Just because employees work for you, doesn’t mean they like you. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but business leaders need to accept that loyalty is hard-fought and earned. Employees may smile to your face but deep down, they could be hiding their true feelings. Every business is in danger of overlooking the atmosphere and attitude of their workforce. Resentment isn’t something that builds overnight, but by the same token, it’s not something that can be dampened overnight. Employee satisfaction of working in your business is the critical factor that flies underneath the radar so often. Small business leaders especially, need to learn more about this concept as they stand the biggest chance of losing their employees year-on-year. Here are a few ways you can increase the happiness of your workers.
Remote working option
The most common area which breeds hostility among employees is the collaborative stage. Employees from different disciplines and professions, working together for one desired aim is a tense yet rewarding experience. As the CEO, you have to accept the fact that people from different departments are going to argue and disagree. It’s how you manage workplace conflict that will keep employees from harboring resentment in their minds.
What some companies do is utilize technology that allows employees to work virtually. Essentially, you give employees the choice of working as individuals, adding in their piece to a project without needing to physically reside within the same room. Not only does this type of ‘working on the cloud’ style allow employees the opportunity to work remotely, but it cuts the cost of overheads. On some level, you’re showing you, trust employees, by giving them space and making close collaboration an option instead of a forced approach.
Play to their strengths
Nothing will make an employee feel out of place, quicker than putting them into a role they don’t want or like. It’s vital that your business allows employees to take leadership roles as and when needed, but don’t force a shy introvert employee to be a project leader if they don’t feel comfortable. Play to the strengths of your employees, taking into account their natural tendencies. If an employee is better at working by themselves and they get more done this way, give them space and time to work on different tasks. At the same time, give them the chance to be included in meetings and teamwork scenarios, but don’t force it upon them. If you have employees that like to work creatively as a group, give them a whiteboard, pens and different visual supports to bring their ideas and solutions to life. If you do have employees that want to be leaders, give them trial runs in a managerial role when the right opportunity arises.
3 different honesty steps
Nothing says that you have a lack of confidence in your employees than not letting them be honest. Using a net promoter software, ask your employees one simple question about their satisfaction. They will give you a number score, which all employees can understand. They will also have the opportunity to fill out a box section, giving you more detailed feedback. For your human resources and business administration department, this number and feedback will be used to examine reasons for disharmony and research to come up with effective solutions.
Having a face-to-face feedback session with employees could change the dynamic and atmosphere in your business, permanently for the better. Your managers should invite employees one at a time, to speak about things they like and don’t like within the business. Let them know that they can speak with them openly and honestly, without repercussions.
If this is a little too daring for you, present a suggestion box every couple of months. Allow employees to remain completely anonymous. They can write down what they believe should be done to improve the working conditions and processes. Leave the box in the office for a week and then sit down with your management to read through them all. If you start to see a pattern of suggestions emerging, it’s credible to go off that and make the particular adjustment suggested.
Some business owners believe that allowing employees to argue points with each other is time-wasting. However, employees need to feel they are able to express themselves, thus allowing time for debate in meetings is so valuable to their overall satisfaction.
It’s a long hard road to increasing employee satisfaction but it’s incredibly rewarding. What you stand to gain is loyalty, respect and ultimately, greater productivity and joy in your business.