Keeping your employees happy can be extremely difficult no matter how big your organization is. There are roughly 28 million small businesses across the U.S., and every one strongly relies on the productivity of its employees.
For a business to succeed, the owner must do all he or she can to keep every employee, from second in command to the brand new hire, as happy and comfortable as possible. If your company is struggling with employee retention or engagement, then here are a few ways managers and business owners can keep their staff in good spirits.
Be transparent with your employees
According to Business News Daily, transparency is one of the best ways to keep employees happy without having to offer significant raises.
“Feedback and the ability to understand employee concerns is important, but it’s what you do after that’s critical to retention,” said Laura Grieco, HR and administration at Parkmobile. “You should always be transparent by sharing what you’ve learned and a course of action for addressing the issue. For example, after a recent company-wide engagement survey, we choose to share our results with all employees. We not only communicated our top areas of success but also our areas for improvement and how we planned to address them moving forward. Transparent communication and a simple acknowledgement that we heard you can go a long way.”
However, transparency isn’t just about keeping employees happy. Some bosses shield workers from bad news, which always comes out eventually. By being transparent and honest with employees, workers are more likely to stay engaged and help solve problems.
Offer quality workers’ compensation
Though every state has different workers’ compensation requirements, it’s certainly recommended that companies offer generous protections. Providing workplace security for your employees is a great way to prevent them from being anxious about their daily tasks. Workers’ compensation should certainly be offered to employees working physically taxing jobs because there is a much greater risk of being injured, but even office environments require some workers’ comp coverage. Currently in the U.S., 74% states require all businesses to offer workers’ compensation.
But even if you meet your state’s requirements, consider offering more generous coverage. Long-term disability coverage can be a great way to let employees know that the company has their back.
Keeping the workplace clean
If your office is constantly dirty, your workers will be unhappy and your company’s overall productivity will suffer as a result. In addition to just finding it difficult to focus in an unclean environment, dirty offices can cause employees to miss work due to illnesses. Employees in a a clean office environment actually have an 80% reduced chance of catching the flu and the common cold.
Flagstaff Business News states that even employees who clean their own offices are much happier than those who don’t. As a result, quality janitorial services are also recommended to fully ensure a clean workplace.
Treat your employees with respect
Treating your staff with respect means treating them like adults, and this is essential for company morale. If any managers are being condescending, disrespectful, or just plain rude to your team, they will likely feel less compelled to work hard for the business itself. Make sure all managers are trained on the proper way to interact with the employees they supervise.
According to Forbes, even when you have to let a key employee go or deliver other bad news, treating them with respect and decency can go a long way.
“They can handle it,” said Leonard J. Glick, Professor of management and organizational development at Northeastern University. “The rumors are typically worse than reality. In the absence of knowledge people make things up.”
Encourage creative ways of commuting
There’s more than one way to get to the office at 9:00 a.m. sharp every morning, and you should think about encouraging your team to find better ways besides just driving their vehicles to work. Offices that utilize carpool programs are usually much closer and friendlier than others. Also, there are roughly 11 million people who enjoy skateboarding on a regular basis, and the use of electronic skateboards has been extremely popular as of late. Whether it’s bicycles, skateboards, or public transportation, consider starting a company “Green Week” where employees are encouraged to experiment with alternative forms of commuting.
Offer flexible schedules
Of course, many offices are now rejecting the 9:00 a.m. start time altogether. Workplace flexibility is now one of the most important factors in determining job happiness. As TechRepublic reports, for many employees, the only two things that are ahead of flexible scheduling are competitive pay and job benefits.
“Employers must offer flex schedules and the ability to work remotely in order to remain competitive,” said Alena Reva, vice president of HR at Kaspersky Lab North America. “If these options don’t exist, candidates will immediately chose another company as their preferred workplace.”
Though there are plenty of micro and macro things employers can do to improve company morale, the best way to keep your employees happy is to constantly promote a positive work environment.