By Ciara Sweeney – I was trying to think of something to write and started four different topics until I stopped and asked myself what was important in the working environment for me. EQUALITY comes first and foremost, but I think we can talk until we’re blue in the face without anything happening. And we have done. Until management change things in the workplace, nothing will be done about this and women will still be on lesser pay and treated differently to men.
So what else? In all of the places I have ever worked in, there was never any sort of reward/recognition scheme or aim to bring people together within the workplace.
I think management need to realize that the key to success is keeping your workforce happy. Little rewards are something that will go a long way, while taking almost nothing from the business. Having these incentives and bonuses will mean that your staff turnover will be low, thus meaning less training and hiring costs and keeping the knowledge and experience within your company.
We all know that the likes of Google and Facebook have high rewards schemes for their employees and provide lots of quirky benefits. I know that this isn’t perhaps feasible for every company, so I’m not talking about providing a ball-pit in the canteen or free food and drinks for all staff. I am talking about a “thank you” or a “well done” when justified. I am talking about creating incentives for employees to mix with each other outside of sitting at meetings.
A 30 minute coffee morning once every few weeks for all staff, an event where your staff represent your company outside of work, an “Employee of the Month” notice-board and appropriate reward, a small work-drinks/food tab once a month to thank everyone for their hard work. These little things may seem trivial and perhaps even annoying to have to organize, but the payback to your business will be ten-fold.
Many companies will spend money on treating their customers to dinners and events out, but you should treat your employees as you would treat your best customers and see how the positive actions flows. Stop and reflect; do you think your customers would be happy being treated the way your employees are currently? Your number one customers are your people.
When you have employees who know each other, this creates a sense of kinship rather than just people who work together. People who know each other outside of the workplace work better together. When you find out that John supports the same team as you and is in fact a person rather than “the guy from Finance who signs the write-offs”, you will go the extra mile for him the next time. If you meet the person behind the email address, you’re more likely to help them out and get more back from them in return. Remember that employees probably see each other more than the time they get to spend with their respective partners at home, so maintaining a nice comfortable working environment is important for all involved.
When you have employees who are happy, productivity increases. You don’t necessarily need to have employees skipping into work, but when you have employees who feel appreciated, they will work harder and go the extra mile for you. Little perks and social occasions mean a lot to the people making your company the money. Happy employees stay, happy employees lead to happy customers; it’s a simple as that.
Employees may be just a number to some businesses, but the management of those companies should realize the advantages of keeping those same “numbers” in the company far outweigh the costs in making that happen.
“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace” – ask any one of your “numbers”.