With today’s unemployment rates, retaining employees isn’t always the biggest challenge because they are less likely to quit on you. However, keeping them engaged, motivated, satisfied and happy working at your company does take some work. The worst thing that can happen is you have employees who have checked out mentally and aren’t performing at their best.
So, how can you keep your employees satisfied without having to give out raises all the time? Many factors can contribute to a worker’s happiness, so it’s important to understand how they think and what you can do to help them feel good about their workplace. We’ve compiled some tips that should help you with this important business objective.
- Remember the four core needs
These needs are physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. The good news is that satisfying one of these four needs can greatly improve performance. If you can find a way to tap into all four, then you will have very loyal and productive employees. It starts with communication. Listen to their thoughts. Not only does this make them feel like a bigger part of the company culture, but you can hone in on what really matters most to them. Minor adjustments in your management approach can make major improvements around your workplace.
- Show respect
An employee will never feel happy if they do not feel valued and respected by their superiors. This can be as simple as hearing out their ideas or showing praise when good work is done. Remember that we all make mistakes (even you), so don’t harp on the negatives. Give them a chance to learn from their mistakes.
- Look for ways to reduce stress
Sometimes the littlest things can make for a stressful work environment. Maybe there’s a temperamental printer that breaks down all the time or gets paper jams. Fix it or replace it. Maybe a faulty computer is causing someone major frustrations. Do what you can to help resolve the situation. Otherwise, these little things can compound and create a frustrated and unproductive employee.
- Be transparent
This isn’t always possible when it comes to major financial decisions, lay-offs or cut-backs. However, the more you can share with your employees about the state of the company and what your future goals are, the more they will feel like part of the solution.
- Create a positive environment
If you walk around looking stressed out all the time, it will rub off on your employees. Do what you can to put out a positive vibe and look for ways to break up the monotony of the work day. Casual days, catered lunches, birthday celebrations and employee contests are all great ways to spark some good feelings around the office. Find ways to reward them for their productivity. Choose an employee of the month or even have one day a month where you play a game in the office. Give the winners rewards that will be enjoyable but also useful for the workplace, like Starbucks gift baskets.
- Make training or coaching readily available
Some jobs take time to excel at, so make sure your employees have easy access to training, tutorials or personal coaching. It helps if they know they can get the help or answers they need without too much hassle. Ultimately, they’ll be able to feel more confident about their work with constant learning and growth. Learning from your industry doesn’t stop at work. You can consider taking an online mba to keep you from having a stagnant career path.
- Let creativity flow
Stifling the creativity and personalities of your employees can really damage their morale. Whether it’s something as simple as how they can decorate their workspace or letting them share ideas with management, it’s another way to keep them feeling comfortable and engaged. Learn about your employees and any unique talents they may have. See if there are creative ways to utilize their skills to help the company.
- Don’t micromanage
Nobody likes a boss hovering over their shoulders and second-guessing every piece of work that’s done. It’s the Golden Rule—treat others as you’d like to be treated. You’ll be amazed at how a little autonomy encourages self-motivated productivity.
If offering raises is not a feasible option, promotions and title changes can also boost morale and make employees feel rewarded for the great work they’ve done.
These are just a few of the ways you can increase employee satisfaction and maximize productivity in your workplace. When your employees feel good about where they work and what they are doing, you will see the difference in your company’s bottom line.