Monthly Archive for June, 2017

What Do Employees Want?

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If you are looking for ways in which to keep staff at your business for longer, there is one question that you should be asking yourself above all the others: what do employees want? And while salary and benefits are obviously important, they are not everything. Many of the most successful businesses are the ones that work the hardest to keep their employees happy. Forward-thinking companies work to develop the staff they already have rather than constantly looking for new employees. They also treat their employees as a commodity rather than something that is expendable. Let’s take a look at many of the top things that employees want so you can tick off what you are offering.

Purpose

Everyone wants to feel like they have a sense of purpose and that what they are doing is worthwhile. Employees want to be reassured of the importance of their job role as part of the wider company. So, one way that you can give employees that sense of purpose is by providing regular feedback. This way, you can tell them how their work is contributing to the company as a whole. You can also listen to their ideas in meetings and consider implementing some of them. People want to feel like they are making a difference in the business they are working for.

Goals

Goals go towards giving that sense of purpose that employees are looking for. As a business owner, you will know that if you aren’t working to achieve a particular goal, it is difficult to retain focus and commitment. The best goals are measurable and attainable. If they are too vague then people don’t know whether or not they have hit them and if they are too difficult then people can end up feeling frustrated. Once a goal has been achieved, there should be some sort of recognition of achievement before setting a new one.

Flexibility

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Now that the internet has provided so many more opportunities for flexible working, many talented staff members value this sense of freedom ahead of traditional salary increases. So, if you do have certain job roles in which you can offer a degree of flexibility, this will be greatly appreciated. Obviously, telecommuting requires a great deal of trust in your employees, but if you can rely on your staff members, they will reward you with high quality work. There are also plenty of cost benefits involved in implementing flexible working, so you should consider these as well.

Responsibilities

Delegating can be a tricky part of being a manager, but it is an essential one. Not only does this make your life easier, but employees are looking for responsibilities to be passed onto them. Again, it all comes back to an issue of trust, and with this trust, comes the feeling of being valued. So, you should ask your employees if they feel comfortable taking on certain responsibilities rather than piling them on regardless.

Compensation

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Of course, all the other things we have talked about are important, but let’s not downplay that employees are looking for a good salary and high-quality benefits. When you come to employing a new member of staff or giving out raises, it is worth doing some salary benchmarking so you can compare what you are offering to other companies. Pay rises should be incentivised so that staff work towards hitting certain predefined goals. Benefits vary from company to company, but sometimes it is the little things that make all the difference. So, taking staff out for a drink after completing a big project or giving them a present on their birthday can go a long way towards keeping them happy.

Autonomy

People generally don’t want to be micromanaged and would prefer a degree of autonomy when it comes to achieving a particular goal. So, once you have set goals in place, you should provide a degree of flexibility when it comes to achieving these aims. However, it also helps to have an open policy so people come to you directly when they are looking for help or support on a particular issue. There is no harm in checking how a certain project is going from time to time, but people generally don’t like the feeling that someone is constantly looking over the shoulder.

Opportunities for Innovation

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Sometimes, employees can become too focused on their main job role and feel that any creative thinking they are doing is extra. Google is one of the big-name companies to address this issue by allowing employees to be creative for 20 percent of their working hours. Though you may not be able to offer this sort of time, you can still have brainstorming sessions on a regular basis so people have the opportunity to discuss their ideas. This way, everyone feels like they are a part of coming up with new directions for your business to take.

Communication

A lot of companies suffer from being too opaque in their communication style when what people are looking for is transparency. So, regular and open communication can really make all the difference. This way, everyone feels like they are on the same page and working towards achieving the same aims. One of the main issues that businesses have is that people share their complaints with each other rather than feeling like they can take steps to make things better by talking to their managers.

Attention

Getting the balance between providing autonomy and attention is a difficult one, but employees are still looking for guidance and feedback where they can get it. Make a point of speaking to them on a regular basis, rather than just waiting until their annual performance review. Though delegating responsibilities is important, so too is showing that you care about what your employees are working on and how they are feeling.

Hopefully, this guide will have provided you with some more detail when it comes to answering the age-old question of what employees want so you can retain and develop your staff.

Five Things You Need To Do To Keep Your Employees Happy

There are many things that you will have to think about, particularly if you are a new modern business owner, and often there are things that might slip your mind or perhaps that you don’t prioritize. Employee satisfaction is one of the things that will make or break your business, as a happy employee means a more productive employee. To retain a member of your staff, it is crucial that they feel welcome, valued and engage with your company. This is why it is so important to limit the turnover of your employees and focus on hiring and retaining reliable, trustworthy and hardworking members of staff. Recruiting a new member of staff is only the first part of the job process however and making sure that they want to stay is part of the process as well. There are many ways to make someone feel valued and content at work, here below are five of them.

