If the recent proliferation of office greenery is anything to go by, businesses are becoming more aware of their employees’ needs when it comes to creating the work environment. Your employee’s responsibility to you is to do their work to the best of their ability. But the contract between employer and employee doesn’t stop there. You have to hold up your end, too. It’s your job to make sure that the work environment you have created for your staff makes everyone feel safe and secure, enabling them to do their best work.
These days it’s well understood that hiring and retaining top talent is a massive part of business success. If staff retention is high on your priorities list (hint: it should be), then these tips will help you become the world’s best boss.
Don’t Assume Anything
When it comes to making judgments about your employees’ performance, it’s crucial to recognize that your expertise as a business leader does not qualify you to make accurate assumptions. If a member of your team is underperforming, or your whole team is demonstrating a productivity lag, don’t make the mistake of assuming that you know why. The best way to discover the true reason why a member of your team is failing to meet a demand is to ask them directly. The minute you jump to a conclusion, that employee is going to feel attacked, exposed and misunderstood. In other words, the opposite of safe. They may not quit immediately, but you will have a hard time holding onto them once they have improved their performance and become a net contributor to your team.
Fairness and Transparency
Keeping your team up to date on the goings on in your business—even about things that do not directly relate to their day-to-day—will give your employees a sense of control over the work that they do. When demand is low and times are tough, your employees are more likely to rally to support you with their energy and commitment if you keep them in the loop than if you attempt to conceal the fact that the company is in trouble. While transparency about company performance is an important tool for fostering trust within your business, it’s important to note that transparency has a role in the daily running of the company, too, and should not be reserved for major high and low points. From diversity quotas to scheduling, letting your team see how the HR system works, and that everyone in the company is treated even-handedly, is a fantastic way to foster trust within your organization.
Different industries will offer differing opportunities for transparency with your employees. For example, these 7 Employee Scheduling Strategies For Restaurants provide helpful ideas on how to ensure that your team’s schedules are managed with the utmost fairness and transparency.
Show Your Gratitude
If your team has been working especially hard, don’t let yourself grow accustomed to this level of commitment and productivity, and start to take it for granted. It’s crucial that you recognize their efforts—both of the team as a whole and of especially high-performing individuals—and reward them whenever it is appropriate. Taking the time and devoting the resources to showing your team that their commitment and output is valued, and their hard work is never taken for granted, will pay off in terms of employee satisfaction, retention, future performance, and long-term productivity. When employees feel valued, they are more secure in their jobs, which in turn boosts productivity.
There are many different approaches to recognizing and rewarding employees, and to a large extent the methods you choose will depend on your industry and the type of company you are. For example, generous commission structures work well for sales-related roles, but other types of work with different KPIs will require more creative recognition and reward structures. Some companies go with team rewards, like parties or days out, while others prefer cash bonuses, or other financial rewards. Why not do both?
One of the most effective ways to make your employees feel seen is to regularly schedule one-on-one meetings. By creating space for your employees to give you honest feedback, or simply taking the time to get to know one another, you give your employees regular opportunities to voice their concerns. Getting to know your team members as individuals makes you more approachable. If your staff feels confident approaching you when they want to raise an issue, they will feel more safe and secure in the workplace.
One of the key characteristics of successful business owners is that they foster a secure environment for their staff. Whether you employ a team of three or three hundred, these tips will help make your employees feel secure.