Every business owner knows that hiring the right team is essential for getting the most out of their workforce and getting the best results for their company. However, the truth is that no matter how great the professionals that you hire are when it comes to doing their job, building and maintaining strong relationships with your employees is an important part of making sure that they want to stick around and remain dedicated to helping your business get the best results.
In a world where more and more workers are no longer being blindly loyal to companies and are instead looking for a work environment where they feel valued, listened to, and treated with respect as a human being, old-fashioned management tactics are no longer going to work and can cause more harm than anything else. In addition, the gig economy has made it easier than ever for people to find flexible, freelance work that many might do alongside their full-time job, meaning that fewer employees are worried about the repercussions of walking out of a company that simply isn’t a great place for them to work.
So, how can you hang on to your best employees by building better relationships with them?
A performance review isn’t a chance for you to get everything that has been bothering you about a certain employee off your chest. For employers today, it’s important to ensure that all performance reviews are something that employees can walk out of feeling empowered to improve and that they have the tools that they need to do so. Reviewing performance on a regular basis is just as much a chance for your employee to tell you what they need to get better results as it is for you to discuss what they’re doing well and what could be improved.
You might find that it is helpful for you to learn more about a certain employee by also gathering feedback on them from the people that they work with closely, using 360 appraisal software from Staff Circle. Staff Circle gives you the option to create structured employee appraisals and reviews that lets you find out more about an employee from the people that spend more time with them than you do.
Put Employee Needs First:
While the needs of the business as a whole will always be a priority, the truth is that whatever company you run, your business needs are not going to be met if employees feel neglected and unheard. Every employee will have their own needs and while it might not be possible to accommodate them all, taking an active stance on this to make sure that at least some effort is made to keep employee needs in mind when making large business decisions is something that’s going to pay off for you well in the future. For example, perhaps you have employees who need to work from home due to various reasons; even if you can’t make this happen every day of the week, compromising is key.
Trust Your Employees:
Today, employees are not going to stick around and continue working for a company where they do not feel that they are trusted. Sadly, treating employees like they are going to slack off the second that you walk out of the room is a very old-fashioned and quite a demeaning technique that some managers still use today, and then wonder why employees leave at an alarming rate. Many employees are working for you because they enjoy the work that they do and want to build a career with your company.
Provide your employees with the tools and resources that they need to do their jobs well and trust them to get it done. Micromanaging can be very tempting when you’re passionate about getting the best results for your business, but the truth is that this can do more harm than good.
Being approachable will ensure that when employees have a problem, they don’t see any issue with coming and talking to you about it since they know that you will be ready to listen to their concerns and offer support and help with whatever is going on.
In toxic workplaces, problems often get bigger and bigger until they implode and have a huge impact on the business simply because the employees are just trying to get on with it since they don’t feel safe to come and discuss it with management. Being approachable is all part of being a good leader and making a conscious effort to do this will help you improve your employee relationships and keep problems from causing too much damage.
Communication is even more important when staff are working from home (or even just in a separate office). With software such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with staff remotely. By utilising appraisal software, you can also ensure that important company announcements and recognition messages are being shared company wide.
Provide Useful Benefits:
If you’ve ever worked at a company that claimed to provide lots of benefits and perks, but it turned out to be mainly for show rather than a way to provide employees with things that could actually be helpful for them, you’ll know how frustrating it can be. Today’s employees are not going to think twice about moving to a different company that offers them a better benefits package.
It’s important to speak to your employees and find out from them which perks and benefits are going to be the most useful, rather than assuming. Of course, you might not always be able to provide every single one, but employees will appreciate this effort made.
Prioritize Employee Health:
Nobody wants to work for an employer who berates them for having a genuine sick day or doesn’t believe mental health exists. To build better relationships with your employees, you need to allow them to put their health first. Having employees working when they are feeling physically or mentally unwell is never going to be conducive to any kind of productivity.
Companies that have adopted a policy of unlimited sick days or mental health days with no questions asked tend to see better results when it comes to employee absence. Similarly, companies like Netflix that offer unlimited vacation days to their employees, also find that the rate of absence is lower since employees do not feel like they have to use a limited number of days up before losing them.
Simply giving your employees this kind of freedom can make a difference to how they view your company and will often result in them becoming more dedicated and loyal to an employer that clearly cares about their wellbeing and trusts them enough to use these perks wisely.
Include Employees in Decision-Making:
All too often, employees are overlooked when it comes to making the major decisions for the business. However, this can be a grave mistake to make since many business decisions are going to have a huge impact on the employees themselves. Consulting with your employees to get their input before making a large business decision can help you build your relationship with them and, in some cases, can provide you with surprising insights that you can use to drive your decisions that you may not have thought of beforehand. It fosters a culture of teamwork and makes sure that your employees know that they are valuable assets to your business.
In 2021, the younger professional workforce is not prepared to stick around at a company that they do not feel is a great fit for them. Building strong relationships with your employees and keeping them in mind has never been more important for business success.