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Business Tips from SCORE: Happy Employees

Happy Employees Are The Ones That Stay—5 Ways to Make that Happen

Businesses everywhere are looking for staff, some for year-round positions and some for the summer season. No matter what the position is, the goal is for employees to be happy, engaged and to stay with the company.  The first impulse from any business owner is to feel trapped by the idea that the only way anyone will come to and stay with your company is with a higher salary or hourly wage.

Offering a competitive wage is the price of entry but it’s also not necessary to overpay your employees. Few business models can weather ongoing wage hikes. It’s critical then to consider other ways to get employees excited about working for you.  The news is that workers have emerged from two years of a pandemic and their values have changed. Today, it’s all about work/life balance so tap into that. You’ll find that how we treat each other as human beings often has a lot more value than a higher wage.

The #1 thing employees want is RESPECT. They want to know you care about them as workers but also as human beings. They want to feel valued and integral to the business. Create that type of environment by starting with these 5 initiatives.

  1. Transparency: employees want to know how the company is doing, what are the goals, the company mission. They want to believe in you as their leader if they are to invest themselves for the long-term. So even if a business takes a turn for the worse, let employees know and let them be involved in the solution.
  2. Feedback: don’t relegate employee feedback to the once a year performance review. Schedule time in your week to chat with each employee, ensuring that they know you want to hear what they have to say. Employees love having a relationship with the boss!
  3. Let Them Go: the best employees want to own their work. Let them run with their work and feel empowered but also encourage questions.  Those who fail are typically the ones afraid to ask for help or information.  No need to micro-manage. You’ll quickly see who will succeed.
  4. Growth Opportunities: employees are willing to invest time and effort if they see a meaningful future. Lay out a possible growth plan and recognize that not everyone wants to run the company.  Many of your best employees are looking for additional training in certain skills areas.  Your most important employee might be that “doer” that has limited upward growth because of the type of job or perhaps his own aspirations.  That said, this person needs to be recognized and to have access to training or perhaps leading internal events, initiatives outside their standard job.  Their growth is recognition.
  5. Wellbeing: if nothing else, the pandemic has highlighted the need for wellbeing in the work environment. Offer your employees break times for exercise, make nutritious foods available (goodbye candy machine, hello fresh fruit bowl), recognize those people who pursue choices that support their wellbeing. This is a great area for you to engage employees and ask for their ideas about boosting wellbeing. The more involved they are in the creation of ideas, the more likely they will participate.

Creating this level of respect for employees will ensure that their focus is on doing more for you versus searching for that next job. Employees who feel respected are the ones who stay and contribute the most to company growth.  It’s a worthwhile investment.

Need help with this or other business questions?  SCORE Cape Cod & the Islands provides free, confidential mentoring.  Contact us at [email protected], at 508-775-4884 or on our website at www.capecod.score.org