For employees to be fully satisfied, there has to be a quid pro quo relationship between them and their employer. When employees are doing well, employers are doing better. Many in business don’t take this into account, and so try to “fix” the “books” against certain workers. They cut costs and expenses, ultimately harming workers.
A perfect example might be a breakroom where previously cups and plastic cutlery were provided. Through a “green” initiative, the hypothetical company of this example gets rid of all such breakroom accoutrements—to boot, they get a tax credit for making such a “green” initiative. But collaterally, many employees may feel undermined and unappreciated—their work may lag as a result.
Sometimes by cutting costs you actually add expense because productivity takes a dive. So get around this. Anticipate employee needs. Many of those needs involve family and health. You want to give employees time to get away with the family for a few weeks and try some fun family vacation activities they’ve never experienced before—things of this nature.
Food For Thought
Probably only around one in ten employees is going to be truly passionate and in a full state of flourishment at your company. The rest are there to put food on the table, and are putting a good face on an undesirable situation. Nobody likes working low-end jobs that keep them treading water firmly in the middle class with no prospects.
If you don’t recognize this, you’ll have fewer and fewer truly satisfied employees; how can they be satisfied? You must recognize this truth and do what you can to ease existential burden. Provide defined vacation time. Provide bonuses. Be flexible regarding scheduling. Don’t treat them like statistics, or resources; treat them like people.
Keep your people healthy. One good strategy when it comes to employee satisfaction and health as pertains to Medicare involves Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part C. This can help employees save thousands—so tell them about it, it will help them be more satisfied working for your business. It’s good for you, it’s good for them, everybody wins.
If you can use BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and/or cloud computing to remotely “float” your office, you’ll give employees more free time to pursue their passions, and make them more productive without any “clock milking”—they’ll only clock in to work. Of course, you need an online time-keeping strategy.
Many companies use excel timesheets, and it makes sense; but this may not be the best choice—businesses need a way to track how much time employees are spending on work. Traditionally, Excel spreadsheets have been the go-to option, but Excel isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when you’re trying to devise an efficient system for keeping time. A better option is using pre-configured apps and previously-designed categorization materials from online timekeeping authorities.
A Clear Career Path
Another worthwhile way to help employees experience satisfaction is to provide them a career path. Look, it doesn’t matter how menial the position; eventually, an employee will get to a point where your investment in them is not being fully realized by keeping them in the same position.
The way around this is to have a program in place which follows attrition rates—though seeks to reduce them. I.E., an entry-level position at a call center may have a 133% attrition rate because of the nature of the job. That may drop to 66.5% for an assistant manager one level removed from an entry level worker. It may further drop to 20% for a managerial position, and to between 1% and 5% for executive management.
Look at the average time of employee advancement here, and structure promotional packages around an upward ladder climb that has clear tiers of advancement. In this way you’ll always have available positions for qualified employees at a certain level of operations. You’ll retain the good ones into perpetual employment, and be able to let go of those which turned out to not be such a good investment.
Employees benefit from this as much as employers do. They are able to know they’re working toward something; something with better pay, benefits, and privileges. This will give them some level of motivation that can’t be had otherwise. People want to move forward and succeed. If you can give them that impression, then you’re likely to see them become self-motivated, and ultimately this is something no amount of infrastructural strategy can facilitate, as it must begin from within a person. So give them kindling for that flame by providing ideal working conditions. Everyone will win as a result.
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