How to create an environment where employees thrive
I’ve suffered from restless feet for as long as I can remember. Always having it in the back of my mind ‘what’s next?’. Many of us experience this when it comes to the current dating scene, travel and even our careers. Perhaps many of your employees feel this way as well. There are days when their work feels purposeful, but others when they question what they are actually working towards. And then they open up LinkedIn for a quick scroll, only to be notified that there are hundreds of job postings related to their skills. Encouraging employee commitment can be tough.
So what’s the value in staying put?
For employees, among other reasons, there is future job security. A survey reported that despite people in their 30s being in highest demand, a 55-year-old with steady employment history is easier for recruiters to place in a new job than a 30-year-old job hopper. They believed one of the biggest obstacle for an unemployed candidate of landing a new job is having a history of leaving a company before they have been there for a year.
For employers, keeping good employees is certainly much more cost effective. The typical hiring time to fill a role is a lengthy 10 to 12 weeks. Not only is it a time consuming task, but there is also the cost of loss productivity, heavier workload on other employees and extra effort required from management during a period of transition.
So here are some tips for encouraging employee commitment and ensuring they are working productively:
A good leader listens.
Gary Vaynerchuk advises that “to motivate (employees), you’ve got to get to a place of understanding that they don’t work for you. You work for them. It’s about understanding what every single person in your company wants, and doing your best to deliver.”
This may be a little backwards to how we usually think of the employer and employee relationship. The point is to listen to your employees and make sure they feel heard. Take the time to understand what motivates them individually. People have many different reasons why they show up to work every day and either do a great job or a lacklustre one. A strong leader understands that people are taking a risk in following them, so they honour that relationship.
Be a teacher.
Encourage your staff to ‘always be a student’ by enabling an environment of learning. Most of us that get restless feet do so because we need to feel that we are continually growing, learning and expanding. Adopting the mentality of ‘always being a student’ has helped to remind me that there is always more to be learned. And having bosses or colleagues that are open to teaching others, provides the opportunity for people to reach out.
Try having both management and employees give regular presentations to the team on new topics of interests or on challenges they’ve had to overcome in their careers.
Communication, communication, communication.
Effective communication in the workplace is an integral element of a business’ success. Not only does it increases employee engagement and the overall effectiveness of a team, but it also enhances relationships. Communication ensures that team members understand what they are working towards and why. It allows everyone to reconnect over the projects at hand and move forward with clarity. Positive communication is a huge part of employee commitment.
Some avenues for consistent communication are through efficient weekly meetings, regularly asking colleagues for feedback and keeping workflows transparent on project management tools like Trello.
Reward healthy behaviour.
Encouraging your employees to make healthy choices is one way to show them that you care about their wellbeing. In order to increase engagement in health programs, offering incentives and rewards can motivate participants and provide purpose behind behaviour change. A little friendly competition between employees and teams helps as well!
Try providing a service like HOLISTAL to your employees. It helps to motivate healthy eating by educating your employees to make healthier food and lifestyle choices. It includes tons of recipes for inspiration and rewards to motivate them to put it into action. This is definitely a great way to improve employee commitment!
In a survey of 2,600 full-time US workers, 72% rated ‘unlimited paid time off’ as the most valuable workplace perk. What does this look like? Giving employees permission to take the odd day off to deal with life situations or even just to take a break, without the feeling that they will be wasting their paid annual leave days. In order to make this useful, it needs to be adopted by the whole corporation with managers leading by example to prioritize their well-being as well.
Meditation is known to improve focus by teaching one how to stay present in the moment. Not only is it a very useful stress management technique, but it also helps us gain clarity in our thoughts and work on being present. This is a great technique for those who are constantly thinking about what’s ahead as it can help us learn how to stay present and find value in where were currently at. Consider offering meditation workshops or providing subscriptions to meditation apps such as Headspace, Calm and 10% Happier.