When it comes to keeping employees happy, not everything is about a raise. There are too many employers across a range of professional environments who are losing talented workers because they don’t see a bigger picture in which some simple and affordable changes can help retain people for longer, and probably make them more productive at the same time.
Here are some simple ideas to make employees more content at work:
1. Encourage a Culture of Balance
Creating a supportive environment in which employees have clear and accepted boundaries on when work time starts and finishes, and doesn’t pressure them indirectly to stay too long after hours in order to gain recognition, will ultimately be a happier one.
It can take some adjustment but such a culture where everyone is encouraged to go home when the time comes, enjoy time off and build a healthy work-life balance is not just happier, but ultimately more productive. When the company expects people to follow their prescribed work times, it becomes the norm to get things done during those times. It saves on overtime, but also sees workers compete for recognition in a healthier, more structured way.
2. Create Better Rest and Break Areas
Do you have a dedicated break room, or a rest area? If not, consider creating one. Invest in comfortable furniture, healthy and nutritious snacks, and freely available spring water. Such things are a small expense to get in return better rested and happier employees who enjoy being at work more.
3. Introduce Flexible Work Time Options
The pandemic has caused a lot of people to reflect on how they work and want to work in the future. A huge number of people in Australia have expressed a desire to be able to work from home at least some of the time. In many white collar professions where information is stored in the cloud, Internet connections are faster and more stable than ever, and where we have powerful communications devices in our pockets 24/7, is there still any reason to expect everyone to be in the office all the time?
Introduce flexible plans that allow employees to spend time at home. Even a small gesture of flexibility at first just to see how it works can make a huge difference. It will be a great part of your culture of balance that we mentioned in the first point, too.
4. Increase Training and Professional Development Opportunities
Inviting outside companies to conduct professional development in your office that will help workers gain useful skills is a great investment of your company’s money. If you have in-house knowledge your staff can impart, then it’s even better. Leveling up your employees is a great way to retain them because they’ll stay in the company longer for the chance to learn more. Those skills can be put to good use making money for the business once the training is over.
Even simple training in things like how to write shorter, more effective emails can save hundreds of hours of work time each month that can be channeled into other projects.
5. Get Employee Feedback and Act on It
Whether you use a humble suggestions box, or hold a weekly or monthly town hall meeting, getting feedback from your staff and then acting on it to make the workplace better is another terrific way to boost morale and staff retention rates. When employees feel heard, they feel valued, and that’s a golden ticket to happy staff members.
Furthermore, it encourages a culture of constructive feedback in your workplace, which is great for work groups and individual departments as team members will be empowered to offer meaningful feedback that improves their results.