~by Emma Sturgis~
Many workers become dissatisfied with their work environments when dealing with supervisors who don’t seem to take their options into consideration or listen to issues they have. If they feel that their supervisors or managers don’t care about employees’ problems and point-of-views, they will be more likely to look elsewhere for a job. As a business owner or manager, it is important for you to take steps to make your employees feel important. By making an effort, you will ultimately make your company stronger.
1. Employee Input
Employees want to be involved with the companies they work for, and they often can provide valuable information on how to improve programs and processes. As a manager, you should make every effort to seek out their opinions through one-on-one and group meetings, e-mail messages and social media conversations. By using different tools at your disposal, you can reach employees at different levels in the company, with different communication styles. During meetings with employees, listen to them and ask questions to show that you are interested in what they have to tell you.
2. Be Flexible With Schedules
Many employees become dissatisfied with their jobs because they feel that their employers won’t work with them on scheduling. While you do have to draw the line somewhere, especially if employee absences become an issue, people who work for you are going to have legitimate issues that will cause them to miss work. They may have car trouble, illnesses, doctor’s appointments, sick children or family members, or family vacation plans. As an employer, you can show them you care by being understanding and trying to come up with a solution, such as having them make up hours through overtime later in the week or during the weekend.
3. Give Employees the Tools They Need to Succeed
By not giving workers the supplies and other tools they need, business owners communicate that they don’t want to invest in their employees. To really succeed, your employees need to have safety equipment, machines, office supplies, passwords, software and other important tools early on. You may have to spend some money to get new or updated supplies, but it will pay off in the long run. You can show your employees you are invested in their success by getting their input on what tools they need to do their jobs better. This will show them that you want them to be involved in important company decisions.
4. Make Quality Training a Priority
Many companies struggle because they don’t give their employees enough training or the right training. As a business owner or manager, you want your employees to have the type of training that will allow them to do their jobs right. To be able to do this, you have to have trainers who understand the ins and outs of the jobs and can provide comprehensive training to new employees. You also want to incorporate job shadowing and ongoing learning opportunities into your training program to give employees the best chance of succeeding in their positions.
5. Plan Company Events or Activities
Activities and events at work play a role in creating an environment of caring. As a supervisor, you can help to foster a better interpersonal relationship with employees through team building activities or themed events, such as holiday parties or potlucks. Team building activities should help employees get to know you and each other better, and to become closer as a unit. There are different games you can do, including name games and outdoor obstacle courses. If you do what you can to make these events or activities meaningful and enjoyable for employees, they will notice and want to work harder for the company.
6. Give Compliments
It’s such a little thing, but a compliment can go a long way in making an employee feel valued. You can do this by giving compliments geared to a whole team or to an individual. Just remember to be specific. This will show that you are paying attention to their work and are noticing the little things they do to help the company. You can give compliments in different ways, including compliment cards, e-mails and verbal exchanges. The important thing is to make sure a compliment is genuine so that the person or team receiving it feels important to the company.
7. Make Corporate Events or Retreats Meaningful and Fun
When you take your employees to corporate events or retreats, you can show them you care by going out of your way to make the experience better for them. There are different ways you can do this, including providing special lunches, having product giveaways and renting luxury corporate headquarters like those offered at Corporate Habitat for longer business trips. Employees are likely to feel more valued if you take the time to show that you care when planning trips and corporate events.
If you put in the effort to show your employees that you care about them on a personal and professional level, they will notice. By investing in your employees’ skills, taking time to get to know them and giving them occasional special treatment, you can make them feel valued. It will all pay dividends in the end because you will have a more productive, happier workforce.
Emma is a freelance writer based in Boston, MA. When not writing, she enjoys reading and rock climbing. Say “hi” on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2.