culture of respect

When someone asks a member of your team where they work, what do they say? Do they say they work for a company they’re proud to work for, or do they describe all the reasons they dread going to work in the morning?

How your employees feel about your business matters. It can affect their mental health, and it can eventually affect their physical health, which can have a huge impact on their performance at work.

Create the kind of business that your employees actually want to work for by following these tips.

Give Employees Time off When They Need It

Many workplaces frown on taking time off. They encourage employees to come into work when they aren’t feeling very well, and there’s a lot of judgement when anyone takes time off for a mental health day, to go on vacation, or to be there for a child’s special event.

Don’t be that workplace!

In the age of COVID-19, it is extremely important to protect ourselves and others from this deadly virus, as well as others. Everyone needs time off to rest and recharge, and no one should have to miss out on being there for family because their supervisor doesn’t approve. Most employees don’t take advantage of time off—they only take it when they need it—so let them!

Provide Benefits That Make Them Feel Secure and Healthy

It is so important to have health insurance. Those who don’t have proper coverage avoid going to the doctor, which can be disastrous to their health. However, those who are forced to get insurance on their own often put it off because individual plans are so expensive. Do your employees a favor and offer a generous, affordable health insurance plan, even if it costs your business money.

Helping your employees feel secure is important too. Provide employees with access to a retirement plan, and create a sustainable match program so you can contribute to your employees’ retirement as well. That way, your employees aren’t worried about how much money they’ll have when they are ready for retirement.

Consider Perks They Actually Want

There has been an uptick in workplace perks as a way to attract new talent and to keep it once they’re hired. You’ll find nerf guns, ping pong tables, and ice cream bars in many trendy startups and companies across the country. Although these are fun, they aren’t what employees want.

Don’t waste your money on distractions. Instead, provide perks that your employees actually want. A few ideas include:

  • Flexible and remote working options
  • Gym memberships
  • Student loan repayment options
  • Financial planning resources
  • Professional development
  • Identity theft protection
  • Pet-friendly offices

Not sure what kind of perks your employees want? Just ask! Not only will they receive perks they appreciate, but they’ll also feel like valued members of the team because you asked for their input.

Provide Opportunities for Employees to Connect on a Personal Level

Strong, positive relationships are important to our well-being. That includes friends and family outside of work, but it can include coworkers too. You just have to provide employees with the opportunity to connect outside the board room on a more personal level.

Host office parties throughout the year, invite a few employees out for a drink on Friday nights and host competitive events, like bowling, to encourage employees to get to know each other. They’ll feel more comfortable with each other, which is good for innovation, in addition to feeling comfortable and welcome at work.

Create a Culture of Respect

Not only should you encourage employees to be friendly with each other, but you also need to encourage a culture of respect, especially among bosses and supervisors.

Reports and surveys regularly show that respectful treatment of employees and trust between employees and senior management are important to employees. Create a culture of respect so employees feel comfortable sharing new ideas, and they feel like what they contribute to the workplace is important to the team.

Not sure how to create a culture of respect? A few tips include:

  • Really listen to employees, and encourage them to listen to each other.
  • Provide actionable feedback that explains why you’re providing that feedback.
  • Create a caring atmosphere by encouraging employees to help each other in the workplace.
  • Encourage everyone to be themselves, which means finding projects that play to everyone’s strengths.

Help Others Together

Helping others feels good. It’s an important aspect of many businesses that regularly donate money to charitable causes. Employees can feel good about supporting causes they care about, but they’ll feel even better if they are involved in helping others in the community.

By volunteering with others in your office, you’ll all feel better at the end of the day, but it will also bring you closer. Employees will feel motivated to do a better job at work for more opportunities to volunteer, and it will give them something besides work to talk about, which is important for developing interpersonal relationships.

Find Ways to Thank Them on a Regular Basis

Many supervisors and bosses expect the best from their employees. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but that doesn’t mean your employees don’t deserve thanks for all their hard work. People like to feel appreciated, and when they do, they’re more likely to give their all while they’re at work.

Showing employees you appreciate them doesn’t have to be hard! There are many small, affordable, and manageable ways to show appreciation. From a simple email to hand-written letters, free lunches, and extra time off, employees will be glad to hear that you appreciate them.

You’ve got a lot of things to think about when you run a business, but don’t make the mistake of assuming what your employees think about where they work isn’t your job. Make your workplace the kind of place people are proud to work at, and not only will they enjoy their jobs more, they are more likely to provide you with insightful, high-quality work.

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