The best business owners, CEOs and managers recognise that they need to treat their employees less like cogs in the machine, and more like the valuable humans that they are. Unfortunately, there are a lot businesses that still need to reach this realisation. In fact, according to a 2017 global survey conducted by Gallup*, 85% of people are actually dissatisfied with their jobs.
The good news is that most businesses know this needs to change - and they're working to make that change happen because they know that happier employees are more productive, and just better for business. As Richard Branson famously said: “If you look after your staff, they'll look after your customers. It's that simple.”
SME's have long been leaders in setting an example of how to treat employees right. However, the competitive business environment means that there's fierce competition to attract the most talented people. So, as the owner of an SME it’s important that you make your employee proposition as appealing as possible. Here are five things you can do to attract the best people to your business:
1. Prioritise staff wellbeing
Treat your employees like you would treat your customers. Whether it’s as simple as making sure every person feels special on their birthday, providing employees with treats or free breakfasts a few mornings a week, or possibly setting aside designated time each week for them to get some exercise, showing your staff that you care about their physical and mental health makes them feel valued. After all, they’ll only be able to provide their best ideas and do their best work if they’re energised and inspired.
2. Trust and accountability
If you trust your employees, they’ll trust you, and be loyal to your company. Whether this means offering flexible working hours where possible, having a less restrictive leave policy, not micromanaging each task, or encouraging their input on big business decisions, if you treat your employees as trusted and respected adults, they’ll return the favour.
3. Acknowledge the need for work/life balance
Your employees are also fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, daughters, grandparents and friends. They need time outside of their work lives to be able to fulfil these roles. It's very important that you, as an employer, recognise this need for work/life balance and make an effort to help your employees achieve it. This could include generous maternity, paternity and compassionate leave, or just being understanding when an employee needs some time off work for a family emergency or to look after a sick child or parent. Then, offering your employees valuable protection from the financial challenges of death and disability is also a great way to show you care. Especially if you are in a position to subsidise some of the costs of that essential insurance cover.
4. Invest in your staff
Investment in ongoing training and upskilling of your employees is vital for the continued success and growth of your business. Whether it’s a free lecture each week at the local advertising school, an online course that your sales exec really feels he needs, or a bootcamp that will give your CMO a boost, allocate time and resources to investing in your staff, and in yourself too.
When your employees feel like they're being left in the dark, you can't expect them to deliver good work for your business. Apart from the fact that a failure to communicate with employees makes them feel undervalued, a lack of communication creates a rumour mill or 'grapevine' that can have negative repercussions in the workplace. So, it's vital that you communicate properly with your people and teams. Send weekly management emails to staff, develop an engaging and useful intranet, and hold regular staff meetings. Whatever your methods, make sure you invest in your internal communications strategy, and your business will benefit from the returns.
Your employees are the heart of your business. So, it's worth your while, and theirs, to give them all the support they need - especially during the tough times, like when death or disability strike.
Get your employees valuable and affordable death, disability and funeral cover with an Old Mutual SME StaffCover policy underwritten by Old Mutual Alternative Risk Transfer Limited. Go to www.oldmutualstaffcover.co.za to get a quote or apply; or leave your details on the site and we’ll call you for a no-obligation chat.
#DoGreatThings and get instant cover for your staff online.