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How do you show that you care and appreciate your employees?

Picture of Faith Chukwuka

Faith Chukwuka

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High employee turnover is the norm in some Caribbean businesses. I am sure a few just popped into your mind! Employee retention is mostly due to employee satisfaction, although you may believe that making employees happy takes money; it is not necessarily so. 

Your employees are your greatest assets. They have talents, knowledge and skills, that make them vital to the success of your company.  Happy employees strengthen the business, they are less likely to leave, are more productive and increase client satisfaction and loyalty.

Should a satisfied employee choose to leave, they are usually more willing to train other staff or even their replacement before they go. They would be willing to do so; because they genuinely care about the company, and their co-workers.

Keeping your employees happy and involved has likely become more difficult over the years. This is because most employees are no longer just motivated by good pay and benefits. While those are important factors, others are now taking precedence like; feeling heard, being rewarded, having a work-life balance, and feeling challenged.

Professional Development

Professional development refers to all training, certification and education that a worker needs to succeed in his or her career.” (“What Is Professional Development And Why Is It Important?”)

What do you do to develop your staff? Your staff is your greatest asset. When they feel that helping them improve is a priority to you; they will be loyal.  They will also work hard to ensure the success of your company.

Knowing your staff, allows you to structure their training in a way that will be beneficial to both parties. You can offer professional development in multiple ways; either invest in coaching and mentorship or enrol staff in non-specific courses.

You must understand your workers and how they think and their varying learning styles to determine which will be the best option for them and the company. Barbadian companies could have their employees take free courses on several websites, for example, Coursera, Edx and Harvard University.

Express Thanks

When employees feel valued by their employers, they work harder and are more committed to staying with the company. Saying “Thank you” and “Job well done!” should never be overlooked. Additionally, developing a recognition, and reward culture help build employee morale as staff will feel appreciated.

Chefette, PriceSmart and Sagicor are brands that operate locally which come to mind, in terms of celebrating employee achievements. They display plaques in the public domain showcasing which employees have been performing well.  Again it costs but one penny to show appreciation; this is a cost effective way to celebrate our employees’ hard work.

Do not only celebrate work-related achievements! Celebrate positive attitudes and behaviours as well. Rewarding the “good” shows staff what it looks like and encourages them to do those things.

Engage with your staff and find out how they would like to be rewarded and recognised. It does not make sense to offer movie passes if no one wants to go! So, find out what perks they would like to receive; rewarding staff with things they value as a group and individually means more than generic rewards.

Negotiate with them

According to (“Negotiating Workplace Benefits”) their survey found “nearly 59% of people said it was extremely…important that an employer be open to negotiating benefits.

Your employees have complicated personal lives; it is vital to acknowledge this as you strive to maintain healthy relationships with them. It is valuable to you the employer, to provide your staff with benefits that help tackle their personal challenges. By doing so, you show your interest lies in them beyond the office. This approach helps to give your business a competitive edge in the labour market. Employees spend so much time on the job that they often miss out on many tasks they would like to attend.

(“Negotiating Successfully | Business Queensland”) explains negotiation as “a process where two or more parties with different needs and goals discuss an issue to find a mutually acceptable solution.” Therefore, negotiation is imperative to the quality of the relationships you have with your employees. To make sure your negotiations are successful “you can make concessions that mean little to you, while giving something to the other party that means a lot to them.” (“Negotiating Successfully | Business Queensland”) Your approach to negotiations should always be genuine.

One of the challenges workers worldwide face and increasingly so with the Covid-19 pandemic is childcare. Hence, it comes as no surprise that flexibility is one of the highly requested accommodations by employees in Barbados. One way a local employer can assist their staff is by negotiating a flexible working schedule. Although it may pose some challenges to facilitate; giving your employees some measure of flexibility will mean a lot to them. 

Nurture them

Provide your staff with a healthy work environment; this promotes their happiness and facilitates productivity and growth. Things that lend to the health of a work environment are adequate workspace and resources for employees. Foster constructive group dynamics: engage your employees and support them in avoiding or navigating office conflicts.

Having healthy communication with your staff builds trust; therefore, it is crucial to keep communication channels open because it helps with employee retention.  Be mindful of your tone, attitude and body language while speaking with workers; they help create healthy interaction.  Be willing to give employees honest feedback on areas they can improve in and remember to praise them when they perform well.

Your Ear

Employees want to feel heard by their employers, but they are not always given that opportunity.  Unfortunately, allowing your employees to speak does not mean that you are listening. To fully support your employees, you can organise focus groups and encourage them to participate and share their opinions on various topics. 

Ask questions to find out what they would like in their working lives, how they feel about the work environment, and how they would like to be rewarded. Not all employees feel comfortable sharing their views in group settings. Be considerate and seek their feedback through questionnaires and one-to-one conversations.

Listening to your staff even when they are not directly speaking to you; allows you to know their interest and likes.  When you acknowledge your employees and implement some of their suggestions, it makes them feel appreciated. It also serves as inspiration for them to be more involved and focused and is likely to increase their work satisfaction.

It truly is the simple things that mean the most, in every aspect of life, and they really are your blessing when utilised the right way.  I challenge you to show your employees you care by using the pennies I have dropped.

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