Running a business can be competitive on every front. Not only do you need to support your customers, but you also need to make sure your company can attract and retain top talent.
After the pandemic-fueled fluctuations in the job market, many organizations throughout the country found themselves in the midst of a “talent war.” Although roughly 10.7 million Americans were looking for jobs as of October 2022, there were about 11.5 million job openings available. If every open position was filled by a qualified employee, there could still be nearly 800,000 job vacancies. In this environment, how can you appeal to job seekers and keep your current employees happy? One option is to improve the employee experience.
Although money is a great motivator and employees want to be fairly compensated for their work, not every business can afford to give their employees elevated compensation packages. As a small or medium-size business (SMB) leader, it’s up to you to find ways to motivate your employees and increase morale. While this poses certain challenges, the good news is that there are things that today’s employees often appreciate as much as—if not more than—money. To help improve your employees’ experience, consider some of the things employees value that money cannot buy:
Employee burnout is a real problem in today’s workforce. In fact, according to a recent survey, 80% of human resource professionals observed an increase in employee burnout, with 37% citing a “major increase.” A better work-life balance may help reduce the feeling of burnout, which may decrease employee turnover while simultaneously improving employee engagement and productivity levels.
A strong work-life balance can increase employee retention and attract top-talent to your organization. In fact, a study of 50,000 global workers done by the Corporate Executive Board found that employees who believe they have good work-life balance work 21% harder than those who do not.
The first step in supporting a healthy work-life balance is to talk to your employees. Work-life balance means something different to different people, so it’s a good practice to see what your workforce wants before you begin implementing policies you think will help. Employee wellbeing can be affected by several things. For some, it means the flexibility to work remotely (partially or full-time), if the position allows for it. For others, it means selecting different working hours to better accommodate their personal responsibilities like raising a family or caring for a loved one. Show your employees that you understand that they have a life outside of the office, and they are likely to reward you with appreciation and loyalty.
Ultimately, you want your employees to that know they are putting their time to good use when they show up for work every day. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a strong company culture. In our post-pandemic society, many businesses have adapted to a work from home culture. This shift has made it more challenging to maintain the presence of a culture that was once primarily in-office.
There are ways to nurture a positive company culture both in office and with a remote workforce without breaking the bank. A few ideas include the following:
One of the easiest, most budget-friendly ways to help improve your employee experience and reduce turnover rates is to simply have ongoing communication with your workforce. Honest and open communication allows employees to feel like they are being heard and listened to regardless of role. Upper management should make a strong effort to actively listen whenever an employee has an issue regardless of how big or small. This doesn’t mean that every issue is discussed with the CEO, rather that each employee has a voice and a clearly identified leader they can discuss matters with. This is significant given that 33% of employees said that a lack of open, honest communication has a negative impact on overall employee morale .
When working toward better communication, there are key components to consider. First, the style and tone of how you respond to employee feedback will play a big part in how it is perceived. People should feel comfortable and confident when speaking to you, otherwise they will not feel they can share without fearing negative repercussions.
Actively encourage communication. You can do this by administering employee engagement surveys or pulse surveys throughout the year. These can help you better understand how your team feels about their positions, the company culture and their role in your organization. When you administer surveys regularly, you may have the opportunity to address issues before employees become disgruntled. In doing so, you will elevate the employee experience and reduce the risk of turnover.
Transparency in the workplace means open communication between leadership and employees. This shows your employees that you value their input and trust them in the workplace. Transparency can increase the degree to which your employees function as brand ambassadors, help increase engagement levels and significantly improve retention. Lack of transparency has the opposite effect. One survey found 50% of employees said that a lack of transparency holds their company back. Transparency has the potential to better align team efforts and achieve your company goals.
Providing employees with opportunities for professional growth is another effective way to motivate and inspire your team. Give employees a chance to take on more responsibility. Provide them with the opportunity to mentor another employee. Allow them to demonstrate their capability for potential promotions. Hiring internal candidates for open positions shows your employees that there are opportunities for growth. This aids in employee morale and retention. Hiring from within can also save on recruiting costs.
Managers should reach out to their employees and inquire about their company goals and aspirations. While some employees may be comfortable in their current roles, others may aspire to be promoted or to work within another department. Keeping those lines of communication open and supporting your employees’ desire for growth and success are great ways to improve the employee experience.
The happier employees are with their work experience, the more likely they are to be happier overall. When employees are unhappy in their work life, they can often feel or display resentment, low morale and a decrease in productivity. Having a recognition and appreciation process can reduce feelings of resentment and help lower the turnover rate. One of the best ways to improve employee satisfaction is to let employees know you recognize and appreciate their hard work. Many people feel proud when someone points out your achievements, so make it a habit to do so with your team.
Showing appreciation can make it clear that they are an asset to the organization. Thank everyone, individually and as a group. Take time to notice and acknowledge each employee’s contributions to ensure that they are aware that their hard work does not go unnoticed. Genuine gestures of appreciation mean a lot.
At the end of the day, the best way to improve employee experience is to treat your employees well. This is an area where TriNet can help. With TriNet, SMBs can gain access to HR expertise and benefits. Learn more about how TriNet can help support your journey towards enhanced employee experience today.