Employee satisfaction isn’t always the top of mind for companies. Creating more room for fixing revenue leaks sometimes gets more attention. This leaves behind your people that are helping you get to your goals.
I’m not a HR person, but I have been a business owner, employee, and consultant for businesses. I’ve seen a lot of mistakes, and the one mistake that happens the most, is the team not taken care of.
Pay Fair Salaries
How much you pay your people is directly involved with the quality of the work you produce. If you are in an industry that has to show it’s worth with a portfolio, like a web design agency, this is very important.
Low wages hurt your brand and social credibility.
Pretend your employees are customers. How would you treat them? Depending on how you approach salaries, the work you do, and other factors will impact whether or not your work culture thrives or slowly dies.
Work schedules that are rigid are hard to expect actual productivity out of someone. I worked an engineering firm that had flex-time. Typically that meant we had to get 40 hours a week in. How we did it our employers did not care. That was a red flag, given that no one works solidly 8 hours a day.
Our schedule was 9am til 3pm for the time on site. But when we worked the other hours was not a concern. To stay on top of employees it takes scheduling, and weekly production meetings.
Flexibility is important because it doesn’t create a “trapped” feeling and shows compassion from management when life happens, you won’t be dismissed for it.
Allow your people to work in a way that is most productive. Not everyone can work in the environment that you provide. So watch and see how to help them. Giving them a laptop to allow freedom to move in the office creates opportunity for them to find a space to work and produce.
I have a friend that told me that if they ever worked a job that was emotionally or physically damaging, they would seek employment elsewhere immediately.
I couldn’t agree more.
Stress kills a lot of things, not just brain cells. I’ve written before about how taking your time with projects can increase chances of winning them. But it increases employee satisfaction which translates to productivity and creativity. Something that is paramount for creatives to create.
Lighting, space, colors, furniture, and more go into making an environment that produces awesome work from employees. Not all work spaces are the same in a cube farm. That’s how people create a space to work. Do what you can to encourage that.
Employee turnover costs are hidden because they don’t usually hit the Profit and Loss reports. But they can be up to 50% of that salary you were paying.
There are even sources that provide these turnover cost estimates: 30-50% of the annual salary of entry-level employees, 150% for mid-level employees, and up to 400% for specialized, high-level employees!(source)
Give A Career Road Map
In agencies I’ve worked that are small or starting out, the biggest enemy you have internally is confusion and lack of opportunity to grow.
People need structure at work, not rigid to the point no one can grow into a new role. But there should be a clear road map to the next step once your employee out performs in their current role.
I’ve been told before by a colleague that they were very concerned about moving up and into a more expansive role. But felt trapped in the one they are in, because leadership never encouraged that new staff would come in. Therefore, no one would be moving up.
When that happens you lose talent. Because talent has no new challenges or reason to stay since there are never any goals to reach.
In the past decade this has been my experience with these matters. I hope that this helps someone avoid the instance of losing great talent. Or inadvertently causing stress at the office, resulting in toxic environments. I’ve seen employees recommend and not recommend based on their experiences.
In that way your team is like your customers. They recommend their friends, or they simply do not.