Turnover and recruiting costs are high, so any efforts to create a positive work environment will help reduce your recruiting costs and improve employee engagement and productivity.
There are various ways that employers can “pay it forward” to create a positive work environment that promotes trust, provides the necessary support to get the job done, fosters creativity and makes it rewarding for all.
Here are some ways that employers can help create a more positive work environment and pay it forward:
Studies have shown that employees crave recognition for a job well done. Think about programs like employee of the month, service awards, best idea, and other initiatives to recognize employees for their efforts in driving the business.
Continuous feedback, positive and negative, rather than a once a year performance review, is far more effective in managing employees. It’s important for employees to consistently understand what they are doing well AND not doing well, to keep them focused and on track. Performance reviews shouldn’t result in surprises.
Think about activities that help promote team spirit, or recognize an employee for going above and beyond. I once worked for a company where the president sent a hand written note (lunch is on me) and a five dollar bill to employees on their birthday. This small gesture was really a nice touch. Think about bringing in pizza or bagels once in a while or letting employees go home early on the eve of a holiday or providing a small bonus for working a weekend or a late night. Sometimes we forget how the job impacts a family, especially for those who travel for business all the time. Examples of these kind gestures could be a trip to the spa, flowers or a night out for the spouse of an employee who’s been on the road a lot.
People typically leave companies because of their manager, and not money. That means it’s important to look at manager behaviors and styles within your company. If you tolerate managers that operate on the “it’s my way or the highway” approach, then you’re likely to have higher turnover. Today, word quickly gets out on social media sites like glassdoor.com, so one bad manager can scare job candidates away and damage your company’s reputation. Define the management tone that you want to have and consider providing training to those managers who do not fit that desired style.
Encourage team activities, such as most funds raised or best holiday decorations. Competition between departments brings people together, builds relationships and lets employees have fun – all good for relieving stress and building engagement.
Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y) who were born in the 1980’s through the early 2000’s, are especially attuned to a company’s corporate social responsibility. They want to work at companies that do more than just earn money. Sponsoring a local cause, like we do through Fed Up With Cancer, enlisting employees to work in a food kitchen or starting a recycling program show concern for the community and environment. The recent Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS rallied many companies; Did your company participate?
Employees and Managers like to know that you are investing in them. Providing on-going training helps them expand their skill set and stay on top of new technology and industry developments. Many companies offer monthly “lunch & learn” sessions. Encourage employees to take online courses or a night class to improve their skills. Our internal goal at MassPay is to provide each full-time employee a minimum of 60 training hours per year.
Many smaller companies struggle to afford competitive benefits that larger companies offer. You don’t have to be the highest paying employer, but might look to make 1-2 smaller improvements per year, like adding FSA or increasing the company’s contribution to family medical plans.
While there are many other ways to foster a positive work environment, focusing on these items will certainly help you to “pay it forward” with your employees.
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