Having a customer-centric business makes good sense, but what about your employees? Prioritising employees is important, and here we offer 10 ways to do so:
Employees represent your business, and if their happiness and wellbeing is valued, they are more likely to act as positive ambassadors sharing the value of your brand. The more respected your employees feel, the more they can serve customers’ needs.
Businesses invest a lot in their employees, from wages to benefits and training. Helping attract the best employees, and retain them is a good way to protect your investment.
Retaining great employees means harnessing their individuality and potential. A supportive workplace that encourages and rewards diversity, opinions, skills and perspective is a more productive and happier workplace.
One of the best ways to put employees first is to ask for their opinions and suggestions. Many businesses fail to communicate, and this can alienate employees. When someone feels valued, even if their ideas are rejected, they are more willing to work harder and to keep improving their skills. Empowering employees with responsibility and ownership in the direction of the business places employees in the centre.
Observe your employees and ask if they seem to be working longer hours, or struggling to manage their workload. Offer employer resources or flexible working arrangements if needed.
Training and professional development is an investment in your people, which increases both the employees’ and the businesses’ productivity. Employee assistance programs may help with stress, health club memberships help with wellbeing and social clubs help with connection. Investing in your employees is an investment in the business.
Employers can model work-life balance to encourage this in their employees. Workplaces with better balance have higher retention rates and happier employees. Encourage taking annual leave, leaving at a reasonable time, and taking breaks.
Planning employee schedules can improve wellbeing by making sure employees have an appropriate work-life balance. Further, managers can reduce planning time by using a scheduling system which streamlines flexible hours, shift changes, swaps and unexpected issues.
Employees should have the opportunity to provide feedback on their experiences of working at your business. Perhaps employees feel their positions are not leading to growth, or that a manager is unfairly rewarding only certain employees. Making feedback easy and anonymous when necessary places employees at the centre. Use suggestion boxes, surveys and discussions to ask for and receive feedback.
Employees should feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, and ideas considered without judgment or repercussions. Dismissing an employee’s idea can be offensive and demotivating. Encouraging managers and employees to be open-minded, practice listening skills and be open to suggestions demonstrates a culture of respect and employee centricity.Employees should feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, and ideas considered without judgment or repercussions. Dismissing an employee’s idea can be offensive and demotivating. Encouraging managers and employees to be open-minded, practice listening skills and be open to suggestions demonstrates a culture of respect and employee centricity.
Social connection is a big part of working life, and your Human Resources team should organise team building events, holiday parties and other celebrations appropriate to your business. This demonstrates your employee’s value to your business and offers social connection which improves wellbeing and productivity.
Rewarding effort, performance and attitude can be highly motivating to employees. Read our article ’10 easy steps to motivate your employees at any level’ for ideas.
While customers are important, employees are vital to the success of your business. Developing a culture of respect for employees means communicating regularly, listening, modelling work-life balance, asking for feedback and rewarding performance and effort.