Employee turnover disrupts the workplace and has a significant effect on small businesses. One resignation can cause a huge loss to the team. Not only in costs, but also in time, team morale and profitability.
You can hire great employees, but retaining them is a different story. Here are seven things you can do to keep your employees happy in the workplace.
Reachable HR department
There are some things your employees may not feel comfortable approaching you with. Whatever the reason, having a reachable HR department means your employees have someone to go to, should they need.
An HR employee or department may not be possible for a small business. Consider assigning an HR representative within the workplace or even set up an online HR system.
Staff training should not just be a one-off process. Instead, it should be an on-going process to encourage growth and career development.
Communicate a clear path of advancement with your employees. This will keep them engaged. Without motivation, employees will become disinterested and move elsewhere. Don’t be afraid to reskill. It will often be a cheaper alternative to hiring new staff and can give employees a chance to learn new skills.
A good relationship between a manager and employee will make a world of difference to workplace wellbeing. This way, your employees will feel comfortable approaching you if needed. Clear communication is essential to a well-functioning workplace.
Set up regular catch-ups with your employees. It doesn’t have to be a long meeting, but allocating 15 minutes once a month will give your employees a chance to voice their mind.
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Protecting your employees’ well-being
Life can be stressful, which can put a toll on both your physical and mental health. Help your employees handle life’s challenges.
Set up an employee benefit program to subsidise health and life insurance to build a happy and healthy workplace. You could also consider including a health and wellness benefit to subsidise gym memberships.
Employers are beginning to recognise the importance of mental health in the workplace. Someone who is mentally well will perform more efficiently and effectively. Many workplaces now offer up to two days of sick leave to be used for mental health.
A work-life balance is quintessential for every employee. Creating an environment that allows for this balance will help to retain your employees. Consider allowing telecommuting, flexible work hours, job sharing and a four-day workweek.
It is also important to find ways to streamline some processes, so your employees work smarter not harder. A teleconference or a four-day week would save the time required to commute. It could even be as simple as creating a document template or doing batch work to save time in the long-run.
Employees like to be rewarded for their hard work. Create an individual development plan for each employee. Discuss the areas they wish to improve on then set up a goal-setting system with KPIs.
During their performance review, set one-monthly and three-monthly goals. If their one-month goal is achieved, reward their efforts. Likewise, if their three-month goal is achieved. This will give them targets to strive for.
Provide small perks
Liven up the mood in the workplace. Provide small perks to improve office demeanour. Ideas include Friday afternoon snacks, monthly breakfast excursions and lunchtime yoga sessions.
You could also take a different approach. Make employees’ lives outside of work a little easier. Consider offering dry cleaning pickup, parcel delivery services and carpooling.
The bottom line
The key is honest communication. The cookie-cutter approach does not work in this situation – what works for one person may not work for the next. Discover what each employee requires for a healthy work environment through communication.
Maia Fletcher is a Gisborne-based freelance writer. She has written for local blogs and business including Sea Containers. She believes that empowering employees would greatly contribute to the success of any business. Follow Maia’s personal blog to learn more about her.