Increasingly, employees want more out of their job than just a paycheck. They want to feel they’re contributing to something important, that they’re valued beyond the number of sales they bring in, and that their wellbeing and commitments outside of the office are taken into account.
What’s in it for you as a business owner? More motivated, productive, efficient, and committed employees who’re willing to go the extra mile for you too. Here are some tips on how to go about it:
- Help your employee’s fit work around their lifestyles and commitments rather than the other way around
- Relax the dress code
- Help employees prioritize their tasks better
- Invest in the right tools for the job
- Limit office hours and overtime
- Let your team pick the next teambuilding event
- Express your gratitude and encouragement regularly
- Encourage employees to get healthier
Help your employee’s fit work around their lifestyles and commitments rather than the other way around
Let’s be honest here – most people go to work each day not because they’re fantastically excited about their jobs but because they need an income to support themselves, their loved ones, and their passions and hobbies. And the more we learn about the relationship between good lifestyle balance and performance at work, the more it makes sense to help them achieve this balance. Of course, there are limits to what you can do, but as it becomes easier and easier for people to work remotely, there are more opportunities than ever. Employees with kids to get to school or a long commute each morning could benefit greatly from more flexible working hours, for example.
Relax the dress code
Stuffy, restrictive, and uncomfortable business attire does nothing for creativity, innovation, and lateral thinking – especially when there’s no clear reason for it. Unless you’ve got a very good reason for your employees to dress like high-powered corporate lawyers at all times, relax the dress code and let them be more at ease. You’ll see morale and productivity rise as a result.
Help employees prioritize their tasks better
If you as the boss assign a new task to an employee, the chances are they’re going to drop what they’re doing and tackle it straight away, regardless of whether it’s actually more important than what they were working on or not. Help your employees work smarter rather than harder by checking what they’re busy with first, possibly sitting down with their tasks for the day, and making it clear which ones are actually the most critical. With time they’ll get the picture and be able to do this for themselves.
Invest in the right tools for the job
Whether it’s investing in appropriate training or new technology, the better equipped your employees are to perform their roles, the more efficiently they’ll be able to do so. Welcome suggestions from your workers – whether it’s a new piece of software for the accounts department, looking at forklifts for sale for the warehouse or outsourcing some of their noncore tasks to a freelancer – asking them to explain how their suggestion would be of benefit to them and the company.
Limit office hours and overtime
Here’s a really crazy idea – imagine if you could go home for the day as soon as all your tasks have been performed satisfactorily. If you’re employing someone to do a job, and that job has been done, why shouldn’t this be the norm? Wasting time at the office is still wasting time. Putting in hours for the sake of it doesn’t actually help anyone – and can lead to unnecessary stress and even burnout. Don’t put pressure on your staff to ‘look busy’ at all times.
Let your team pick the next teambuilding event
Throw it out there, and you’ll likely be surprised at the results! Many younger employees would rather spend a day volunteering with a charitable organization than hitting each other with paintballs – and it creates great content for the social media or marketing department too. Letting your employees decide what would make a good team builder lets them feel heard and acknowledged, as well as encouraging cross-team communication and brainstorming.
Express your gratitude and encouragement regularly
Never underestimate the power of a kind word, especially for an employee who has been struggling to get something right or might have other stuff going on in their home lives. Make an active effort to congratulate, praise, and encourage whenever it’s due. Keep your eyes open for those who are clearly making an effort to improve in their weaker areas.
Encourage employees to get healthier
Healthy employees are simply better for your business. They have more energy, take fewer sick days, and are able to focus and cope with stress better. There are loads of ways you can encourage your employees to get healthier, and many of them inject a little fun into the workplace too – like starting a lunchtime walking or yoga group. Get involved yourself, and everyone wins!