For most business owners, our people are our biggest asset. Staff likely have the largest effect on our bottom line, and it’s important that we let them know they are appreciated. There is nothing that improves productivity as much as taking the time to ensure your employees are happy. Outside of huge yearly bonuses and scheduled raises, how can we accomplish that? They say that money can’t buy happiness, so here are some easy ways to improve the working lives of your staff without spending a lot of money.
Create a Clear Career Path
One of the things that people value most in their jobs is the idea that they’re working towards something. Over time, mild frustrations at work can grow to become serious sources of stress. Nothing amplifies this more than the feeling of being “stuck” in a dead-end position. Creating a clear, easy to understand career plan for employees is the easiest way to boost productivity. Not only will you have a system in place to move your most productive staff into a more authoritative role, but your employees will have something to work towards.
Make Balance a Priority
Outside of the office, all of your employees have a life. Unfortunately, life isn’t always predictable. If your staff is forced to constantly choose between their job and their life, then can easily feel resentment towards their job. Having a little flexibility with your scheduling will allow employees to take time for themselves and their family. Not only will your staff be happier at work, but they’ll be happier in all aspects of their lives.
Ask for Input
Business doesn’t always have to be a top-down structure. Sometimes, the people on the ground level are the ones who have the most input on your business. Taking the time to get feedback from your staff is a great way to make them feel involved. When employees are actively contributing to your business instead of just blindly following orders, they feel much more proud of their involvement and the job becomes a source of pride, rather than just an obligation.
Reward Dedicated Employees
It’s not always about financial reward, sometimes it’s just about recognition. There are sure to be a few members of staff who are always willing to give their best on every project. Taking the time to publicly recognize the contributions they’ve made to your workplace and thank them is a powerful morale boost, and serves as an inspiration to other employees to follow in their footsteps.
Encourage Staff to Leave Their Comfort Zones
Nobody wants to be another cog in the machine, repeating the same tasks day in and day out until retirement. As your staff gets comfortable in the work environment, they may want to try out different responsibilities. At first, it might not seem wise to take a talented employee and place them in a new role, but the ability to learn and grow will bring them much more job satisfaction. Plus, employees of having a wide array of skills are often much more effective.