There are a lot of things that a business needs to be successful. It needs a product. It needs capital and investment. It needs relevant technology. These are all incredibly important. But there’s one thing that a business needs more than just about anything else. A business needs people. Without people at the heart of it, working hard to make it as great as possible, a business is doomed to fail. The problem is that it’s not just a matter of getting anyone into your business. You need to find the right people for the right roles. But don’t forget that it goes beyond just hiring. With any luck, these people will be a part of your business for a long time to come. You can’t simply expect them to stay satisfied working in the same way forever without you making any extra effort for them. People need to be rewarded and appreciated for the hard work that they put in. If you take your employees for granted, that’s a pretty fast way to create an atmosphere of resentment. This will have an immediate effect on productivity. If people don’t care about what they’re doing, then why should they bother to put in their full effort? It’s absolutely crucial that you take care of your employees and make sure that they feel valued and important to the business. Here are just a few ways that you can care for your employees, for the good of them, you and your entire business.
Have their back
The most important thing that an employee needs from you is support. If they’re struggling in some way, they need to feel as though there’s someone there who’ll be able to help them. If an employee doesn’t feel like there’s anywhere they can go for help and support, they’ll be more likely to get discouraged. Create an environment where, instead of being afraid of the consequences, employees are happy to discuss any problems. This isn’t just limited to their work either. If an employing is having problems at home or with their health, then make sure that you let them know that you care and are concerned for their wellbeing. Likewise, if an employee raises an issue with someone else in the office, take that seriously. You should have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to harassment or inappropriate behavior. Make sure that employees know that there’s no issue that they can’t come to you with. This creates an environment of trust. And when there’s an environment of trust, a business works better for everyone. This also goes for clients or customers. The cliche might be “the customer is always right, ” but you should make sure that your employees are never put in a vulnerable position. If a client or customer is being rude or abusive, make sure that you step in to offer the employee your full support. Letting them know that they don’t have to deal with these problems alone can help them feel much more comfortable and confident at work. By the same token, make sure that you’re setting aside regular time to speak to them and make sure that they are happy and comfortable. A lot of employees might not feel comfortable coming to you out of nowhere. So setting up a dedicated time that they can be open about any problems they have can make an enormous difference.
Meet their needs
No two people are the same. Then why do we act like all office environments should be the same? Your employees are varied, unique, dynamic individuals. You should create a workplace that complements that. Don’t just shut them away in identical cubicles to sit and work in silence until the end of the day. Try to create an environment where they’re able to support each other and communicate. Open offices are a great way to do this. But also make sure that there are places that people can go if they need to work independently and quietly. By being more dynamic in the way you approach your employee’s needs, you’ll create an environment where they do the same. Do you have extroverted employees who work best in collaboration? Allow them to be in the center of things and communicate with their colleagues. Are some of your employees getting sick of sitting at a desk for hours at a time? Then why not offer them alternatives? Standing or kneeling desks are a fantastic option. And you can make sure they’re comfortable with floor mats like these that are new from Sky Solutions. Of course, if you wanted to create an even more active environment you could look into even more dynamic options. Yoga balls or treadmill desks are a fantastic way to stop your employees doing themselves damage sitting at a desk. Not only that but it helps them to stay fit and active in their body and their mind. Whatever the needs of your employees are, you should create a workplace that responds to those needs the best it can.
Be honest with them
One of the most frustrating things in the world for an employee is when their boss isn’t being straight with them. If there are changes coming up in the business or adjustments to the way people work, don’t keep them to yourself. Be as open and upfront with your employees as much as you possibly can. This might mean that you’ll sometimes have to be the bearer of bad news. But you employees will appreciate your honesty far more than if you kept them in the dark for extended periods of time. This is a great way to maintain an atmosphere of trust. If employees don’t feel like you’re being honest with them, any trust and goodwill that you had will go out of the window pretty quickly. Not only that but it helps to bridge that divide between employee and boss. Obviously there will always be a gap between you and your employees. But the last thing you want to do is create a environment where they feel like they’re below you. By being honest and upfront with your employees, you remind them that you’re on their side and that you’re there for them. Even if it’s difficult, make sure that you don’t keep things from your employees that you should be talking to them about. A difficult discussion early on is better than having to explain why you kept them in the dark further down the line.
Show your appreciation
Consider just how obvious and easy this is, it’s shocking how many employers forget about it altogether. Don’t just leave your employees to get on with it and never let them know how much you appreciate them. Eventually they’re going to start to resent their work and by extension, you. It’s just human nature to want to be rewarded for a job well done. This doesn’t mean you need to offer a raise or a promotion every time someone completes a task. But if you do little things every now and then to let your employees know that their hard work is being acknowledged, it can make a big difference. Offer a small bonus near to the end of the year. Maybe set up small outings for your employees as a team building exercise. Not only with this offer them something fun and different to do, but will bring them closer as a team as well. Bring it down to an individual level as well. If an employee has really gone above and beyond the call of duty then make sure that’s recognised in some way. It could be anything, gift cards, bonuses, extra vacation days. It’s really up to you but whatever it is, make sure that they know how much you appreciate the extra work that they’ve put in.
It can be easy to slip into a habit of complacence where you start to take your employees for granted. The problem is that if you’re not taking care of your employees properly, they’re going to wonder why they should be doing the same. Unhappy, frustrated employees produce work that is shoddily done and half finished. I you want your employees to help your business run as successfully as possible then you need to make sure they’re well taken care of. Even just small things like this advice will make a massive difference to the attitude of your employees. They’ll feel more appreciated and much more likely to put in that extra amount of effort. Not because they have to, but because they want to. To borrow and adapt a fairly common phrase: take care of your employees and they’ll take care of you.