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According to the latest US Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average of more than 3.3 million employees voluntarily left their jobs each month during the first half of 2018, and even more are thinking about leaving. If you have unhappy employees, they probably have at least a foot out the door already, which means they aren’t as productive as they could be. In addition, they may have a poor attitude that can quickly spread to the rest of your team.
Your best bet for retaining good employees as a manager is to find ways to keep them happy – the ideas below are just a start.
Encourage Break Time
With a boss breathing down their necks, or layoff worries, many employees these days work right through what should be break time. Staff at small businesses tend to be especially prone to this as they feel like they simply can’t step away for more than a quick trip to the water cooler or the bathroom. However, taking breaks helps to alleviate burnout and results in greater productivity, not less.
One way to encourage employees to take breaks is to have a space like a break room where employees feel they can get away and relax for a while. Keep it well-stocked with nutritious snacks for fuel, utilizing healthy snack delivery can make that even easier so you don’t have to head to the grocery store or send someone else out for you. When something healthy is available, they’ll be able to feed those hunger pangs to prevent brain fog while sustaining energy and focus.
Recognize and Reward
When an employee is making progress, reaches a challenging goal, or completes a difficult project, be sure to recognize them in some way. You want your staff to feel appreciated and know their contributions are being rewarded simply by remembering to say, “Thank you.”
You also might want to go beyond saying thank you occasionally for the employee that’s made some serious extra effort. Consider offering something special like a gift card or tickets to the big game.
Allow for More Flexible Schedules
Flexible schedules often make for happier employees while minimizing burnout. Insisting that everyone stick to a 9-to-5 grind or not allowing staff to occasionally leave to watch their child in a school play or other family life events, for example, makes it difficult to create a positive work/personal life balance.
The important thing is that the work gets done, not necessarily where it’s done or the specific hours it’s completed in. Therefore, you may want to consider allowing remote work, either full- or part-time. Many studies and surveys, including one from TINYpulse, have found that remote workers are happier workers and more productive too.
Encourage your employees to be open and honest about how they feel and to give feedback about the tasks they’re doing and how you’re doing as a manager. It’s important for you to demonstrate effective communication skills as well. Otherwise, you’ll lack credibility, making it difficult to create trusting relationships with staff. Effective communication is a must for a well-functioning workplace and happy employees.