No matter what you do, some employees will never be happy with the decisions you make as a leader, but if you create a more inviting workplace, many of them will show their appreciation for your efforts by being more productive.
When your employees are happy, they’re 12 percent more productive, according to a University of Warwick study. Keeping your employees happy isn’t difficult, as long as you ask the right questions.
There are a few questions you should ask yourself if you want to keep your employees happy.
Do your employees view you as a trustworthy leader?
Not everybody’s fit to be a leader. The truth is most people are simply better off being followers. We all have differing abilities. Even among leaders, there are disparities: some are good, while others are great. No matter how you view yourself if you run a business, your employees look to you for leadership, so it’s up to you to earn your employees’ trust by modeling the behavior you seek.
One way to do this is by showing your employees respect. You can accomplish this by treating them fairly and genuinely caring about their concerns. Here’s something to remember: your employees aren’t defined by their roles within your company; they’re human beings with their own problems, goals, and interests. When you begin looking at them as people instead of employees, their attitudes toward you and going to work every day will change.
There’s a connection between workplace performance and employee trust. Employees are more likely to perform better if they deem their employers to be trustworthy. Be open with your employees whenever possible. If there’s an issue, approach them about it instead of trying to hide it.
If you're making a change and it impacts your employees, be upfront with them on what they should expect. Employees are less likely to be productive when there’s uncertainty in the workplace.
Your employees also want to feel there are opportunities for them down the road.
Do you provide training opportunities to your employees?
Nobody likes being stuck in stagnation, and that includes your employees. An IBM study revealed the following: employees who don’t believe they can achieve their career goals at their current organization are 12 times more likely to consider leaving than employees who feel there are advancement opportunities available to them. Providing your employees with ample training opportunities is critical to the financial health of your business.
To develop the right training opportunities for your employees, elicit feedback from them. Where do they see themselves in 10 years? What kind of a future do they think they have with you? Are your team members aware of potential career paths within your organization? Before developing training programs, find out how you can help your team members with achieving their goals.
Even if you have training programs for your employees in place, there’s another way to keep your employees engaged with your company — and it involves them working together.
Further reading On Training MSP Employees: Is it Worth the Risk?
Are you mentoring your employees?
You don’t necessarily need elaborate training programs to retain your current employees. Sometimes all you need to do is invest time, money and resources into simply mentoring your team members.
Without a doubt, retention rates are much higher for mentees and mentors than for employees who don't participate in mentoring programs, according to a study by Sun Microsystems; but that’s not all.
In addition to contributing to higher retention rates, mentorship programs are generating positive outcomes for mentors and their mentees. For example, mentors and their mentees are five times more likely to advance in pay grade, according to the same study. Additionally, mentors and their mentees are promoted more often than employees not participating in mentorship programs.
People want to enjoy where they work. Give your employees reasons to look forward to their workdays by proving that you’re worthy of leadership, making training opportunities available, and developing and implementing mentorship programs within your organization. Your employees want to know that you view them as human beings, not labor costs.