The best leaders understand the importance of looking after the people around them. When you run a business, you can achieve a lot more if you have happy, healthy, motivated, passionate employees. In this guide, we’ll outline some simple steps you can take to care for your team.
Communication is critical when you manage a team or a group of individuals. Communicating is not just about speaking to people and encouraging them to talk to you. It’s also about listening. Arrange regular meetings and catch-ups with your employees, try to make them feel comfortable and relaxed and listen to what they have to say. Take action and address issues if they voice concerns, take suggestions on board and use ideas to improve the workplace environment. Keep channels of communication open, make sure you are accessible and make it easy for your employees to stay in touch with each other. Promote collaborative working, get together outside of work to build stronger relationships and try to ensure that every individual has a chance to share views or opinions.
Health and well-being
Employers have a legal responsibility to protect workers from accidents and injuries, but business owners can do so much more to champion health and well-being at work. Healthy employees take fewer days off sick and they tend to be more productive, which is beneficial for the company. If your employees have good mental health, this can also help to boost morale and create a positive environment. Review employee benefits packages, introduce measures to support mental and physical health and be prepared to offer additional help for employees who have health problems. You can be proactive in tackling substance abuse in the workplace, encourage employees to learn more about mental wellbeing and implement policies to promote regular exercise or encourage a healthy work-life balance, for example. Talk to your employees, ask them how they are and try to make sure that they feel able to be honest and open with you. It can be beneficial to undertake training and to keep an eye on what other businesses are doing to support employees.
Every business owner wants their team to work hard and put in maximum effort, but it’s essential to manage your expectations and to be realistic. Employees should not be doing overtime every day or fielding calls or responding to emails hours after they leave the office. If you are expecting too much, you run the risk of losing employees, especially if you don’t recognize or reward hard work. If your employees complain about having too much work, or they work far longer hours than they are contracted for, it’s wise to explore solutions. You may need to hire extra members of staff or consider outsourcing, for example.
Many employees accept a job offer with aspirations to progress in the future. As an employer, you can facilitate growth and evolution within your business at the same time as helping employees to fulfill their potential. Offer access to training, identify individual goals and help your employees to achieve them, and provide opportunities. If you have posts available, consider promoting existing team members rather than recruiting externally. If you spot potential in more junior members of staff, think about programs and courses they could complete to fast-track them and prepare them for management roles. If your team doesn’t feel supported in their ambitions to climb the ladder, they may start to look for jobs elsewhere.
Acknowledge and reward achievements
Most people have been in a job where they felt undervalued. It can be soul-destroying to put a huge amount of effort into your work to get nothing in return. Good leaders acknowledge and reward achievements, successes and dedication. You don’t have to spend a fortune on bonuses or lavish gifts, but it’s hugely beneficial to recognize the efforts of your team. A simple congratulatory email, a drink after work at the end of a project, a Christmas party or an extra day off can go a long way.
Most company bosses rely on their employees to build a positive brand reputation and deliver products and services to customers. A healthy, happy team is likely to perform much better than a group of individuals who feel undervalued, stressed or exhausted. As an employer, it pays to take good care of your employees. Take these tips on board to boost morale, champion health and well-being, create welcoming, inclusive, supportive workplaces, retain talented individuals, enhance brand image and help employees to fulfill their potential.