I’ve been around for a while now, and I have seen many companies go through good times and bad times. When a company starts to go through bad times, they often exasperate the problems that they are having with poor decisions. One of the most detrimental things many companies do during bad times is to not invest in your staff.
In many ways, your staff is the outward face of your business. When a client or customer arrives at your business, it is your staff that they meet. If you manufacture a product, it is your staff that is spending the time to make sure that product is up to standards.
When you invest in your staff, they invest in your business. It really is that simple. A staff that does not feel appreciated does not do as good of a job. When that happens, they are less productive, less accurate, and less cordial. That costs you money.
Conversely, when you invest in your staff, the are more productive. They value their job, and are happy to be a part of a company that they believe values them. The are proactive problem solvers, and they are better sales people.
So how do you invest in your staff? There are many ways to show your staff that you appreciate what they do for the company. Of course pay raises is what most people think of, but some recent studies have shown that pay rate isn’t the driving factor for todays worker. In fact, one study shows that culture and values, career opportunities, and trust in senior leadership are the top 3 drivers of employee satisfaction.
Culture and Values
Values is simply the belief that the employee is doing a good job for society in general. If an employee feels like your company is hurting people, or the environment, or is just generally a bad company, then they will not have the motivation to do a good job. Make your company a positive influence on your community, and employees will enjoy working at your company more. Have a canned food drive, adopt a highway, do good. You will get more out of it then you think.
Your business culture is directly dependent on the satisfaction levels of your employees. When people are happy, and they feel like they are being rewarded for doing well, then it inspires everyone else. You have heard that a smile is contagious, well so is job satisfaction to an extent. It is like a domino effect, you invest in your staff a little, they become happier, and their happiness makes the company culture happier, which increases everyones happiness even more.
Traditionally, the phrase “career opportunities” is taken as promotions, or moving up through the ranks. However, sometimes people are good at their jobs, and you don’t want to promote them because you need them where they are. This is ok. There are other career opportunities. These opportunities allow the employee to better themselves. This can be done with training, speakers, team building seminars, retreats or numbers of other things (like benefits packages). Anything that gives the employee the opportunities to better themselves (and make them a better employee) is a win win for them and for your business.
Trust In Senior Leadership
Your time is something you can invest in your staff as well. Your staff will never be able to trust you if they do not know you. Talk to your staff, consider their complaints and suggestions. If your staff believes that they are a valued part of the organization, then will put forth the extra effort to do good for the company.