Technology is transformative, and you can’t overlook the impact it’s had on the economy and the workforce. However, human beings, otherwise known as your employees, are still very much key assets that play a huge role in business success. Here are a few facts to keep in mind:
- Business that value their employees perform better, generating up to 22 percent in additional revenue.
- Businesses with poor customer service are also seen as undesirable employers.
- Unhappy workers cost more than $300 billion USD each year.
- Happy workers are 31 percent more productive, generate 37 percent more sales and are three times more creative.
- Employee retention and engagement are now key strategic initiatives.
Tech giants, like Google, are often cited for their innovative company culture — just as much as the technology they generate. Google consistently ranks as one of the best places to work, and you only have to check the business headlines to see how the company is performing.
Google is so granular about employee engagement that they have determined the optimal line length and wait times (3-4 minutes) for their free on-site meals as well as the ideal table size to encourage mingling and meeting new people.
How small business can make employees feel valued
Even if you don’t have an executive chef, there are basics than anyone can cover to ensure higher levels of employee engagement and satisfaction.
The way you treat your employees has an impact from day one. Effective onboarding, the process by which you welcome new employees into your company, can increase retention 69 percent and raise performance up to 11 percent.
Whether you have a formal or informal onboarding process, it’s important to have a process to give each employee the tools they need to do their job and feel like a valued part of the company and its culture.
Using Google as an example yet again, they’ve found that a warm greeting to a new employee from their boss leads to as much as a 15 percent increase in productivity in the first few months of the employee’s tenure.
Consistent, meaningful communication is one of the best ways to build employee engagement. Employees with communicative managers who make time to meet with and interact with them feel three times as valued.
Younger workers also expect that technology – from mobile apps to desktop chat platforms – will be an integral part of a communication process. Sometimes it’s face-to-face conversations; other times it will be a quick text or instant message. Whatever you do, the simple act of reaching out or providing useful information, in manners that make the most sense, has a profound effect on morale.
The dictionary definition of transparency speaks to a lack of pretense or deceit along with a sense of openness and willingness to share information. In other words, honesty goes a long way toward building relationships in the workplace.
According to growth hacker Neil Patel, transparency equals trust. In a society that’s changing as rapidly as ours, integrity matters more than ever.
It doesn’t cost a cent to offer a simple “thank you” or “good job.” However, failing to do so can cost a lot. According to Amy Lyman, Co-Founder of Great Place to Work, “Trustworthy leaders are great providers of genuine and sincere expressions of thanks.”
BambooHR’s 2016 survey of more than 1,000 US employees found a direct correlation between the frequency of praise and job satisfaction. Employees who received daily praise were 94 percent happier than those who did not.
It can be as simple as letting an employee leave early once a week to take their child to soccer practice or as elaborate as a full-scale, work-from-home policy. When employees feel that their employer respects their need for a work-life balance, they are more likely to be flexible in return — going the extra mile whenever needed.
A less rigid environment also reduces stress and increases attendance. In fact, studies have shown that absenteeism decreases up to 63 percent in workplaces with greater flexibility.
Why valuing your employees matters
A 2015 panel discussion on the value of employees, hosted by Sage CEO, Stephen Kelly, with guests, new age icon, Deepak Chopra, and former Secretary of State, General Colin L. Powell, reached the conclusion: “Employees derive personal satisfaction, passion and a sense of purpose from the work they do for companies.”
The takeaway: Everyone needs a mission.
“Considering when just about any company has access to the same raw materials, management systems and technology as you, it’s down to the performance of your workforce to set you apart from your competitors,” notes Monster, in complement to the need for a mission.
It’s rare to find an employer with little regard for employees. It happens, but it’s usually an exception to the norm. You value your business and the people who help you build it. The thing is to always keep this in mind. It doesn’t have to be grand gestures. It just needs to be consistent and intuitive. Every company won’t be a unicorn, but you can create your own kind of magic.
Blogmaster, content expert and marketing guru at Wagepoint, Michelle is having fun (seriously, she is) extolling the virtues of small business payroll and generating articles with actionable advice for small businesses and startups. Michelle probably needs to get out a little more often.