In recent years businesses have begun focusing more on the well-being of their employees over their intrinsic desire for profits above all else. There are a few good reasons for this change in mentality among business owners and managers, and ultimately this shift benefits everybody. First, focusing on your workers and their overall wellness can help maintain higher levels of motivation and ultimately lead to higher productivity and success for your business. Next, showing that you care about your employees is conducive to improved recruitment results, as many people today will research a business to see if their company culture aligns with what they’re looking for. If you’re a business owner and you’re searching for ways in which you can make the lives of your employees easier and ultimately create a great and positive work culture, here are some of our best tips for doing so.
Pay Them Fairly
As society goes through changes and we experience things like inflation as well as the recent cost-of-living crisis in the UK, the distance that your employee’s salaries can stretch greatly diminished. Where your team may once have been living comfortably and being able to put away some of their income into savings, now they might even be living paycheck to paycheck each month. This can leave employees feeling stressed and anxious about the future, and this can impact the quality of their work, resulting in more mistakes and errors. Instead, you should endeavor to improve their pay to make up for these problems in society, matching inflation and even providing bonuses and benefits to your team that might help alleviate the stress of the higher cost of living.
Put Your Employees First
While this is the main focus of this article, it’s important to directly consider your employees and their happiness with each decision you make for your business. Ensure that any potential change you make within your business, whether it’s to encourage growth or to implement new working methods or systems, isn’t going to have too much of an adverse effect on your team. While change is undoubtedly going to cause some level of disruption, you need to do everything you can to make sure that your team can handle these changes, even if these changes will benefit them in the long run. Discuss changes with your team and get their input first. If people are prepared for these things, they’ll be much better equipped to handle them.
A great benefit that many businesses offer today is private healthcare. Taking care of the health and well-being of your team is very important, not only for the happiness of your employees but for the continued efficiency and productivity of your business. Offering your team private healthcare can allow them to quickly and effectively pursue help for any health problems they’re experiencing. This allows your team to return to work after prolonged illness as quickly as possible, but it also provides some peace of mind to healthy members of your team, as knowing they have access to healthcare should they need it can be very reassuring.
Champion A Good Work-Life Balance
The work-life balance has become a common talking point among professionals across all industries. While every business has different requirements for how long and how often their teams need to work, it is still essential that people are given the time to enjoy their lives outside of work without also being overworked. Overworking your team is not going to increase productivity, as some might assume. It’s simply going to cause your employees to burn out and provide poor quality work. While everyone has different thresholds for the amount of work they can handle, in general, most people don’t enjoy working overtime or being pushed to their limits on a regular basis. Create a positive, health-work culture by encouraging or even enforcing a healthy work-life balance. Stop employees from working longer hours unless absolutely necessary and ensure that you compensate them well for any overtime they do.
Making good use of the wealth of helpful technology available today is a great idea for all businesses, no matter the industry. Technology such as complex automated systems can increase productivity among your staff, reducing the time required to complete menial tasks. There are also simple yet incredibly useful online tools that allow you to work on shared projects together via the cloud or do essential tasks like compress PDF files or merge documents. Of course, every business will require a different selection of tools that can benefit their work, so finding the tools that would work for you and your team can significantly improve everyone’s quality of life.
Provide Regular Training
It’s worthwhile providing your team with regular training as this can improve their ability to complete their assigned tasks and allow them to take on new ones. This increases your team’s flexibility substantially, especially if you train employees to do each other’s jobs. This will have two effects. First, it will allow you to find cover for sick employees who are taking time off much more easily, as you’ll be able to move staff members around to manage any temporary gaps in your workforce. And secondly, it’ll help to boost the morale of your team as it’ll give them more things to focus on and add some variety to their responsibilities. One of the biggest demotivators in life is repetitiveness, and doing the same job day in and day out can be exhausting both mentally and physically.
Support Their Ambitions
Another great benefit that training provides is showing your employees that you support their ambitions. Having plans for the future is to be expected from your team members, and it would be wholly unfair and poorly judged if you expect that your employees want to stay in their role, or even with your company, forever. While it doesn’t necessarily benefit you to give your team the skills they need to leave your company, failing to provide additional training and experience for your team is enough to encourage them to find somewhere else that will. You might also find that providing training like this and being open about possible progression within your business could encourage them to stay.
Communicate With Your Team
It’s easy to let yourself become tunnel-visioned on the tasks that you have to complete as a business owner, but unfortunately, this can lead to a detachment from your workforce. With this increasing divide between management and the rest of your employees, a number of problems can arise. The most notable problem is a drop in morale as your employees feel distanced from the overall business. They might start to receive less praise for their work and even less recognition overall for their contributions to the company’s success, with management taking the majority of said praise. Instead, it’s important to communicate with your team regularly, as this can encourage team building and allow your employees to discuss any problems they have. It also encourages your team to care more about their overall role within your business and can even increase the chances of them providing you with innovative new ideas to further your success. Communication is so important today, and showing your team that you care about their opinions and contributions to the business is essential when trying to create a positive company culture.