Anyone who has run a business will know that its people are its biggest asset. Getting the right people on board and building the strongest team possible is the absolute key to a successful business. It is not about exploiting your staff and getting the most out of them as you can before they burnout and leave, it is about creating healthy, positive and sustainable work environments that bring out the best in everyone and which in turn will allow the company as a whole to prosper. But doing this is not always easy. Here are a few tips and ideas to help set you on the way.
Healthy is happy
A healthy staff is a happy one - and a productive one. As much as sick leave is a statutory requirement, it is still an undesirable one. You want a situation where your staff want to be at work all the time and where being ill is viewed as a negative and not a day away from the office. To this end help by offering things like health days, company flu vaccinations and the opportunity to participate in healthy activities as part of the company – think ideas like morning yoga sessions or company sponsored gym memberships or the opportunity to run together as part of a company team. Whatever the idea, it should be fun, and it should encourage healthy living and positive contributions to people’s lives.
Keep your door open
If you want to send a message to your people that they are your important asset then you can’t just pay lip-service to the notion, you have to live it. Make sure that they know that you are always available to talk to them no matter what. Sure, they might need an appointment, but do whatever you can to fit them into your schedule. Take time out to talk to staff at their desks and talk to everyone. You can’t only avail yourself to the senior management, you need to know the names of the cleaners and of their children. It sends a powerful message to everyone if you pay attention to all the staff.
Start and finish strong
Send subtle message about how you do things from the moment staff arrive to the moment that they leave. This starts with the induction process and ends with the farewell function. When new staff arrive make sure that they feel welcome and wanted. Kit them out with all the required items that they need to perform their job, and maybe others as well. And when it is time for them to leave make sure that you host an appropriate farewell function. You might think it’s not worth investing time and effort on people who are leaving, but the truth is that you are sending a message to the people who are staying. That message is that you care for them and that you don’t want them to leave. If your staff see that people are allowed to leave without so much as a card or a farewell speech, then it makes them feel unwanted and unvalued.