This week’s blog is a really important one. I suppose before we answer this question, we need to decide whether it’s even worth making your staff feel happy at all…
Now, if you’re reading this blog – I’m willing to bet on the fact that you deeply value your staff and want them to enjoy working for you. You might not show it all the time and feel you could do better – but you’re confident that you want to treat them in this way!
Many companies don’t share this value that you hold so dearly. They take staff turnover as part and parcel of business.
To many people their staff exist to complete tasks until they leave (or are fired) and can quickly be replaced by someone else who can carry out the same task. For them there is no connection between staff morale and customer acquisition / retention: task completion matters most.
Here’s what Richard Branson would say about this way of thinking:
“If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s as simple as that.”
Branson argues that task completion isn’t what acquires and retains customers, but the manner in which those tasks are completed is the key. It’s vital, and that is what will make your business flourish.
Staff are not merely tools that get the job done, but assets that can drive your business forward with sales and add to it’s vision!
A Deeper Reason Than Business Growth
About a year ago we brought in an apprentice to come and work for us full time. Within the first couple of weeks he started to open up about his past jobs and the bad experiences he’d been through.
He felt under-appreciated, uninvolved and just a cog in the system. Safe to say he left soon after joining that company and requested to move his apprenticeship to another company – DH Business Support!
As we ate our lunch, we all reflected on what he’d said and all began to realise the same thing – we’d all felt those feelings at one stage in our past for other companies we’d worked for! Knowing that most of our week was being spent working in a job that didn’t value or appreciate us meant that we left – it was as simple as that: life was too short! However, it felt different here!
You may have had a similar experience yourself, and your staff probably have too. It’s incredibly common for businesses to be set up in this way and we believe businesses across the UK need massive reformation in the way they view their staff.
How can we do this?
Well, it begins with each of us making the decision to dare to be different, to hold those values close to our heart and actually implement them.
If our staff, who spend the majority of their week working for us feel appreciated, valued and happy – then that will not only make them flourish as people, but also make our businesses flourish too. That’s what we all want!
So, what can you do to keep your staff happy? What can you do to ensure they keep working for you?
1. Pick The Right People & Integrate Them Well
Make the most of your interview time when hiring and give applicants the opportunity to display their work ethic and skills in more ways than just writing a presentable CV or speaking well in an interview.
Once you feel like you’ve got the right person – work hard to integrate and look after them well. Simple gestures like eating together and going out for lunch make a massive difference to a member of staff’s morale. Think about it, if a person’s experience so far has been eating a packed lunch on their own in the corner of a staff room, then this sort of gesture will go a long way!
Employee schemes are also really useful and effective – we use Perkbox who offer weekly deals to our staff that always create a nice atmosphere in the office when we all get the email come through at the same time about what’s deal we might make the most of this week.
2. Share The Businesses Vision & Success Often
It’s always a great idea to talk about the good that your business is doing and celebrating those moments of success with your staff. Talk regularly and often about ways in which your business is growing and the positive effect that your staff are having on the business.
The more you can create a feeling of togetherness in your workplace, the less likely people will gossip and complain about the business – because they’ll be regularly reminded of the impact that they have. We’re all in this together!
3. Let Them Take Ownership Of Their Role
Giving someone ownership of their role let’s them work in a way that brings out the best in them. There have been many occasions where we have passed tasks over to an apprentice, then a week later asked them questions like this:
‘What could be better about this process?’
‘What changes could be made to ensure the workflow suits you and the way you work?’
This displays a massive amount of trust on your part, which is invaluable! It also makes your members of staff feel like they are bringing something unique to the business and it’s growth.
Remember, business owners often set up their own business because they couldn’t stand working for someone else – if that’s you, then recognise the incredible opportunity you have to be different, and ensure that the relationship between you & your staff is one that you’ll be proud of both today, and in the years to come.
Hopefully these tips will help you to create a better workplace environment! Be different, and create a place where your staff are happy and love to work for both you and your business.