It’s no secret that most people are not completely happy with their jobs. In fact, as much as 87% of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged, which is a terrible figure if you think about it. Disengaged employees who don’t like their job cannot demonstrate high productivity, which makes companies lose money every year.
There are many reasons why only 13% of employees are happy with their jobs. Companies often willingly or unwillingly choose approaches that make employees feel unhappy. Some employers fail to establish effective communication, while others downplay the role of employee training or rely on micromanagement. For example, 79% of employees state that they’ve been micromanaged and 69% of them considered leaving their company because of it.
You can avoid all the issues above, as well as other problems if you figure out what your employees need and do your best to give it to them. You need to invest in your employees not only to make them feel good but also because it’s good for your business.
Here are just a few of the benefits that come with investing in your employees:
You can improve your reputation in the marketplace, attracting the best talent. Skilled professionals are looking for organizations that value their opinion and provide opportunities for professional and personal growth.
Your organization can also save money. Well-trained, motivated, and highly engaged employees are more efficient and productive. Proper employee development will increase your sales.
Investing in training and succession planning, you can create a pool of promotable employees. You can have replacement employees ready to fill any position while also creating opportunities for their professional growth, which is a win-win situation.
Happy employees lead to happy customers because they can present your business in the best light possible and provide the best customer experience. Well-trained employees who love their company can embody your brand values, attracting customers more effectively than any marketing slogans.
How You Can Invest in Your Employees Right Now
1. Build a Healthy Work Environment
According to research, 87% of people consider wellness and health offerings when they choose a company. When it comes to wellness programs, it turns out that medical costs decrease by $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness and absenteeism costs also decrease by $2.73. Therefore, it makes sense to focus on health if you want to create the best environment for your employees.
You can encourage your employees to develop healthy habits, such as healthy eating, exercise, etc. For example, you can do some exercise before meetings or create weekly yoga classes. Another great approach is throwing down various challenges dedicated to a healthy lifestyle. Challenges are a great solution if you want to get your employees involved in wellness programs.
It’s no secret that one of the main problems for many modern employees is sleep deprivation, so you can start a sleep challenge. Who can collect more sleep hours in 30 days? You may even create a nap room so that your employees can recharge and take a nap after lunch. You can also throw down a challenge that will require employees to run every day. Winners may receive a prize or a gift card.
Another important thing to consider is healthy food. Many employees only have 30 minutes for lunch so they simply buy fast food. To promote healthy eating, you can offer catered snacks and lunches to team members during a day. There are many services that can deliver healthy food to your office. Such lunches will not only improve your employees’ health but also encourage interaction between employees from different departments and teams.
2. Offer Competitive Compensation
Perhaps, this is one of the most obvious ways you can invest in your employees. According to statistics, 90% of American employees worry about their finances. Almost 70% of workers note that they have financial problems and have to deal with them while at work.
Financial problems always have severe consequences. Not only will they stress out employees, but it may also result in them taking time off work to deal with their financial matters. Such employees are not happy, their productivity is low, and they are actively disengaged because they focus on finances instead of work.You don’t want your employees’ financial problems to become your problems. It’s important to understand that the costs of living are increasing all the time, while the average minimum wage worker only makes about $20,000 a year. If you choose to pay a minimum wage, you won’t be able to attract skilled professionals, while those who agree to work for you won’t be satisfied with their job.
We recommend that you check out average pay ranges for your industry in your city and consider each particular role. Offering a competitive wage is necessary not only for attracting and retaining top talent but also for creating the overall positive environment within a company. When your goal is to make employees happier, increasing wages is a must.
Competitive compensation is about more than just an hourly rate. You should also think of the additional benefits. It may be impossible to promote every employee, but you can also offer flexible work options or extra paid time off.
Another compensation method is employee stock option programs. Such programs enable employees to purchase shares of their company at a certain price at a future date, no matter how much the stock costs at the moment when the option is exercised. Stock options can be a very lucrative part of an employee’s overall compensation package.
3. Prioritize Work-Life Balance
It’s hard to overestimate the importance of work-life balance. As we’ve already mentioned above, your employees must get enough sleep to stay productive. However, work-life balance is not only about sleeping, but it’s also about spending time with your kids and loved ones.
