(Guest post by Nick Rojas)
“If vitality gives a man’s perspectives color, if community bonds give them breadth, if awareness of the land makes them realistic, a deep sense of loyalty gives them personal meaning and integrity.”
– Harry Huntt Ransom, Forbes contributor, Thoughts on Loyalty
All these factors bleed into an issue vital to your company’s growth: employee turnover. Truly, turnover erodes the foundations of even the most stable businesses. However, small adjustments can combat this dilemma and enable workplace success.
Reducing Turnover by Boosting Morale – The Do’s and Don’ts
Create a Positive Work Environment
This might seem simple, but it’s often overlooked. According to a 2010 study, lower work satisfaction among employees predicted decreased bottom-line performance. The environment you promote matters! Foster a positive and collaborative atmosphere and your team will reciprocate with better work.
Make Employees’ Time Count
According to a study by Ben Webar, a research scientist and the CEO of the management firm Socioeconomic Solutions, “The more e-mail you engage in, the less effective you are. People think being on the computer is the same as being face to face. That’s a fallacy.” Webar’s work—research that began at the MIT Media Lab—concluded that small workplace adjustments were often more effective in boosting morale than large company rearrangements.
So, avoid unnecessary emails, phone calls, and other time wasters. Although it’s great to have open and effective communication, these tasks can quickly devolve into an unspoken competition to prove who is working the hardest. Follow through with meeting times and focus on the quality of interaction, not the quantity.
Encourage Work-Life Balance
Allowing employees work-life balance will make them more productive during business hours. Set meaningful boundaries to protect their time and energy! Give team members the room and positive reinforcement they require to excel.
Inquire about individuals’ short-term and long-term career goals. Try to provide benefits and resources when you can. For example, Starbucks made headlines when the company announced their plans for offering employees the chance to earn online degrees. It’s important your staff see your company as a place where they can hone their skills and grow. Your compassion breeds loyalty! And loyalty reduces turnover, allowing both parties to flourish. Everyone wins! Which leads us to our next tip…
Trust Employees’ Work Ethic
Team members need to feel their work is meaningful and that their job is important. Demonstrate trust in their abilities, and they will rise to exceed your expectations. Help employees specialize and they’ll feel irreplaceable. By making your staff feel like invaluable pieces of the puzzle, they will gain the confidence they need to do bold work and think outside the box.
Be Generous with Praise
Sometimes we get so used to good work, we forget to say “thank you.” Make sure you praise and congratulate your employees when they do a good job. That way, they don’t only associate your interactions with criticism.
Invest Energy Into Training
This is a huge one. Well-trained employees start out on the right foot, feel valued, and are usually more capable. Invest time, energy, and money in ensuring they have all the necessary tools. Their competence will be a lifesaver later on.
Avoid Common Pitfalls
Much of the time, employee discontent can be linked to common management blunders; perhaps your company has high expectations of the workload but treats employees like hourly-contract workers. If this is the case, your team members might feel disposable and unmotivated. Providing them with adequate and effective technology makes their work not only productive, but effortless. Get honest about what you expect out of your employees, and compensate them accordingly. This transparency can begin as early as the interview process.
Don’t forget to have a good time! Get creative…maybe you can organize a bar crawl, food-truck party, or special lunch outing. Treat your employees well! They’ll brag to their friends about how cool their workplace is.
Don’t forget Feedback
Having an anonymous system for employees to give their employers feedback is a vital strategy for any business. We previously outlined some of the many reasons team members hesitate to offer honest feedback. Fears of being judged, job loss, damaged work relationships and fear of ridicule can deter employees from coming forward. Remove the negative repercussions and watch an open dialogue unfold. Luckily, new apps and technological advancements make this process simple and stress free.
Be the kind of leader that inspires loyalty! With the right tools in place, your company can be the exception, not the rule. For more tips on reducing turnover, building an exceptional business, and inspiring your employees, check out the rest of our blog.
Be sure to add any of your own morale-boosting strategies in the comments!
About the author: Nick Rojas is a journalist with an extensive background rooted largely in the tech side of business. His work often covers business communication strategies, content marketing, globalization, and general technology. He splits his time between Los Angeles, CA. and Chicago, IL., when he is not travelling abroad with his wife.