Be you a manager of a large company, or a leader of a small team; it is important the people who work under your leadership are made to feel valued and appreciated. Financial benefits, such as a rise in salary is the obvious choice. However, there are other ways to bring happiness to your employee’s lives. People will work harder when they feel respected by their boss. Profits will rise and so will morale. On the flipside, unhappy employees will take more sick days because of stress. They will feel unmotivated, and their work performance will be reflected by their mood.
Assuming you are not leading your team with an iron fist, working them through the night, and paying them a pittance, have a think about what you could do to make your employees lives better. In the long term, there will be advantages for everybody.
Consider implementing the following, if you haven’t done so already.
Be a good role model
Being the boss doesn’t entitle you to flexible work hours, arriving when you want and leaving before everybody else. Your employees need to see your dedication to the company. Lead by example with humility and passion and inspire your employees with your work ethic. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty occasionally and take on some of the menial jobs. It shows you care for every aspect of your company, and if you do, so will your team.
The workplace needs to be organized, and your employees need to know their roles within it. Ensure each person understands company policies, such as health and safety, and that they work within required guidelines.
Having a positive relationship with your employees does not mean you are their best friend. They need to know you are the boss, and they should be respectful of your authority. Your staff members will be watching to see how you react to situations, so don’t let bad work practice slide. If you need to come down hard on somebody, perhaps because they often arrive late, your employees will know where they stand with you. Ensure everybody is treated equally, too.
Value your team
Listen to your team and respond respectfully. Hold regular team meetings where everybody can share their opinions and be a part of planning. They have a voice, so listen to them. Their ideas may enhance the way your business works. Also, allow them to vent any frustrations they may have. This shouldn’t become a gossiping or back stabbing session, but rather a time to share genuine grievances. Listen, and respond effectively.
Have 1:1 meetings with each of your employees. These are perfect opportunities to find out more about them, their personal and working lives. You don’t want to hear all their problems or see every family album they have created, but take some interest in who they are and what makes them tick. These sessions are also useful for evaluating their work performance, congratulating them on work well done, and working out a strategy when their performance is lacking.
Offer incentives for those who work hard. This will drive your team to put more effort in and garner a little healthy competition with their colleagues. For example, if your business is about driving sales, reward your employee for gaining the most sales each week. Bonuses could include extra vacation time, cinema tickets, or the opportunity to go home early occasionally.
An attractive workplace
The workplace needs to be an inviting and welcoming place. Bright colours, comfortable seating and plenty of light will offer a pleasant atmosphere to work. A variety of plants will also generate oxygen, improving breathing space as well as looking good aesthetically.
Have vending machines with healthy rather than junk snacks. Nutritious foods are vital for improving the mood state of your staff and keeping them energized throughout the day. Have plenty of water available too, as it is important to stay hydrated, especially if the working day is busy.
Have a break room where employees can unwind at set intervals throughout the day. A recreational area, with a ping pong table, for example, will add to the relaxation time and will make the workplace a fun place to be.
Team building days or weekends are important socially, and in finding out about everybody’s strengths and weaknesses. When people think of team building, they might imagine being stuck in a forest, blindfolded and taking part in confusing tasks. Instead, consider something like this, www.adlingtonhall.com/corporate/, and see the advantages of being away together in beautiful surroundings. Not only will you have the space to be creative, but you are guaranteed better food as well. At the end of the event, you return to work, with a shared experience and better understanding of one another.
After team building, you may be aware of areas in which individual members of your team struggle. Organize training for them, to improve their skills. Similarly, if you have a team member who is unsatisfied with their position because they are not being challenged anymore, organize training to improve their steps on the career ladder, and offer them a promotion.
It is important too, for yourself and your team, to keep up with innovations, such as
technological advances and new ways of working. Hold training days where everybody can take part, bringing in the necessary professionals to help.
There are some other benefits you can provide your employees. For example, offering appropriate levels of maternity and paternity care, child care facilities, extra car parking spaces, health care and gym memberships.
With advances in cloud technology and video conferencing, you could even have a day a week where everybody works from home and cutting back office costs in the process.
Obviously, you are running a business and not a charity, but improving staff morale is important for any business. It should make you feel good too, being around happy, smiling people is good for the soul and your profit margin.
(Photo Credit (image: kbic.com)