Your employees are the most important asset in your business. They bridge the gap to connect with the customers. Employees with excellent customer-facing skills are instrumental in building customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Did you know that customers are more likely to come back even when they are not 100% happy with their purchase when they had a positive engagement with your team?
They drive productivity. Ultimately, there is only so much you can do as a female entrepreneur to increase productivity in the business. Faster tools, attractive wages, and better-designed offices will only provide so much support. At the end of the day, productivity is in the hands of those who do the hard work, aka your team.
They bring innovative and creative ideas. Memorable marketing campaigns stick with a brand and build its awareness. From Skittles’s Taste the Rainbow to Budweiser’s Wassup, these campaigns are now part of the brand’s image and history. But before they made it to our screens, they were an idea shared by one employee during a brainstorming session.
The bottom line: Your employees play a crucial role in the growth and success of your business. So, as an entrepreneur, you want to make sure you are doing everything in your power to keep your employees for as long as possible. Of course, you can’t prevent unfortunate events that could cost a valuable employee their life, which is where policies such as key man life insurance can provide sufficient financial support to maintain the stability of the organization. But when it comes to the things that are in your power, what can you do to build a positive workplace your employees don’t want to leave?
Provide flexible work options
The pandemic has introduced new work models all around the world. At a time when it wasn’t safe to work in an enclosed office, employees had to improvise home-based workstations in the bedroom, the living room, the kitchen table, or in an unused nook underneath the stairs. Fast forward two years later, and most people have established a comfortable, elegant, and practical area where they work in peace at home. Bringing employees back to the office can be counterproductive, not only costing the business money As for your employees, many have created a routine that works for them at home, allowing them the flexibility they need to manage work and family life. Removing remote working arrangements could be the fastest and surest way to create a resignation wave in epic proportions.
Support mental health awareness
Mental health issues can affect everybody in the workplace. From a business perspective, mental health can impact productivity and growth, leading to long-term absence, loss of motivation, lack of engagement, and debilitating conditions.
However, for employees experiencing mental health issues, the negative effects can be long-lasting. Organizations that still lack support can risk losing valuable members of the team. Therefore, it becomes crucial for employers to introduce a framework of key actions that can support positive mental health outcomes.
Extending mental health awareness within the team through dedicated training can encourage people to talk openly about their problems. Additionally, management styles can severely affect individuals, leading to work-related stress or anxiety. Businesses can provide their managers with the tools they need to improve and bring EQ into each interaction. Indeed, low emotional intelligence can heighten stress levels. Yet, when the manager can read between the lines and appreciate someone’s emotional state, they are in a better position to facilitate conversations.
Some companies have also taken actions to introduce stress relief into their routines, such as having an office pet. Indeed, an office pet can significantly reduce stress levels and improve the work atmosphere. For professions that require office presence — aka that can’t be done from home —, the addition of a friendly cat or dog can improve mental health at work.
Consider new working hours
How long does the average employee spend at their desk? In the United States, the average employee works a little over 40 hours a week, which is approximately 8 hours a day. Depending on projects and needs, some may have to work longer hours.
The real question employers need to ask, though, is whether employees are productive for 40 hours a week? The answer is no. Indeed, fatigue, stress, loss of concentration, and interruptions can cost your employees a lot of precious time. Additionally, the human brain requires frequent breaks to stay focused and productive. In other words, the traditional 9 to 5, 5 days a week, may not be as effective as we first thought. In fact, companies that have switched to a 4 days a week model have noticed significant improvements not only in productivity but also in employees’ well-being:
- Employees are more refreshed and, therefore, more focused
- Communication in the team is more relaxed and more effective
- Employees can achieve more in a shorter time
- Absenteeism and sick days drop
- Employees are more engaged
Reduce the impact of the cost of living increase
The rate of inflation in the US is on the verge of creating a dramatic living crisis for both employed and unemployed professionals. Unfortunately, many companies struggle to raise wages enough to compensate for inflation.
What can be done to ensure the team can continue to maintain their lifestyles without stress? Indeed, many Americans have already expressed the desire to seek a side hustle to make ends meet. Overworked employees are not only unlikely to be mentally or emotionally available in the workplace, but they can be prone to making mistakes or quitting for a better-paid role.
Employers can consider solutions that will protect their team’s finances, such as:
- Negotiating price cuts in local shops for employees of the company
- Offering remote work options to keep commuting costs low
- Seeking agreements in local co-shared workplaces where employees can work rather than in their home offices
- Providing on-site nursery and babysitting services
Have a one-to-one culture
One-to-one meetings are often dreaded by employees who perceive them as an opportunity for their managers to let them know everything they’ve done wrong.
One-to-ones are designed to provide a constructive opportunity for personal growth within the company and as an individual. They can serve many purposes, such as:
- Helping a new employee find their mark in the company
- Providing feedback and advice for self-improvement
- Releasing tensions by clarifying the business direction
- Getting to know each other better
- Taking the temperature and understanding how an employee feels in the company
- Providing a safe place where someone can be honest about anything that frustrates them at work (even if it is b*tching about an annoying co-worker)
One-to-one meetings should be a place for honest conversations where employees can address their needs, experiences, and issues at work. While some issues may never be resolved, such as some interpersonal work relationships, it is important that they are addressed freely. Indeed, in the long term, employees who have no one-to-one are prone to quit over issues that may seem benign. One-to-one meetings are crucial to creating trust in the company. Lack of trust means that employees can’t work through issues, frustrations, and hiccups they experience at work. As a result, they can struggle to build connections and collaborate with each other.