10 Ways To Put Employees First & Why You Should Do So

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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:

Why you should prioritise employees

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.

How do build an employee-first culture

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.

1. Advocate for employees to be themselves

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.

2. Communicate

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.

3. Prioritise wellbeing

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.

4. Invest in them

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.

5. Model work-life balance

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.

6. Make scheduling easier

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.

7. Be fair, ask for feedback

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.

8. Have a culture of respect

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.

9. Organise events

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.

10. Reward employees

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.

Conclusion

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.

What do you think is the best way to put employees first? Share it with us!