Summer is just around the corner and many of you are probably busy keeping up with orders in your print shop.
When workers have to work in print shops that are typically very hot in summer months, it can have a very negative effect on employee attitudes. Keeping a good rapport with workers can be done at little or no cost. It's a proven fact that is retaining workers is easier (and more effective) than having a turnaround problem.
It is important to keep your employees happy. Happy employees tend to be more productive and enthusiastic, putting more effort into their work rather than just doing the bare minimum. In addition, high employee turnover is costly to a business. A revolving door leads to lost productivity, wasted time spent constantly interviewing people and can give your company a negative reputation.
Although most companies can't afford to provide their employees with perks such as free lunch or massages, there are certain things you can offer that will go a long way towards keeping morale high. The importance of regularly checking in with your employees cannot be overstated. It may sound like common sense, but there are many managers who rarely take the time to talk to their employee's one-on-one. The work day is too busy or the staff is too large, employees can go months, or even years, without having the opportunity to simply have a casual chat with their superiors. People want to feel as if their boss cares about them; setting aside time out of your busy day is a great way to demonstrate this to them. Plus, regular meetings will allow you to keep a pulse on the mood of your employees and see what people are thinking.
Going along the same lines, it might also be a good idea to offer a mentorship program, whether it is formally structured or just consists of casual meetings here and there. People like knowing that their employer is invested in them and their career path. If you take the time to guide your employees' careers and offer them advice, it will make them feel like they have a future with the company.
It is also important to let people know when they are doing well. A simple "thank you" or "great job" goes a long way towards making people feel appreciated. When employees put a lot of time and effort into their work, it makes them happy to receive some sort of recognition, even if it is just a verbal acknowledgement from their boss. Do not be the type of boss who only comments on their employee's work when there is something negative to say. This makes people feel unappreciated and insecure; positive feedback is just as important as negative feedback.
Unlimited vacation days have received a lot of press in recent years; it seems as if this is the hot new perk to offer employees. Although this policy would surely goes a long way towards making employees happy, it may not be possible for all companies to offer it. However, you can still be flexible with time off and work schedules. People feel anxious when they can't take a day off of work for a personal reason because they only have a small bank of days. Giving employees extra personal or sick days does not necessarily cost extra money, but it will make you seem like an accommodating employer. Chances are that most of your employees won't take advantage of it, but it'll make them feel better knowing it's there.
You should allow your staff to take a lunch break every day...
Far too many people are chained to their work all day because they are afraid to leave their job or be seen taking a break. Consider going as far as making it an office policy that everyone has to stop working for at least half an hour, if not more, while they eat lunch. It is important for people to have a mental break during the workday, and they will return to their work feeling refreshed and ready to be productive.
Employee morale is not often a high priority for businesses, but it should be. Keeping your employees happy ensures that they will show up to work everyday and put their best foot forward. Content employees are also more likely to stay with a business for a while, giving you a reliable and steady source of talent. Although flashy and expensive perks are a great way to boost employee satisfaction, using the measures discussed in this article will often achieve the same objective.
-Christoper Constantine, author
This article contains general information only, does not take account of your specific circumstances and should not be relied upon as authoritative or taken in substitution for the exercise of judgment.
ASPA Staff and others