“If we worked much harder on the time-tested foundational needs of employees and employers, we would create benefits more powerful than the latest trends in ‘employee engagement’ or ’human capital management,’” CAI’s CEO and President, Bruce Clarke, says in his latest News & Observer column—“The View from HR.”
Bruce stresses the importance of employers using fundamental HR practices to keep employees engaged and workplaces productive. Leaders in every industry, including HR, often search for the most innovative programs or complex strategies to improve their business. Sometimes, however, sticking to the basics can prove to be more rewarding.
Make sure your company practices these HR essentials:
1. Communicate Effectively
Poor workplace communications is a common reason why employees leave their jobs. Assessing your office’s current communication style with an anonymous employee opinion survey can reveal areas that need improving. All employees should feel comfortable asking questions, discussing concerns or making suggestions with each other. Reaching your employees through multiple communications channels, including the office intranet, break room message board or staff meetings, can help you avoid workplace confusion or miscommunication.
2. Provide Feedback and Reward Accomplishments
Establish clear expectations for each employee at your workplace. Creating action plans with specific timelines, final due dates and desired results will help you gauge their progress. Do not wait until their annual review to tell them how they are doing. Offer them positive feedback and constructive criticism throughout the year to keep them motivated and working to make improvements. If your employees are continually achieving great results or finishing projects before deadline, reward them for their efforts. Whether it is with a raise or paid lunch, employees will appreciate the recognition.
3. Listen Carefully
Listening to your employees is vital for maintaining a positive and productive work environment. Get their feedback on new workplace initiatives and business endeavors. Regularly ask them how they are feeling and if they have suggestions on how to make their work life more enjoyable and productive. Respect the opinions of all colleagues, and before passing judgment on an idea or concern, take time to understand why they are addressing the issue.
4. Make Employees Feel Important
A successful employer-employee relationship is a two-way commitment. In order for staff members to produce their best work, employers need to offer them their best resources. Giving employees the tools to perform their job is only part of showing them that they are valuable. Workers want to know that they are important to their organization, so frequently tell them that their efforts are appreciated and support the company’s survival. Show your employees that your respect them, their time and their work by keeping commitments with them and trusting them to complete their work in a professional and timely manner. This will help increase the amount of respect they give to you as well.
Simple solutions can often conquer complicated problems. For additional tips on keeping your workforce engaged and productive, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.
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