some form of brainstorming session. Limiting this to just you and other senior members of staff is unlikely to be conducive and might create a divide between staff members.
If possible, try to encourage brainstorming with everyone, or at least with the entire team who will be handling the project. The more people you can find to contribute to the project, the more ideas you will have floating around. You could end up with an entirely new approach to the project and a fresh way of thinking. It will also indicate to those who might be a little afraid of speaking up that you are willing to take on board thoughts from everyone. An office which is truly collaborative will be able to approach and solve issues much more easily than one which only relies on a few people for solutions.
Put Together Some Employee Benefits
If employees feel like they are well cared for, they are going to come to work in a much better mood. One of the best things you can do is put together a set of employee benefits. Through an employee benefits software from Zest, you can make an interactive system which employees can use to monitor their benefits. Zest has put together a truly flexible package so you can include any benefits, even bonuses, to be laid out to the employee in a way which they can understand perfectly.
Employee benefits really help to motivate your workers. With the right set of packages, they will feel like a valued member of the team. Little motivation tasks like this are an effective way of targeting multiple members of your staff. Schemes like commission are good but they can result in some people actually getting demotivated if they are not performing well. Offering a comprehensive list of benefits lets your staff know that they are being looked after no matter what.
Keep the Door Open
One of the most important things you can do as a manager is to be approachable and ready to listen to concerns. Ideally, you want to foster an "open door" policy so your staff will know that they can go to you whenever they have an issue.
Whether it is a problem within work or something bothering them at home, they should be able to go to you and talk about it if it will affect their ability to do their job. If they know that their working environment is one which is welcoming, open, and accepting, they will feel much more at home. Feeling comfortable in the workplace is a great motivator.
As an employer, the wellbeing of your staff should be high on your agenda. With a grumpy staff, you are not going to see much progression from the business. However, if you have a staff which is well-cared for, you will often find that they will go above and beyond to keep the business going. Think you could care for your staff better? Start making plans to increase employee satisfaction today.
"Who are you meeting for lunch this week?"
Without fail, my former boss would ask me this question in every weekly status we had. And I dreaded the question. Because my answer was generally a stammering "Umm… No One." Occasionally I could remember what I actually had for lunch. And almost always it was sitting in my windowless cube eating a soggy sad sandwich.
I didn't understand why "who I had lunch with this week" was worthy of being a topic on our weekly status. After all, I was only 6 months into this new job. I was still figuring out how to pull data from Nielsen. I was still figuring out how to write an innovation brief. I was still trying to figure out where the bathrooms were in this maze of a building.
And despite knowing this question would come up in every weekly status, I was reluctant to change my behavior. I didn't see the value in the question. I didn't see the importance of it in my career. I didn't understand why I had to have lunch with anyone.
Because I hated the idea of having to network, to meet people, to put myself out there. Because networking was something slimy and strange and weird and scary. It made my stomach hurt, my throat go dry. And I could feel a faint headache coming on.
Even Oxford's definition of networking only reaffirmed my fears of what networking looked like: the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.
Because please don't ask me to walk into a room where I don't know anyone. And stand in the corner sipping a bad glass of Chardonnay. Please don't ask me to slide my business card out and not so subtly shove it in your face. And ask you to do something for me. Please don't ask me to network. Because I hate networking.
And I used to hate networking (okay, maybe hate is too strong.) I still really dislike the term. "Networking" seemed about getting something from someone. Or someone getting something from you. A favor, a job, a referral. "Networking" seemed very transactional. And someone shoving a business card at you (which happened to me recently at event) only solidified by feelings.
And over the years, I came to really understand that networking wasn't about "the action or process of interacting with others." It was about building authentic connections. It was about meeting people who were different than you. It was about expanding my community. And creating new communities. It was tapping into more and more communities I could belong to.
And as I slowly started to change my view on networking- I mean building authentic connections- I started to realize my communities were more inclusive than I thought. My best friends from middle school. Former bosses. College Alumni I met after we had graduated. Colleagues from past companies. Vendors and agency partners I had once worked with. Colleagues I had once managed. As my family expanded, my husband, my two sister-in laws and my brother in-law. A whole host of fabulous cousin-in-laws. My baby brother as his career skyrocketed. And fellow parents in my kids' school.
I still hate networking. And I love building connections. And helping to build connections and be a bridge for other people.
Now, when I go to a large event, I try to go with a friend. We have a drink at the bar and then part ways to try and make new friends. If we don't authentically connect with other people, and we have made the effort, we always have each other to back to.
Now, I try to meet one new person a week at my company or in my broader community, or reconnect with someone I miss seeing. (This doesn't always have to be in person, can be text, Zoom or Facetime.) And if you can't commit to doing that, that you should seriously relook at your schedule. I thank my former boss for that constant reminder.
Now, I joined Luminary, a women's collaboration hub in NYC, which has been life changing for me. I am also on the advisory board. It's all about women supporting and lifting each other up- to get more money, get that next big promotion, or start their own venture. It's a built-in community of unwavering support.
Now, I am working on expanding my community of moms. Not too long ago, I worked up the nerve to ask a fellow mom in my daughter's class if she wanted to get together. She thought I meant a playdate. I meant drinks. And after one late night out drinking, I have bonded with a whole new set of badass women.
And all of these communities. I am there for my communities. And they are all there for me. Referral for a job at my company. Coaching on how to survive a bad boss. Advice on how to ask for more money. Supporting each other as we care for aging parents. Candid feedback on why they didn't get that promotion. Commiserating over a cocktail on which working parent had the worst week ever.
So please don't ask me to network. Because I hate it. And well actually I don't have a business card to give you. I haven't printed one in four years.