It doesn’t take a degree to know that people leave a company because they are unhappy about something. Getting behind the reasons for the discontent takes some digging though. That’s why many companies turn to surveys such as the Deloitte’s Best Company to Work For each year. It gives CEOs and top level managers insight into what their employees are feeling and experiencing.
If you think investing a lot of time and money into finding out what makes employees happy are pointless, think again. It has long been believed that a happy employee is a better employee and research done by the University of Warwick corroborated this. They found that happiness makes people around 12% more productive.
In explanation as to how employee happiness leads to higher productivity levels, Dr Daniel Sgroi, one of the lead researchers, said “The driving force seems to be that happier workers use the time they have more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality.”
The plan of action
The obvious question now becomes, “How does a company keep staff happy?” There is a lot of advice on the matter, but despite the words of wisdom coming from many sources, much of the advice is the same. This means all the happiness, productivity and workplace experts agree on all these key points:
Communication should happen from the top down to keep employees informed about developments and news within the company. This will make employees feel included, like a real part of the team, which in turn will foster a better relationship between the two parties.
Managers should make it clear that their door is always open for discussions of any sort. This way employees are more likely to discuss gripes, instead of keeping issues to themselves and becoming increasingly unhappy.
Be flexible and offer alternatives
When people feel in control of how they spend their day, they tend to be happier. To this end, offer employees flexi time.
Also consider offering employees the option of working from home, whether it’s one day a week or more. Parents could be offered the alternative of working only half days from the office and the rest from home.
Offering these alternative hours will make a world of difference to their lives as well as the company.
Offer competitive benefits
A study done in 2013 found that employees who are happy with benefits are more likely to recommend their employer as a “great place to work”.
Even more important is that three out five employees who would strongly recommend their employer says benefits are an important reason why they remain with a company.
So not only do competitive benefits keep employees, it could also attract job seekers. Think access to medical aids and pension funds to begin with. To find out what else employees want, do one simple thing – ask them.
Pay employees fairly
People work to make a living, but when they can’t make ends meet, it could lead to discontent. Especially when the pay cheque they receive is not up to industry standards.
Numerous salary surveys are done each year, so it’s very easy for staff to compare their salaries to the industry average. If you can’t meet industry averages, explain the reasons employees.
It’s just as important to pay staff on time, every month. To achieve this, set up EFT payments for all employees. With EFT payments, salaries are paid in bulk, on a set day, and at minimal cost to the business.