Unlimited snacks in the break room, foosball, air hockey, happy hours, and pizza Fridays are great. They’re nice-to-haves that create a sense of camaraderie and promote a better employee experience. Look at Google. In an effort to push innovation and create established work relationships, they have nap pods, treadmills at their desks, and diner booths.
But in order to really make your employees happy, it goes beyond a few gimmicky tricks. So what do your employees really need to want to work, stay, and thrive at your company?
Spoiler Alert: Increasing their paychecks is NOT the solution.
Your employees want to know they are on a prosperous path. If you identify their strengths and passions and capitalize on them, it’s a win-win for everyone. They will perform their best work in a role they prefer, giving you the biggest bang for your buck.
Once you put them in their best fit, you can’t stop there. Implement a development program that advances their skills and set goals together they can work toward.
Believe it or not, your employees like those 6-month reviews. It lets them know if they are in good standing, that their work is recognized, and if there is room for improvement.
Tuition reimbursement, company-paid classes, or company-wide trainings are a great start!
You’re working for a company that you commit 40, 50, 60+ hours per week. You love what you do and think you’re good at it. Then you’re tasked with a huge undertaking that you courageously execute from idea to completion believing it will be paid with praise. You finish it and are convinced it’ll put you on the map. Instead, it’s met with nothing except a head nod and pursed lips. How do you feel? Undervalued? Probably.
That type of under appreciation wears on anyone. Over time, your employees care less about the quality of work they put in.
Make sure that you are applauding your employees on a job well done and offer opportunities for them to try new things. Growth occurs outside the comfort zone. They want to make you happy and know that their work is pushing the company’s mission forward. Which leads to…
Share The Vision
Ensure everyone drinks the “Kool-Aid."
It starts with the Founders and CEO and trickles down the ladder. There is a reason why you started your company. You had a passion that turned into your purpose. Share your purpose with everyone who walks through the door.
Prime them with your background and the company’s history. Why did you grind at your day job to supplement your side gig where you spent countless hours and late nights without any promise that you would be where you are today?
Your buyers make purchases on the why you do what you do. Treat your employees the same way.
History lesson: At the peak of the industrial revolution when workers put in 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, Labor Day was born. On September 5, 1882, thousands of New York City laborers marched out from their jobs in protest of long and harsh working conditions. Twelve years later, congress legalized Labor Day as a national holiday to recognize the hardworking people that America was founded on.
You know your employees have lives and families outside of their careers. If your business develops a reputation for poor work-life balance, you’ll receive a lot less applicants and thus the best talent out there will avoid you like the plague.
Let’s not let history repeat itself on this one. Workaholics will always be plugged in during their PTO. But don’t expect your employees to answer emails, calls, or submit projects while they are out of office. Remember, it’s all about improving the employee experience.
“I was raised to treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO.” –Anonymous
It’s a simple formula. If you respect your workers with the same treatment that you expect for yourself, they’ll do the same.
At the end of the day, whether you manage 5,000 people, five people, or are managed by five people, we’re all human and respect is one of the most essential aspects in life.
What does your company do to enhance employee experience?