Maintaining a business can be tough, especially when it comes to staff retention. Your employees are a valuable and essential resource, all with individual lives and personalities. Keeping the work environment happy, productive, and flowing positively can take a bit of effort and time. Whether it be the most up-to-date to office phone systems to ensure professional and reliable communication or flexible working arrangements, there are some strategies you can bring into play to keep your workers contented, loyal to your company, and healthy.
1. Flexible working arrangements.
Everyone values family and each person has unique needs to assist them to make their home life flow as best as possible. If you can incorporate flexible working arrangements and staggered start and finish times for your staff, it can benefit your employees and your business.
School drop and pick-up times can be a tricky but vital situation for some parents, whilst others may have access to family support systems and child care options to assist them. If you have other workers who do not have these requirements, you may be able to roster them to accommodate the potential shortfall.
I recall one position I worked in, where the department had the option to work from a start time of 7 am and conclude as late as 6 pm. This meant that departmental operation requirements and individual work preferences could be easily accommodated.
Allowing some wiggle room during these times can help relieve your worker’s pressure and allow your company to operate and provide the services needed without the stress and resentment from having rigid start and finish times and caters to various alternatives to work within.
Some companies also have the opportunity of early finishes on Fridays or a 9-day fortnight. These choices can be rather enticing and can provide immense staff satisfaction. Naturally, this would need to be staggered and rotated to ensure that all staff has fair and equal access to such benefits.
2. Comfort and style to achieve job requirements.
Ergonomic chairs, keyboards, and mouses can assist in making a workstation comfortable and safety-conscious for your employees. Ensuring their comfort and going that extra step can help reduce the impact of eye strain, and repetitive wrist and hand movement as well as provide support for their back and neck if they are working in a space where computer and phone use is required.
Whilst your company’s operational needs are important, staff comfort and well-being are essential to maximize safety, health, comfort, and probable performance. Staff are more likely to stay in a job where they are happy and feel considered.
Little touches such as a pinboard in a workstation to be able to place work notes and family photos can add a personal touch and a feeling of cosiness and contentment to an otherwise sterile work environment.
Don’t forget to allow plenty of lighting as dull lighting can cause eye strain in most environments, especially over a long period.
3. Being recognized and appreciated.
Everyone needs to feel appreciated and valued. Recognising and showing personal and individual connection to each and every one of your workers might seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Something as simple as a scheduled email or card for their birthday can add a smile to their day. Congratulations on a team or individual project may assist in helping them feel their work and effort is being valued and you are aware of the time and energy they are putting in for you.
Something as simple as using their name and greeting them when you see them, checking in with them, and taking the time to have a chat and form personal connections can assist in forming positive relationships with your staff, who will in turn respect you and work at a higher level to cooperate with you to achieve company goals.
This also means fair and competitive pay for your employees. The cost of living is ever increasing and whilst your business expenses are high too, no one wants to work for peanuts. Keep your pay grade equitable and if you can, increase it by a small percentage each year.
If your company has the capacity to enrole workers in courses to further develop their skills then consider doing this at regular intervals at your own expense. Employees may also feel happier if the course has some recognition outside of your own company.
4. Good coffee and other refreshments.
Sorry but the cheap and nasty coffee just will not suffice. Whilst you may not be able to cater to everyone’s taste, having a decent cup of coffee (or tea) in most workplaces is of universal importance and an essential ingredient in most break rooms.
It may not be feasible to have a full range of refreshments and food options as this can become quite expensive and difficult to maintain if you have a large number of employees, but a few little treats can go a long way to help your workers out of that after-lunch slump. Consider a weekly fruit basket or mid-week muffin treat or even a vending machine.
5. Benefits Packages.
Depending on the scope and size of your business, you may be able to offer benefits packages, such as discounts on health insurance through particular providers. Salary packaging is also another heavily sought-after benefit. Work alongside other firms to provide discounts, special provisions, and comforts exclusively for staff within the department. Consider utlising the services of small and local businesses rather than larger more complex corporate organisations.
Not only does this keep your workers happy, but it fosters stronger working relationships with other shareholders and companies and gives you a good standing and reputation within the local business community. It can reflect well on your establishment if you are viewed to assist smaller and neighbourhood institutions that will appreciate your efforts more than a larger corporation which may not necessarily require or appreciate the business as much as the smaller counterparts.