Sometimes businesses undervalue and overlook a critical aspect of their success: their employees. Some business owners view employees as easily expendable. Others create an environment where individual contributions are unappreciated and employees are made to feel non-essential. When asked about these practices, business owners will often tell you they are simply trying to keep costs down. The truth, however, is that such practices are actually quite expensive.
If you are a business owner, it is crucial to realize that staff turnover can have a huge impact on your bottom line. You will waste valuable resources if you have to constantly train new employees. Moreover, employees with a short tenure will lack the institutional knowledge needed to avoid repeated mistakes, and unhappy employees don’t perform well. Jilted employees may even feel vindictive, which could result in poor online reviews, bad press, and potentially lawsuits.
So how can you improve your employee relations?
Below are some suggestions to make your corporate culture more positive, which can result in increased loyalty and stronger work performance:
- Make employees stakeholders. An employee who feels that their opinions and ideas are heard and valued will feel more invested in their job. Regardless of their rank or role, each employee should have an opportunity to provide feedback, ideas, and suggestions that are taken seriously and given the follow-up they deserve.
- Recognize strong performance. Consider different ways of recognizing strong performers. For example, institute an “employee of the month” program for public recognition, or consider providing gift cards to employees who have done a great job. Annual bonuses or bonuses tied to certain metrics can also incentivize employees to do their best work.
- Communication is Key. Keep employees apprised of what’s going on with the business at higher levels—the more employees know about the business, the more they will feel like part of the larger team. Schedule regular meetings to provide employees with updates that relate not only to their direct job, but more broadly to company-wide developments, achievements, and goals.
- Invest in training. Often times as a business owner it seems easier to just “do it yourself” rather than train an employee. This mentality, however, usually leads to frustration in the long-run. Part of the reason you have employees is to take responsibilities off of your plate. And since it’s rare to find an employee who can hit the ground running with little to no training, investing the time to properly train a new employee is critical. Additionally, offering ongoing training can help keep employees up-to-date in their sector or even help them further expand their skills.
These are just a few steps you can take to improve your work environment, which is critical to successfully growing your business. Doing so may result in fewer workplace troubles and will help you to develop and retain strong talent.