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Image source- Pixabay

Pay your employees well

Paying your employees well is perhaps the most obvious way in which to keep them content. As your members of staff will be spending most of their waking hours working for you, they will want to be adequately reimbursed for their contributions to you and your company. Paying above-average wages will ensure that your staff have a consistent reason to stay with you and will not move to another competitor.

Provide benefits

Health care, life insurance, and pension plans are benefits that are expected by most employees. A company that does not offer a comprehensive benefits plan will lose out to another company that does. Additionally, It is worth investing in your employee’s overall health by providing good dental and health insurance as well perhaps fitness benefits which will not be overly costly but will be well-received by your staff.

Be open and transparent

Communicating with your employees and keeping them up to date with the company is key to fostering trust between you and them. Poor communication is noted as being one of the biggest reasons for unhappiness within the workplace, so the importance of keeping your employees in the loop cannot be underestimated. Have regular meetings and do not only give your staff good news, but also be honest with them and let them know bad news that may affect them as soon as you can.

Be reliable

This means paying your staff on time, and keeping them in the loop should there be a delay in their payment. Do try to avoid paying your employees late even if this means taking it out of your pocket first. Being reliable isn’t solely limited to payment, however, as this also means replying to their emails, being on time, and not canceling individual or group meetings without enough notice, as well as many other smaller things. Encourage your employees to be reliable by setting the example.

Make your staff feel safe

Have policies in place which protect your staff from abuse of any kind, as well as offering them support for any physical or emotional abuse of stress they may have experienced working for you. Consider outsourcing externally, using specialized services such as Health Assured, who offer employee assistance programmes. This will cover your back as well, and ensure that you combat any work-related incident within work rather than it going beyond the office.

Sure Fire Tips For a Great First Impression In Business

It’s absolutely true that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and while first impressions can be amended it takes time, tenacity and effort that would be better expended elsewhere.

Making it in business in the increasingly fast-moving and competitive modern world is a battle that requires nothing short of absolute dedication at all times, and ensuring a confident, friendly, approachable yet strong first impression with everyone with whom you do business is half the battle.

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Image by Pixabay

Standing out

However unique your business plan, your experience, your skills and attributes are it can be difficult to stand out amongst your competitors. Others that you approach to do business may see dozens of people in your position every day. How will you be sure that you’re the one that stands out in their memory?

Little bells and whistles can certainly help here. A memorable business card and monogrammed stationery are some helpful tools that can help you stand out but the key to a good first impression starts and ends with you!

Image management

Of course there’s more to success in business than wearing a nice suit or having shiny shoes, but while image management isn’t the be-all-and-end-all, you should underestimate its importance at your peril. Managing your image has some key benefits in business, as it asserts a measure of control before you’ve even said a word.

  • It enhances people’s perception of you.

  • It projects an air of trustworthiness.

  • It subliminally inspires confidence in your skills and abilities.

  • It elevates your status.

  • It offers a sense of friendliness and approachability.

Of course your image goes way beyond your clothing or how you do your hair. Image management isn’t something you can pick up off a hanger and wear. It extends to your body language, the way you walk, sit or shake hands and how you use your voice.

The tiniest of chinks in the armor of your image management can lead to you appearing stressed, overwhelmed or out of your depth.

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 Take charge of your image

Take a good, long look in the mirror. Recite your opening spiel, and keep a close eye on the following:

  • Analyze your image- Consider your choice of clothing. What do the choices you’ve made with colors and fabrics (and even your jewellry and accessories) say about you personally and your business identity?

  • Listen to yourself- If you can, record yourself talking as you recite your introductory monologue. Consider the tone; is it friendly and approachable yet authoritative? Is the pace even and measured or are you rushing through it (which can imply nervousness).

  • Consider what you’re saying without speaking- Non-verbal communication accounts for over 50% of what we communicate. Consider everything from your first handshake to the gestures you make when you talk. If you have to speak publicly, try to avoid pacing however much your feet may want to move. It can make you look nervous and indecisive.

  • Check your attitude- Practice your smile. Make sure it looks warm and natural. Practice that delicate balance between appearing confident without seeming aggressive, friendly and accommodating without appearing submissive.

There’s no definitive winning formula to making the right first impression but these principles can help set you on the best possible start to making a successful impression for you and your business.