It has been proven that the happiness of your employees can have a huge impact on their productivity. In fact, job satisfaction can lead to your workers being 12% more productive, according to a study carried out by the Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick.
One of the best ways to increase happiness and morale throughout your business is by implementing an employee engagement scheme.
Here, Steve King, Director of Gifts International, explains how you can help your staff to be happier and more productive with an employee engagement scheme.
Many large companies, such as Virgin and Waitrose, offer their workers a range of rewards and benefits, which usually leads to high retention rates and a consistently high level of productivity.
While you might not be able to offer your employees the same lavish perks as these large corporations, there are some easy and affordable ways in which you can motivate your workforce.
As your staff’s happiness increases, their productivity will follow suit. This is sure to make up for the time or money it takes to put together an effective engagement scheme because happy employees, who enjoy their jobs, will help to boost your bottom line.
Here, I’ll share some ways in which you can improve job satisfaction within your business. Whether you adopt just one of these ideas or the whole list, you’ll soon be reaping the rewards.
Reward hard work
If your staff receive compliments and positive feedback, their self-esteem will increase and they’ll be much more likely to take pride in their work.
So, why not come up with a system that rewards your employees for all of their hard work? If your entire workforce has been doing a particularly great job, you could show your appreciation by taking them out for a meal or planning a pizza party for lunch.
You can also treat stand-out employees with the likes of gift cards or an extra day off. Once everyone else sees what’s on offer, they’ll be bound to work much harder.
There are countless ways in which you can recognise your employees’ hard work and our guide on How to design an effective incentive scheme for your small business will set you on the right path.
Offer flexible working options
There are a range of ways in which you can offer your employees flexible working arrangements. Whether you’re happy to let them work from home, open to the option of job sharing, or willing to let your staff start work at a time that suits them, everyone will benefit.
If your employees have the freedom to work in a way that suits their lifestyles, they’ll have a much better work-life balance, which will have a positive effect on their health and wellbeing.
Flexible working can also improve your staff retention rates. This is important, because recruiting can be an expensive and time-consuming process — especially for SMEs.
So, if you want to hold onto your employees, giving them the option of flexible working could be the key. If you aren’t already convinced, E4S has a guide to the benefits of flexible working for employers, which will be sure to give you more food for thought.
Add a personal touch
Your employees don’t want to feel like they’re replaceable cogs that are just helping your business to run. So, it’s important that you show that you respect and appreciate them as individuals.
A very easy way to do this is by presenting everyone with a hand-written card for their birthday. If possible, you could even offer everyone an additional day off for their birthdays.
Additionally, if you hear that someone has a special occasion coming up — for example, a wedding or special anniversary — you should consider giving them a card or gift to mark this, too.
It’s also a good idea to get to know your employees and their ambitions.
Consider meeting with your staff one-on-one to talk through what they want to contribute to your company, what they want to get out of their job, and how they would like their career to progress. This will show that you truly care about what kind of path they envisage for themselves, and that you want to help them to reach their goals.
Plan social events
If you want to create a healthy environment where teamwork will thrive, you should plan regular social events for your staff.
Not only will this help to make your employees feel appreciated, but it will give them a chance to get to know each other better, and create a sense of togetherness. This, again, will help with staff morale, retention, and engagement.
Work get-togethers don’t have to be lavish affairs — they can be as simple as meeting up at the pub for a few drinks. But, if you’re feeling more ambitious and want to give your staff a proper treat, you could consider arranging a dinner at a nearby restaurant, or even a day out at an amusement park.
It all just depends on what you’re celebrating, how many staff members you have, and what you can afford. For more inspiration, take a look at How to motivate your team on a budget.
Ask for feedback
The most effective way to engage your employees is by giving them a voice and allowing them to help shape the way your business is run. This especially true when it comes to making decisions that affect them directly.
For example, if you’re trying to decide how best to reward your staff for their hard work and have a few ideas in mind, consider putting it to a vote.
Or, if you’re planning to move premises and have a couple of locations in mind, you could ask your team members what would work best for them.
Your business couldn’t run without your workforce, after all. So, why not give them a say in some of the choices you make?
It’s also worth letting your staff know that you’re always open to receiving feedback. Then, they’ll feel much more comfortable coming to you with any concerns or suggestions.
Being given a voice and the chance to express their opinion will be sure to increase their happiness and, as a result, their productivity.
Devising an employee engagement scheme is going to incredibly beneficial for your company and staff. Take some — or, better yet, all — of these ideas and everything from your top line to the atmosphere in your workplace is bound to improve.
About the author
This article has been written exclusively for ByteStart by Steve King, the Director of Gifts International, a retailer that specialises in the sale and delivery of luxury gifts for any occasion.