Creating a culture that allows for employee development and open communication brings many benefits including increased productivity and healthy office relationships.
Here are a few of my etiquette tips on how to keep employees both satisfied and motivated:
- Evaluate your hiring process. Zappos, an online shoe and clothing site, consistently ranks as one of the best places to work based on industry watchers like Fortune Magazine. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, contributes this success directly to the happiness of his employees. According to The Guardian, “To protect this feeling of community, Zappos carefully vets each new applicant for a cultural match. The company even offers new employees $4,000 to quit after their first week of training in order to weed out people who are there just for the paycheck.”
- Think beyond business perks. Bringing in cookies, free pizza, and monthly massages is a great plus but doesn’t necessarily translate into job satisfaction or career success. Staff members must feel supported at all levels or enthusiasm may quickly wane.
- Give your employees a voice. Not only will you receive many points of view, it will demonstrate your confidence in every voice being heard and taken seriously. I was at a high end retail store recently where I had misplaced a 100.00 bonus reward card. They found it in their system but after multiple levels of management discussion, couldn’t assist me with redeeming it because “it’s just their policy”. My policy is to do business with people, not policy. Goodbye high end retail store, hello high customer value retail store. It wasn’t the employees fault; it was their management that didn’t allow them to make a decision on their own to salvage a good customer.
- Provide pathways for growth. A recent study by Millennial Branding states, “More than 60 percent of Millennials leave their companies within three years of arriving.” Lack of opportunity beyond entry level plays a part in the decision to move on. A solution may be to meet with company leaders to devise a long-term retention plan.
- Emphasize balance. An employer that understands there is life outside of the building shows deference and respect to the employee who values a well-rounded lifestyle. The English proverb, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is not only true, but serves as a reminder to arrange for occasional rewards, a day off after an extremely tough project or a gift certificate or bonus for a job well done.
- Put it in writing. If a team member has done an exceptional job, put it on your outdoor message center, add it to your online newsletter, write a personal thank you note or express your gratitude publicly at the next staff or board meeting. People tend to put forth a more consistent effort when they feel appreciated.
For more of my Business Etiquette Tips, check out my article on The Huffington Post: 5 Ways to Encourage Friendly Competition.