Not all businesses will grow to such an extent that the owner needs extra help. This is exactly how some entrepreneurs like it – they prefer to do everything themselves and not have to worry about other people; after all, employees need a lot of looking after as well as payment. For some, they do need the additional help, but they would rather outsource and use ad-hoc workers. This saves money as they don’t need to pay a full-time wage.
However, this is not something that will work for everyone, and it’s not something that everyone wants to do. Many see hiring employees as a badge of honor, for example, as it shows their business has grown to such a point that they can no longer do everything alone. Others just feel this is the best way to grow a business. No matter what your reasons, if you choose to have employees, it is your duty to ensure they are happy (as far as possible, of course) in their work, and specifically working for you. If you can do this, they will work harder, be more productive, have fewer days off sick, and be more loyal. Keeping your employees happy is clearly something that is of great importance, and here are some of the ways to do it.
A Safe Workplace
Every employee deserves a safe place to go to work. They should be able to expect that they will go to work, do what is needed and then leave again, without any incidents or accidents in between. As an employer, one of your key duties is to ensure the workplace is as safe as possible. When you are actively looking at ways of reducing accidents at work and putting safety measures in place, your team will feel valued, safe, and able to do their work. They’ll know you are taking care of them and that you want them to have a workplace they feel comfortable in.
Some of the things you can do in this regard include:
- Providing training
- Providing ergonomic furniture
- Ensuring your team take breaks away from their desk
- Ensuring there is as much natural light as possible in the office or workspace
- Providing free drinks and snacks
Even if your employees are remote workers, you should still keep them as safe as possible. Have collaboration software in place so you can check in on their wellbeing and organize group meetings, for example.
Give Them The Right Tools
When you hire someone and ask them to do a particular job, you must also provide them with the right tools to do that job. If you don’t or if the tools you offer are not fit for purpose because they are outdated or unsafe, your employees are not going to be happy in their work. They might have all the knowledge they need, and they might be willing to work hard, but without the right equipment, they will feel held back and unable to do what they are meant to do. This will make them feel unhappy, and they may even become stressed about how their performance looks to others – especially you as their employer. In many cases, without the right tools, employees will start looking for another job where they can do what they are asked to do.
Training is also important. Even if you do provide all the right equipment, it’s crucial you offer training to go with it. Even if you feel the employee already knows what to do, updating their knowledge is a good idea – it gives you peace of mind that they can work well, and it will make the employee feel at ease and valued.
Recognize Their Progress
So you’ve hired someone who has all the necessary experience and expertise. You’ve given them every tool they might need, and you’ve trained them – you’ve even put ongoing training in place to help them keep up to date with advances in technology or processes. Yet for some reason, your team is not happy. Why could this be?
One reason could be that they are working hard, perhaps even going over and above what you expect of them, and yet they never receive recognition for this. Although it might not seem overly important to you, the fact is that everyone wants their hard work to be acknowledged; you’ll feel the same, so you should understand this need. If you can ensure that you acknowledge when an employee does something positive, and perhaps even reward them with additional vacation days, a pay rise, or other benefits, you’ll prove to your team that you value their work. This will make them work harder, as they know you are aware of what they are doing, and when they receive their rewards, they will keep working hard to get more.
Every employer is going to want to hire workers they can trust; it would not be a pleasant experience to be constantly worrying about what was happening in your business when you’re not there, for example. However, trusting your team and showing that trust can be two very different things, and learning how to do the latter is another way to keep your employees happy.
No one wants to be micro-managed, and by stepping back and allowing people to work in their own ways, you can show you have trust in your team. You’ll still be there to oversee everything, and you’ll be there to give people instructions on what you need them to do, but everything in between should be left to them. This won’t be easy at first, especially if you are used to doing everything yourself, but it is a great way to keep your workers happy. It will also keep you happy; you’ll have to spend less time managing your team which means you can spend more time on marketing, budgets, and other crucial tasks, and your business should thrive because of it.