Gone are the days when companies would treat their employees as cogs in the machine. While there are still businesses that do take this approach, the consequences of doing so are too severe — it results in low productivity and high staff turnover, and can even cause more severe problems if the issue isn’t addressed.
No, it’s much better to treat members of staff as what they are: human beings. In doing so, you’ll find that there are a lot of positive side effects, such as a higher output and generally improved atmosphere at the workplace. Plus, you’ll feel happier too! In this blog, we’re going to take a look at some of the key ways that companies show their employees that they care. Be sure to incorporate any that are applicable to your own venture.
They Get To Know Them
When you hired your employee, you will have done so based on their professional merits. But that’s only one side of them. They’ve also got rich inner and personal lives, too. So why not take some time to get to know your employees on a deeper level? While work should, first and foremost, be a place of professionalism, there’ll always be time and space to chat more informally. Everyone likes it when another person shows an interest in their life. Also, by doing things like getting to know about their family and interests, you’ll be developing a deeper bond between you and your employee, which will make it easier to work together.
They Help Them Know Each Other
A company that does not want its workers to mingle is not a good company. They do this because they’re afraid that if everyone’s too friendly with one another, then they won’t work as well, or that they might gain too much collective power. But this, of course, is a cynical view for a company to take. Plus, it’s not one that’s backed up the studies conducted by researchers, which shows that having a friend at the workplace can significantly boost productivity.
So be sure to give your employees a chance to get to know one another. It’s easy enough to do — simply hosting after-work drinks at the end of the week will be a good start.
They Invest In Their Skills
Your employee won’t be the finished article. They’ll know that. The sign of a bad company is when it tries to limit the knowledge or growth of its employees. They fear that if they become too educated, then they might leave for another company, or ask for a raise. And this is true — it could happen. But holding someone back for your own reasons is a selfish attitude, and your employees will know this. So invest in their skills. Pay for them to go on training courses, attend seminars, and so on. Doing this will also benefit your company since you’ll be gaining access to well-trained employees.
They Stand Up For Them
Someone once said that the customer is always right, but whoever that was must have been a customer, because it’s rarely true. This is a good thing to keep in mind generally, but it’s especially important when you’re dealing with your staff. If a customer targets one of your employees, what is your response? Do you back the customer in front of the employee, or do you defend your member of staff? Of course, there’ll be a fallout no matter what path you take, but one is less severe than the other. You might lose a client if you back your employee, but you’ll lose the trust of your employee — and possibly other members of the team — if you back the client.
They Don’t Question Illness/Off Days
Everyone gets ill from time to time. It’s just the way life goes. If you’re a good boss, then you won’t question the trustworthiness of your employees, or force them to come back to work before they’re ready. This can be the tempting route to take, but ultimately, you’ll just find that it causes more problems — and that you don’t come across as uncaring. Also, if a member of staff has an emergency — such as an ill family member or a logistical issue — then let them get on with it. Your business might be a priority for you, but it’s a secondary concern for your employees, especially when they’re dealing with an emergency.
They Give Raises
You’ll have started your employees on a set salary, but it doesn’t mean that you should keep them there, even if you’re legally allowed to. If they’ve proven that they can produce work to a high standard and have become a valuable member of the team, then you should reward them. There are plenty of employees who end up growing resentful that they never get a raise, and you know what they do? They leave to find another job. In making it a company policy to review your employee salaries from time to time, you’ll be helping to boost your employee retention rate. Of course, there may be times when the company is unable to give raises, for various reasons. At those times, it’s important to communicate the reason for the lack of raise, and mention that things will change when things improve.
They Focus On Wellness
Wellness has become a big corporate trend in recent years. This has been driven, in part, by a need to address the rising stress levels that many employees are beginning to experience. We know now, in a way that we didn’t in the past, that it’s important to find a balance between work and relaxation. The only problem is that employees are working so much that there’s usually not enough time for wellness. This is where you can come in. By offering some wellness activities and treatments at your workplace, you’ll be showing that you care about the mental health of your employees.
Of course, while there are plenty of things you can do to push your employee wellness program forward, it’s important to first take care of the basics. Offering a morning yoga class won’t do all that much good if the basics of employee care have not been handled. First and foremost, your workplace should be safe and free of hazards. How you create a safe workplace will depend on the type of business you run, but could include installing industrial dust collector filters, having a secure access system, or investing in safety clothing/equipment for your employees. In essence, it’s all about identifying the potential threats to the wellbeing of your team and taking steps to address it.
They Offer Employee Perks
The salary of your employees is important, but it’s also important to offer more. What is your employee perk program, for example? If it’s currently non-existent, then perhaps now is the time to get one going. There are plenty of different things that you can offer your team. Can you offer a flexible working schedule, which allows them to choose their hours and where they work? A flexible approach to work will also prove to be incredibly beneficial as businesses begin to re-open post-pandemic and is a great way to show your employees you care. Alternatively, could you offer more than the minimum vacation time? Or what about simply having coffee and donuts available? It’s amazing what a difference these types of things can do for the happiness of your employees.
Another fun and creative way in which you can provide your employees with perks is by providing them with Company Swag. While swag is often used for promotional purposes and to draw in customers, it can also be used to improve the employee experience and promote workplace efficiency. For example, you could send out a ‘Working from home kit’ to your employees, which provides them with office tools and resources they may currently be missing out on. Not only does this help them deal with the task at hand, it means that they do not have to go out and buy the materials at their own expense.
However, it’s important to remember that Company Swag – though branded – does not necessarily have to be used for work purposes – as you should also demonstrate a vested interest in your employee’s health and wellbeing. Company swag such as fitness devices or tools can help you demonstrate this commitment.
They Take On Feedback
It’s hard to feel as if someone cares if they never listen to you. It’s always a good idea to look at the dynamic of your relationship with your team. Is the conversation always one way? Or do you present an opportunity for your employees to talk, and then take their ideas on board? If it’s anything other than the latter, then work on making changes. It’s not so much about having an open door policy as it is about getting rid of the door entirely.
They Improve the Work Environment
People look primarily at the work they’re doing and the amount of money they’re getting paid. But they also look at secondary factors, too. For example, the work environment in which they’re working. So take a look at your workplace. Is it as inspirational as it could be? Is it pleasant, clean, and trendy? If not, then invest the time and effort required to make it so. Your clients will be happier to work in an environment that they like.
They All Pitch In
If there’s one thing that employees dislike, it’s feeling as if they’re the ones doing all the work, while the people at the top take breaks. If you want to show that you care about your staff, then it’s important that you pitch in to help. A family member would rightly assume a lack of care if you let them do all the housework. The same principle applies for regular work, too. If there’s a deadline, don’t leave the responsibility of meeting the deadline just to your team — make sure you’re the one that’s not only helping out, but the one leading the charge and setting the example.