Surveys have shown that 85% of people all over the world are unhappy at work. This ranges from mild annoyances and perhaps a dream of one day doing something more, to horrible anxiety and a dread of going into the workplace. No employer starts a business wanting their team to be unhappy. But, unfortunately, this is often how it works out. Employers are guilty of prioritising profits over people, workplaces change over time, and employee happiness isn’t something that enough people are worried about.
If you aren’t putting the needs of your team first, you might be making a big mistake. Happy staff lead to happy customers. They are loyal, reducing turnover and cutting costs. They work harder and give more. They are more willing to go the extra mile, and they’ll stick with you, helping you to build a skilled and knowledgeable team that will be committed to pushing your business to the next levels.
A happy team is also less likely to take time off sick or be preoccupied with other things. They’ll give you more, they’ll help create a great atmosphere, and they’ll be an asset to your business.
A tough 2020 might mean that your team are feeling a little uncertain and neglected. They might have financial concerns, they may have faced issues in their personal lives, and as much as they might be eager to get back to normal life, they might be feeling overwhelmed and unsure, which makes this the perfect time to invest in them and to show them that you are putting them first.
Keep Them Safe
Safety has been one of our biggest concerns in 2020, and this shouldn’t stop, even if life does go back to normal. So, invest in emergency response training from a company like Parabellum International to keep your team safe and give them the skills to work safely. This is especially important if your business is high risk. As well as emergency response training services, Parabellum International can offer comprehensive risk assessments, training, and emergency support to increase protection and safety.
Invest in Their Development
Some team members come in, do their jobs and go home. They have no interest in progression; their job is just a way to pay the bills. When you employ people like this, turnover is likely to be very high, and you might never get the best out of people.
But, if you want to attract the other kind of employees, the ones that want to learn and grow and who will stick with you for years to come, you need to make their development your priority. Invest time and money in continued training, teaching what you know and sending people on courses.
Commit to Clear Expectations
Employees perform better when they know what they are doing, and what we are expecting of them, both short and long term. Set daily expectations, letting your team know exactly what needs to be done, when and why. Allow creative freedom, but make sure your expectations of them are crystal clear.
When it comes to long term expectations, work together, teaming your expectations with their development plans, to make sure you are both on the same page and working towards long term goals that are good for your business, and your people.
Prioritise Work/Life Balance
If you expect your team members to live for work, you’ll never have a happy team. Instead, find ways that they can balance the two. Give them the chance to love their jobs while enjoying a full and happy life away from the workplace. If possible, offer flexible hours, the opportunity to work from home and fair vacation time. Be open, understand issues outside of the workplace, provide extra support, and time when needed.
It’s also important that you are flexible enough to change. People’s lives don’t stay the same. They may need more flexibility at some points in their careers, and you should be willing to offer it.
You can’t force the people that work for you to be friends, and you shouldn’t try to. But employees who get on well and trust each other make a much better team. They’ll help each other out, complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and enjoy their working days far more.
Promote friendships with team building activities, staff parties and days out. Also, allow them to have regular breaks and a well-stocked break room where they can relax and chat.
Make an Effort with Health and Fitness
Healthy staff are more energetic, creative and strong. They are less likely to take time off sick, and more likely to be happy and enthusiastic at work. If possible, an on-site gym or yoga studio can be an excellent addition to your workplace. Consider investing in gym memberships, or staff sports days or bike rides if it’s not possible.
Don’t Underestimate Small Perks
Small businesses often worry that they can’t attract the best staff because they can’t afford to offer the same wages, incentives or financial perks. But, you shouldn’t underestimate smaller perks, such as snacks and treats, Christmas meals and the chance to work flexibly.
Listen to Them
One of the best ways that you can invest in your staff is by listening to them. Get to know your team, build trusting relationships, and they will speak to you. They’ll be more likely to tell you what they need and ask for help when they are struggling.
Deal with Problems Quickly
All workplaces have issues from time to time. Even in the happiest environments, there can be conflict. To maintain order, and keep the team working well, it’s important that you deal with problems and confront anything wrong as soon as possible instead of merely hoping for the best.
Often, investing in your team is merely a case of thinking about them. When you make business decisions, think about how they will affect your team, and what you are going to need from them. Don’t take them for granted, thank them for their hard work, and be aware of everything they do for you and your business.