While it’s still early in the year, it’s a great time for business owners to re-evaluate their business and look for new ways to develop it further. Some common solutions include modernizing décor, adding products or services, or opening a new location — which are all viable options. However, there is an internal solution for improving a business that is often overlooked.
Did you know that happy workers are 20 percent more productive than unhappy ones? And since productivity is a key driver in companywide success, boosting each of your employees’ efficiency can make a major impact. Even more than that, a happy employee is going to treat every customer better, passing along the positive vibes. This can be priceless.
But how can owners and managers help their employees be happier? Keep reading as we discuss the demands of modern-day workers and recommend different ways to keep them satisfied.
Promote a work-life balance
An ever-growing trend in today’s workforce is encouraging a work-life balance. With the average employee working 40 hours a week, not including daily commute, employers are trying to find ways to compensate for the time spent away from family and friends.
Working from home has been an increasingly popular solution for many businesses because not only do employees benefit, but employers do as well. In fact, studies show that over 65 percent of managers agree that their remote workers are more productive, and that employee turnover rates can fall by over 50 percent when a work-from-home option is in place.
Be flexible with benefits
The American workforce is becoming more and more diverse in terms of age, sex, and race. So, it’s never been more important for business owners to recognize the varied needs of each of their employees. Company benefits are a significant part of employee compensation and a key consideration when choosing a job. From health care to paid time off, each of your workers will have different needs and wants. So, offering flexible benefit plans is a great way to support your workers because you are allowing them to choose the options and coverage that best suit their lifestyles.
Create a pleasant work environment
Employees spend roughly one-third of their waking hours at work. Therefore, their work environment will feed into their level of satisfaction. And whether your business has a more bureaucratic or casual company culture, there are many ways you can create a more enjoyable work environment. For one, employers can invest in some office upgrades, such as a new coffee machine or filtered water system. Or, if budget allows, owners may consider adding new in-office perks such as morning fruit baskets or occasional catered lunches. These small additions can go a long way to show employee appreciation and help maintain morale.
Encourage work friendships
Teamwork makes the dream work. And what better way to encourage collaboration than to help employees build relationships with one another.
Even if they are not company-funded, take the initiative to organize out-of-office events such as happy hours, game nights, and group lunches. This is an excellent opportunity for team members to connect and find commonalities beyond work tasks. Employees will be a lot keener to go into work if they have coworkers they enjoy spending time with, or even consider friends.
Employees don’t want to ever feel blindsided or out of the loop, they want to be treated as a valued part of the company. So, where appropriate, employers should make an effort to keep employees well-informed about the state of the company — communication is key. Having weekly, monthly, and quarterly meetings — depending on the size of the business — can be a great start. These gatherings will create opportunities for workers, managers, and owners to come together and share any updates, goals, or issues the company is facing. Employees will appreciate being part of the conversation.
Bring meaning to work
Seventy percent of employees say that their motivation and morale would improve “massively” if managers showed them more gratitude. And, fortunately, there are numerous ways upper-management can show their appreciation.
Having peer-to-peer recognition programs is one solution, as it allows employees to publicly congratulate coworkers for a job well done. Or, if you are operating a smaller business, assigning an Employee of the Month with a small prize can be another viable solution. As a manager, you need to make sure you are showing employees that there is meaning to their work and that you are acknowledging their efforts.
Recent research reveals that only 34 percent of U.S. employees are engaged at work. And even though this is a record high compared to previous years, there is much room for improvement. So, for the sake of your customers, your employees, and your bottom line, make sure that employee satisfaction rates high on your priority list.