When it comes to being a good employer, looking after your employees to the best of your abilities is key. You should never underestimate your staff because each and every one of them is important to the overall day-to-day running of your business. So if you’re having an in-depth guide on how to look after your employees, you’ve come to the right place.
The health of your staff is considerably important because if your employees have a habit of going off sick on the regular, then that means you’ll have no one in the office and no one keeping the business going. So it’s good to offer a variety of healthcare options, whether that’s having a company GP or doctor that staff members can go to if they’re feeling unwell. With technology today, there’s even an option like telemedicine which offers virtual healthcare for employees. This makes seeing a doctor from the comfort of their own home possible, and hopefully, that leads to a quicker recovery time so that they can get back to work.
Discuss Their Concerns
Staff like to feel valued and not just another number in the system. Many businesses will fail to address concerns that employees raise and that can lead to unhappy staff who may end up leaving sooner than planned. So to keep your staff turnover at a minimum, you should always be open and ready to listen and discuss concerns. There should be regular communication with individuals and their line managers in order to address any problems within the workplace or outside of it that might be causing issues. So this requires training for managers to understand and navigate how to lead and manage better. Even the best managers can benefit from extra knowledge, and there’s plenty of training courses out there to help.
Encourage staff members to regularly meet with their managers, even if it’s a 10-minute conversation over coffee. Having this interaction is going to boost relationships so that any problems that crop up in the future can be handled in the best way possible.
Consider Flexible Working
Flexible working is something that more companies are now testing out and implementing in staff contracts. A lot of us seek an equal work-life balance and often enough, that’s something that’s not always achieved. Granted, some business industries won’t have the ability to offer flexible working, but those that do can certainly benefit. By offering remote working from home, you’ll likely cut down daily operations and running costs on your office, and that can improve profit margins over time. Flexibility is certainly needed whatever point in life a staff member is in. Whether they need time off to visit sick family or created a family of their own, being conscious of this as an employee is going to provide you with a new found respect from your staff.
Discuss this on a case-by-case basis as you don’t want to offer it to everyone immediately. It’s always worth trialing, to begin with, to see what works and what doesn’t.
Improve Their Surroundings
Considering we spend a lot of our lives working, we probably spend more time in the office than we do in our own homes. And that means, the office space they’re in, should motivate, inspire and emote positive vibes. Look at your current space and consider what you could update, transform or adapt in the workplace. Seek advice from staff members about what could be added or taken away to make the environment better. Here are a few ways that you could improve the space.
Add Colour – Colour helps with emotions, and each colour can spur a different feeling, whether that’s calming, invigorating, happy or sad. Look at what colours will bring out the best in your staff and add these colours to your space. Paint the walls and replace the furniture. Keep your brand colours in mind too and try and tie this in where possible.
Let In The Light – Natural light can do wonders for your mood. When the sun hits your face, that feeling of warmth and happiness washes over you right? Well, letting natural light into the office space can provide for a much positive atmosphere. If you have windows that are currently blocked by furniture or blinds, remove them and let that light shine in. Choose warm lighting in your office too, anything white is going to feel very clinical and cold. You can also get lighting that mimics natural light, so if you don’t have it coming through the windows, you can at least get it in an alternative form.
Have A Breakout Space – Breakout spaces are really useful for staff members to get a proper break in a ‘work-free’ zone. Many staff members will choose to eat at their desk, especially when there’s no breakout space other than outside. If it’s possible, create a breakout space so that staff members can meet up or eat their lunch without emails pinging and phones ringing every five minutes.
Open Plan Layout – It might not be for everyone, which is why you should have some private office spaces. However, open plan offices are great for encouraging interaction and collaboration. It also helps open up what space you do have so that even if you have a small office, it doesn’t feel cramped or claustrophobic.
Better Security – Staff want to feel safe within the workplace, and if you work in a busy area, it’s useful to have good security measures in place. From security staff in reception to barriers that can only be activated with passes. Simply installing CCTV is going to make a big difference and ease the mind of your employees and they come in and out of the building.
Create New Opportunities
Some individuals in the organisation may see your organisation as merely a stepping stone to another role within another company. However, it’s always beneficial to offer every staff member opportunities to move up the company ladder. You should be actively discussing with employees what they want from their role right now and in the future. Annual reviews are great for posing these questions and for discussing ways that the company can help improve the individual, whether that’s through additional training or working towards a promotion. Creating these new opportunities is going to show your staff that you care about their progression and that you value them in being an asset to the organisation.
Encourage Equality Between Staff
Regardless of the position of a staff member, the amount of power or influence someone has should never warrant for bad behavior or looking down on other staff members. This starts from the very top, right down to the bottom of the chain in command. So encourage your staff to treat each other equally and with respect. Everyone has a role to play within the organization, and without them, the business becomes vulnerable. A receptionist is the face of a company, they’re there to welcome guests. Just like the head of operations is responsible for overseeing the daily functions of the building. Everyone matters and is key to the businesses success. Encourage an environment where there’s no gossiping either.
Hire The Right Staff
Whenever you add someone to your company, it’s important that they fit in. So during your recruitment process, getting someone with the right skills and experience is a priority, but they should also be right for the company. Introducing them to who they’d be working with, gives your staff the opportunity to give their opinion on the candidate. Keeping your current staff happy is important because, at the end of the day, they will need to work with this new member of staff. Don’t be hasty when it comes to employment either and only recruit when you know that there’s no one currently in the company who can get the training or have the right experience for the role.
Give Out Incentives And Rewards
Dedicating time to a business is something that should be appreciated and from time to time, it’s good to reward your employees if you’ve had success in your company. Giving out rewards and incentives is a good way to motivate your employees to work harder, knowing there’s a reward at the end of it. It doesn’t have to be much because even a bottle of bubbly will go down a treat. Talk to the heads of each department and work out a reward scheme or a list of incentives that will benefit the company and your staff. Surprises are great, and you’ll probably see more employees staying in the company for longer if they are rewarded for their hard work.
And finally, just be respectful of your employees. Respect is earned and works two ways if you don’t treat them nicely, they won’t bend over backward to help the company when it has its bad days. So going forward, take more care of your employees so that you give your company the best possible opportunities.