As a small-business owner, you have to prioritize the happiness of your employees. By keeping them engaged, they provide better service for your clients, they are more productive and efficient, and in the long run, they are compelled to stay and serve your company longer.
And in today’s world where many people are switching jobs often, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for an employee to be always satisfied with the work they do. As such, it’s a challenge to keep their morale high to ensure that they will perform at their best at work.
Here are some strategies that your small business can implement to boost employee satisfaction:
#1. Consider their emotional wellness
The performance of your employees is highly dependent on their ability to understand and accept their emotions. This is called emotional wellness. Unfortunately, very few managers show concern over their employees’ well-being.
If you want to boost employee retention in the office, take your staff’s emotional wellness into account. Ask how people are doing, and actively listen to their responses. Have follow-up questions to their answers, as this shows that you are truly interested in what they are saying. Make them feel that they serve a greater purpose, that they are more to you than just another employee who’s doing routine work.
It’s also important to encourage them to seek resources. Incorporate a health empowerment strategy into your business to show workers that it’s normal to struggle with mental health issues and that they aren’t alone. Feature weekly messaging targeting a specific issue in company newsletters, or have your staff take health-focused surveys.
Let them know their rights as well. For instance, Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1197 (WSIA) was amended in May 2017 to provide for both chronic and traumatic stress entitlement. This way, they can seek the proper resources to be happier at work.
#2. Allow telecommuting
With traffic conditions worsening these days, it’s becoming more tedious for your employees to come in to work. Allow them to telecommute one to three days a week. This lets them work somewhere they can manage their workload more conveniently, like their house or a coffee shop, therefore boosting their morale and productivity.
And according to researchers, telecommuting helps employees save time and money. Take those in Ontario, for example: the average resident in the southwestern part of the province will save $12,000 a year by telecommuting three days per week. Those in rural and peri-urban (the area where rural and urban regions meet) areas save the most money because their total commute distance and total time to commute are higher.
#3. Create flexible work schedules
Another way to foster job satisfaction is to allow employees to set their own work schedules. While it may be much easier for your company to have only one schedule, this takes away the advantages of flexibility.
For instance, employees might want to come in to work early for a doctor’s appointment, or they might come in late because of terrible traffic situations. There will always be some circumstances that will affect their work routine.
According to a study by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), many Canadians believe that flexible work hours should be part of today’s workplace. It reduces absenteeism and presenteeism, and leads to more effective recruitment and retention among millennials, workers with care responsibilities, and older workers. Flexible working schedules allow employees to better support families and friends as well.
#4. Offer learning opportunities
Good employees love exploring new learning opportunities and not just be stuck in a certain routine for their entire stay in your company. They want to learn new things so they can feel like they are contributing to the success of your small business.
One of the best ways to do this is through social learning. This involves connecting employees with peers, mentors, and coaches who will help them grow. You can hold peer outings like company-sponsored lunches and happy hours, or coaching sessions where employees can advance a particular skill set.
You can also use formal education for professional development. This includes books, online courses, conferences, and training sessions. You may also set up an office library for employees to use freely, reimburse employees for seminars, and attend industry events or lectures as a team.
#5. Reward good performance
Your employees are no longer content with just the paycheck they receive every month. They desire to be in a healthy environment that recognizes the work they do.
To boost their workplace satisfaction, reward your employees for performing well. This motivates and empowers them to do an even better job, which translates to better revenue for your company.
Recognize them in company meetings by giving them a certificate of achievement for their exceptional work. You can also treat them to a team lunch or dinner. They won’t be rewarded just by their monthly salary but also with other perks that will boost their job satisfaction.
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