An inability to balance work and personal life leads to quick burnout and so directly impacts the success of your business, as your employees’ performance declines. Besides, employees are more likely to stay with a company if their boss encourages balanced practices, such as using all the vacation days and taking breaks.
Fortunately, you can encourage balance in many different ways. One way is by offering flexible schedules. Although you may not be able to allow your employees to create their own schedules, you can offer flexible start and stop times. For example, if you want employees to eight hours a day in the office, you can allow them to choose to work from 10-6 or from 7-3. Some of them will be able to pick up kids from school, while others won’t have any problems taking care of their elderly parents.
Another good practice is limiting your employees’ paid time off (PTO) carryover. Most businesses offer unlimited carryover so employees can plan their PTO days. Although this approach may look great, the truth is that it actually hurts employees. Many Americans don’t use their PTO and choose to work instead. As a result, they get tired and their productivity decreases.
You may limit PTO carry over, or you may even choose a more aggressive approach and penalize your employees for not using their PTO. For example, if someone gets 10 paid days off and only uses eight of them, they may get eight days next year. This way, employees will be forced to take a break so that they can get back to work refreshed.
4. Invest in Succession Planning
Proper succession planning will help you make sure that you have employees who can fill any necessary role in your company. Having a key role open is always a problem that can make you waste a lot of time and money. Proper training will enable you to quickly find employees to fill positions as soon as they become vacant.
This approach is beneficial for both employees and employers, and here’s why. Employees can get a boost to their self-respect, knowing that there is the next role waiting for them. When employees know that their organization plans their next potential opportunity, they feel more motivated to grow professionally and to show better results. Succession planning is also beneficial for employers because finding a good fit for a vacant position can be a challenging task. When you decide to promote someone or redesign your organization, you should make sure that you won’t lack replacements. Besides, the boomer generation is now in the retiring process, so you have to train employees who can replace them.
Succession planning requires you to identify experience, skills, and development opportunities associated with a particular role within the company. Employees can work with supervisors or managers, according to a career plan. It’s also important to make sure that managers know each employee’s value so that they can make the right choice when there’s a need to fill a role.
Succession planning helps businesses not only avoid recruiting employees from the outside but also retain the best employees because they appreciate development opportunities, time, and effort that you invest in them.
The effectiveness of succession planning depends on many factors. For instance, you should clearly understand your organization’s long-term goals, as well as your employees’ needs. They should know what roles they can fill in the future and understand their possible career paths.
5. Invest in Network Expansion
Quite often, leaders don’t want their employees to develop large networks. The reason for such a fear is obvious: employees can find numerous job opportunities and eventually leave their company.
This scenario will only be possible if you don’t follow the tips above and don’t create the right environment for your employees. If you offer development opportunities, help your employees maintain a healthy work-life balance, and offer fair compensation, you will build trusting relationships and increase loyalty among your employees.
When you have loyal employees, you can introduce them to influential people. First, it will make them more self-confident. Secondly, they will get more resources to learn from. Conversations with other leaders are a priceless source of information that will help your employees stay up to date about all the latest developments in your industry. When your employees develop effective relationships, they can turn these relationships into opportunities that you may have missed.
If your goal is to make your company stand out from the hundreds of competitors, you should help your employees stand out. Such an approach is beneficial for both employees and employers. Just don’t forget that you need to create the right environment for your employees first. Your company must be more than just a source of annual income for them. They must care about your business’ mission and values, which is only possible when you also care about them.
The success of your business directly depends on your employees. Motivated, well-trained, and happy employees will bring you more profit and help you achieve your long-term business goals. You can invest in your employees right now, making your company a place that attracts top talent and allows people to grow professionally while also living a fulfilling life. Moreover, this sort of investment is not always about money. Some areas just require you to reconsider your approaches and to put some effort into effective communication and organization.
Rhonda Martinez is an editor, content writer, and blogger. Rhonda contributes to LegitWritingServices and likes to write insightful articles on topics related to marketing, education, and psychology. Being a former college admissions committee member, Rhonda also offers admission consulting and assistance.