Valentines day isn’t just for couples. Employers can take advantage of the heart shaped holiday to give their own employees a little boost. Business research shows that employees that feel valued and special at the workplace are more likely to stay around past the two-year mark. Harvard Business School recently did a study that shows that leaders who cultivate a positive emotional culture where employees feel wanted and appreciated at work increases retention rates, decreases absenteeism, and improves daily productivity. What more could you want?
Ultimately, people want to work at a place where they feel free to show their emotions and are working at a larger purpose. Creating an employee culture where people just show up and do their time is more likely to lead to higher rates of turnover, as people are unlikely to stay on somewhere when they aren’t wanted. To that end, leaders and bosses who make a study of their own daily emotional behavior will quickly learn that how they act sets the blueprint for the rest of the office. Take stock of how you interact with employees and customers throughout the day and look for areas where you can make improvements to your emotional response.
Put Your Employees First
Companies that consistently put their employees happiness first will often find that this leads to better customer service overall. What it boils down to is this: if company culture isn’t focused on creating a happy workplace, customer service will always suffer. How are unhappy people supposed to take care to put customers first if they don’t care? Switching how you think about service can achieve a more optimal outcome.
Find Ways to Comp Workers During the Workday
Employee retention research suggests that the first step to winning and keeping top talent is offering a benefits and compensation package that includes livable wages and real healthcare. Beyond that, compensating workers during the workday for their efforts can go a long way toward keeping them at work. Employees can make all of the money in the world but they won’t stay in a toxic environment or one in which they feel like they have to go into a head to head match up for something like paperclips.
Startup culture gets this in the sense that they offer nap rooms, food and beverages, childcare, and other small perks that add up to additional non-monetary compensation. Quality of life is an increasingly important indicator for employees who often have to juggle raising children, busy spouses, and a variety of other day-to-day issues in addition to work. If an employee’s day starts with a 6am battle royale with a cranky toddler, and merges into a 9am duck and cover session with a boss who resembles the toddler, eventually people will start to pick the battle most important to them. Saying thank you and helping people find work-life balance each day is a better investment than constantly training newbies because people burn out quickly.
Give People a Trajectory
If you have an employee with no prospects of moving up, moving over, or learning more, they aren’t going to stay. In addition to offering thank you’s and other perks to keep people feeling good, they also have to feel challenged by their work. There’s a reason why dead-end job is a negative term. Employees want to feel like if they work hard enough or learn a new skill they will be able to get ahead at their current company. As soon as that aspirational quality of work goes away, they will start looking for the exits. The window for development is short too. Most employees will only stick it out for two to three years before they want to move up or move on. Employees with professional development opportunities are more likely to make it past the three-year itch.