Saturday, September 30, 2023

Ten Ways to Invest More Into Your Employees and Strengthen Morale

Last updated on September 10th, 2022 at 09:35 am

Finding the perfect employee takes time and money, and losing well-trained and valuable staff costs your company. You miss out on the experience someone who’s been with your business for years brings to the table, and you also lose momentum as you wait for a new worker to learn the ropes.

A U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report released in February shows there’s been little shift in the number of job openings. If there were fewer positions, you might expect more and higher qualified candidates. The number remains around 6.6 million open jobs, with more available in professional and business services.

Even in the middle of a pandemic, people have opportunities to seek new positions. Every time you must search for a new hire, it costs your company money. It would be a far better use of your funds to train and keep reliable people already on your payroll.

If you wish to retain your workers, you must invest more into them, strengthen morale and create a company culture they never want to leave.

1. Hold Stand-up Meetings

How do you start your mornings? Get everyone on the same page with a five-minute scrum meeting. Go over the goals for the day, cheer your team on and hit the ground running.

Offer some free coffee and food to ensure even stragglers make it to the meeting on time. Ideally, each team leader gets about 30 seconds to summarize where they are in big projects and their objectives for the day.

2. Offer Life Insurance

Many companies moved away from supplying insurance and other benefits. If you provide perks no one else does, you may retain workers who don’t want to give up things like free life insurance or excellent health care.

Big corporations such as Ford Motor Co. give a base life insurance policy to their employees. For a small fee, workers can add to it or include family members. An insurance calculator helps them see how much they or their family might need in a time of tragedy.

3. Match Retirement Savings

Pensions are almost a thing of the past, and many millennials and Gen Zers believe Social Security will die a slow death before they benefit from it. Younger generations see the necessity of opening a retirement savings account, but they may not be sure where to start.

Set up a company 401(k) and offer to match a certain amount based on what employees contribute. You’ll help your workers set themselves up for a more secure future. Showing you are willing to invest in them for the long term also strengthens morale. They’ll know they’re a valued part of your company and you care about their well-being even past retirement age.

4. Allow Flextime

Millions of moms choose to freelance or leave the workforce and raise their children. With the rising costs of child care, it may pay them more to stay home and take side gigs than work for a company. What if you offered flextime, though?

Consider opportunities such as job-sharing or the ability to work only a few days a week to keep skilled people from leaving the workforce altogether.

5. Redesign Your Space

Did you know clutter can increase stress levels and reduce productivity? While folders and materials lying around may not bother one person, it will drive others insane.

Redesign your space to hide clutter away and get more organized. If you currently have an open space, is it conducive to the work you do? You may want to add cubicles, closed-off quiet rooms and individual offices.

You can also motivate employees with the decor you choose. Add some plants to bring the outdoors inside. Add windows for natural sunlight. Hang inspirational sayings and photos on the walls to encourage workers to be the best they can be.

Additionally, your employees deserve a fresh, clean and bright environment. It is morale-boosting and can enhance productivity. Consider giving the indoors of your office or retail property a fresh paint coat to motivate your staff and improve their mood. This can also reduce your turnover as your staff will be happier. Getting the best painters for the job can provide a positive return on your investment.

6. Add Remote Options

In a recent poll, Gallup found two-thirds of workers want to continue working remotely once COVID-19 eases. It may require a bit more effort on your part to set up staff to work from their homes, but you’ll keep people who might leave your company for one allowing telecommuting.

You could also offer the ability to work both at home and in-office. Consider what suits your company culture and needs best. Talk to your workers about their desires in this area. For example, if some of your employees have older children who are now doing e-learning, the ability to work at the same time their children do and be present may be beneficial.

Others may be frightened about returning to an unmasked world where they interact with others. If they feel unsafe, you can alleviate that concern and strengthen their morale by allowing remote options.

7. Go on Retreats

When do your workers connect? If you want your team to work like a well-oiled machine, you must conduct team-building exercises and host retreats. Use the time to motivate everyone and recognize your top workers.

Ideally, the retreat will happen outside of your typical location. Spend the weekend at a local retreat center or a beautiful cabin. Depending on your team’s size, you may want to bring in a professional speaker to motivate them to excellence.

Plan activities everyone will enjoy. Keep in mind not everyone loves sports, while also understanding some will adore active pursuits. Try to offer things people like that will improve company culture and employee morale.

8. Show Appreciation

Do you take the time to show appreciation for your staff’s efforts? Even a note thanking them for their dedication to a project can keep them feeling a valuable part of the team.

Glassdoor looked at over 5,000 resumes to figure out why employees leave their positions. The average length of time spent on a job was about 15 months. People resigned for various reasons, such as higher pay, change in title or the ability to work remotely.

Some factors you can’t control. However, you can change how you treat your staff. Have weekly rewards meetings and recognize stellar performance. Review your employees one-on-one and talk about what they’re doing great and how they can improve. Develop a plan to help them excel.

Take one person at a time to lunch and get to know them. Make sure you cycle through all your workers and don’t only eat with your favorite people. Some folks have compelling personalities, but they aren’t the ones who tend to feel overlooked at work. It’sthe quiet ones who put their heads down and get tasks done who often fall between the cracks.

9. Raise Leaders

Look for people you can cultivate into leaders. Get in the habit of promoting from within whenever possible, and develop skills in your employees. Send them to conferences, pay for their education and assign them to a mentor.

Send out semi-annual questionnaires and ask what jobs they might be interested in if they had the opportunity to train for them. Your receptionist might enjoy learning sales, especially if it means a bigger paycheck.

Keep an eye out for the people who get to work early and stay late. Find the ones who go the extra mile to make sure a project is delivered on time. Seek creative individuals who come to you with new ideas.

You can teach leadership skills. Look for the underlying qualities that make a good leader, such as kindness, creativityand attention to detail. They can learn the rest of the necessary knowledge with time. Do you offer a management training track in your company?

Send them to conferences, pay for their education and assign them to a mentor. You can even let your employees take a Free EQ Test in order for them to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses with regards to emotional intelligence. By helping your staff develop not only as professionals but individuals as well, you’ll find that the overall work they produce will improve dramatically. This is because they’ll feel valued and be regarded as assets to the company and not just worker bees. You can also take your employees through other development opportunities, such as the Six Sigma Master Black Belt Training. This way, they don’t only become valuable to your business but gain more skill and become better leaders to advance their careers. The certification program allows your leaders to offer more problem-solving support to your teams, offer the best ideas to shape your business strategy and initiatives and to become overall better team managers.

10. Ask for Feedback

Talk to your staff frequently. Gather feedback about what they like and dislike, and be sure to allow for anonymous reviews. You’ll learn a lot more by taking criticism without the workers having to attach a name to it. Some people are scared to speak up for fear of retribution.

Keep a pulse on how things are going by holding regular meetings with department heads. However, you should also talk to those under them. You might have a leader who isn’t pulling their weight, is overly harsh with your people or has negative attitudes.

If you notice a lot of workers quit while under a particular manager, reevaluate their methods. They may need additional training or a role where they aren’t directly supervising others.

The Golden Rule

Treat your staff the way you would want to be treated by a boss. Get to know them on an individual level, so you understand their needs. Set some standards for your company culture and choose people who fit your goals and have the same attitudes. Give raises when you can and recognize hard work and dedication.

Employee morale gives your workers that extra sense of confidence that allows them to go beyond what they thought possible. When faced with the choice of leaving your amazing company or going to another one, they’ll choose you every time.


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Eleanor Hecks
Eleanor Hecks
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.