The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) figures that it can cost up to one-third of an employee’s annual salary to recruit and replace that employee. For the most part, it is to the employer’s advantage to retain and maintain their skilled work force in a tumultuous marketplace.
Uncertain times, family issues and unstable financial situations all compete with the workplace for balance. Couple that with the constant barrage of dismal employment news of company cutbacks, bailouts and failures, and understandably there’s not much motivation left for the workplace. Many people are wondering how secure their job really is and if they need to be on the lookout for the next opportunity.
How do you get your employees to step “up” and stay optimistic when it seems like so many things are falling apart around them? Here are a few quick steps to keep your employees engaged and positive.
Be honest and open
Communication is one of those things that you just can never get enough of — but it does take work. The worst thing you can do for morale is to paint a rosy picture one week, only to have the bottom drop out of their world the following week. No one likes workplace surprises, especially your employees. Regular and transparent communication is essential to maintaining your employees’ trust. Also, remember to let your team members know how much you appreciate them and their personal contributions to the company.
Partner with your workers
Let them be part of the solution. Good old-fashioned brainstorming and suggestion boxes are excellent ways for employers to engage and encourage their employees to use their expertise to help the company reduce costs and increase revenue. Remember to recognize those contributors whose ideas are implemented with either public praise and/or non-monetary perks, such as a certificate or a preferred parking space.
Build up your team
Creating a sense of community does wonders to build team morale. By encouraging positive working relationships through bonding, walls come down and individuals work together toward solutions. Staff development, lunchtime personal growth workshops, community service projects, or even a staff potluck lunch or get-together, are ways to promote team cohesiveness.
Although a pay raise or some other cash award would be nice, it just may not be feasible for the company right now. But, that shouldn’t stop you from recognizing and rewarding hard work. A covered parking space in the dead of summer in Arizona or in the snowy winter in Ohio certainly is a major perk. A dress-down day when certain business goals are achieved would be welcomed. Even a handshake and “job well done” during a staff meeting can show appreciation without breaking the bank.
Help your employees create work-life balance
Work-life balance seems to be everyone’s hot button these days. Flexible schedules are one way of helping your employees realize it. Depending upon business needs and the employee’s position, flexible schedules can allow your employees to have the work-life balance they need. Telecommuting, job sharing, compact work weeks and flexible start times can be just the motivator the employee needed.
In moving forward, keeping employees motivated is truly a necessity in these uncertain times. Not only will your employees’ motivation be on target, but you’ll see positive results in your ROI as well.