“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” This quote is so widely cited all over the internet that you have probably seen it more than once and you already know who said it. That’s right, it was Sir Richard Branson, the Founder of the Virgin Group.
Since you have found your way to a blog on happiness and wellbeing at work, I bet you already understand the importance of caring about your employees. Happy employees lead to happy clients which leads to the good word spreading of your company, more happy clients, and yes, more zeros in your bottom line. But how can you show to your employees that you care about them? Here are 3 ways that you can start implementing right now:
1. Give Them Flexibility and Autonomy
Smart, passionate people want to have control over their own work. That can mean figuring out how to complete the project given to them, deciding when and where to get the job done, or just not having somebody hover over their shoulder as they work. Micromanaging or controlling your employees too much doesn’t show respect or trust toward them and scares away the smartest people.
If you are an entrepreneur running your own business, sometimes it can be hard to trust that other people would do the job same way you would. And here is a secret for you: most likely they will NOT do it exactly the way you would have done it. But it doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t do it well. Most of the time, there is more than one right way to solve a problem or to get a project done. Instead of controlling the number of hours your employees spend sitting at their desk every day or telling them how to type that email to a client, determine goals and deadlines together with them. Then tell them to go do it, and stay out of it while they work their process.
2. Support Their Personal Life Events
Our working life and personal life are not something separate from each other. Work events affect our free time and vice versa. If your employee is going through a stressful or difficult time in their personal life, such as becoming a parent and having to learn how to combine career and family, losing a loved one, or struggling with a mental health issue, it is likely to affect how they perform at work. And in a healthy organizational culture that’s quite okay. People are not machines and we cannot press “pause” for our feelings for those 8 hours of our day.
Speak with the employee who is dealing with a new or difficult life situation. Ask them how you could best help them and make a plan together on how to keep moving forward. Then keep checking in regularly with the employee. Is the employee going to be a little bit less productive for a while? Yes, probably. But are they going to be even more committed to a company that truly cared about them as a person, and not just as a number in the headcount? I say, absolutely.
3. Pay Your Employees for Their Contribution
No, money and perks are not everything when it comes to employee happiness, but your employees do deserve to be compensated fairly for the job that they do. Nothing says “I don’t care about you” louder than a nonexistent benefits program or a compensation that doesn’t align with the salaries in the market or the contribution the employee is making to the company. If you pay peanuts, your best employees are likely to leave you for an employer that does pay them for the job that they do.
Instead, if you compensate your employees fairly, or even a little bit more than your talent competitors, you are likely to attract the best employees in the market. Review your compensation and benefits program regularly to ensure that it is up-to-date with what is offered in the market. Also, revise individual employees’ salaries on a regular basis. If someone in your team is significantly contributing to the company, find a way to reward them for their efforts.
Do you want to improve employee wellbeing and happiness in your organization? Get in touch with us to set up a free consultation call!