Show your employees some love this Valentines

While Valentine’s Day is traditionally the time to show your sweetheart how much you care, it has always seemed like an ideal opportunity to me, to take a moment to reflect on my employee relationships and ask myself whether I show their employees just how much I value them. How about you?

We all want our employees to reach their full potential and go above and beyond every day don’t we? So consider the findings of the latest research conducted by employee services provider Personal Group, which has revealed that almost half of UK workers are unhappy at their job. The same survey showed that happy employees are a massive 12 per cent more productive than those unhappy with their work situation. Hands up anybody who would like to see a 12% increase in productivity in their business this month?!

So, if your employees feel unhappy or unappreciated, you can be sure as eggs is eggs that they won’t be giving their all to the business that employs them.

When you take the time to show your people you care–in a variety of ways–they are going to be happier, more engaged in their jobs, and more productive. The bonus is that when your staff are happy, this typically leads to better customer service, too. And who doesn’t want that? Here are a few of my low cost ideas for wooing your employees this Valentines……

1. Give more than is expected
Think outside the standard wage and benefits box you provide to your employees. Observe them at work, and see what you can do to improve their work environment and make it a more welcoming and pleasant place to be. Ask your employees what their career goals are and help them achieve them. If your company has the budget, reward outstanding performance with extra perks such as gift cards, dinner at a local restaurant, or a surprise day off with pay. It needn’t be expensive, and the small gestures are often the most impactful. If cost really is an inhibitor here, why not consider ad hoc personal appreciation notes. They can be a highly valued and lovely touch.

2. Get the welcome mat out.
Make sure that new employees feel welcomed. Have an existing staff member mentor newbies until they get on their feet, and ensure that they get a full and thorough induction process.

3. Work in the Cloud
A work-from-home day is always useful for employees waiting on deliveries or with child care issues. By putting as much of your company’s shared content in the cloud as possible, it frees up your staff by offering more flexibility. This will also show your staff you trust them to work well, even when you’re not looking over their shoulders.
From a productivity point of view this is a win-win (as the recent snowfall has shown), because making your systems available remotely means work does not have to grind to a halt should adverse weather conditions make commuting impossible.

4. Safety And Wellness
Don’t forget the little things that make life liveable. Onsite minor vehicle maintenance and other machinery repairs can go a long way towards keeping your employees happy. Likewise, offering basic medical assistance – a stash of basic medications, access to health-based time off, company sponsored flu jabs – can be helpful, particularly for those companies that don’t offer healthcare to their employees.

Incentives keep employees productive. Productive employees help a company succeed. And the double win here is that some health and safety incentives even lower the costs of keeping your employees employed – think of the sheer number of employee sick days that has been taken this Winter due to the nasty Australian flu virus…..a company sponsored flu vaccination might seem like great business sense in this context…….

5. Be on your employees’ side
It is always important to have your employees’ backs, even if an issue has something to do with a customer. The customer is not always right. Show the members of your team that you respect and care about them by defending them when needed. And yes, sometimes that will mean losing a customer.

So, will you be showing your employees some love this Valentine? Don’t forget you can always drop me an email or give me a call if you would like a broader chat about employee engagement and recognition.