Working with employees can be difficult for some people – not only do you have to be effective at managing people, and successfully steering them in a direction that can prove to be a positive one for your operations, but you also must understand them on a personal level. Failing to consider their emotional needs could backfire somewhere along the road but taking the time to do so could help to cultivate a better working environment.
However, simply accomplishing this goal might be a sizeable task to take on at first, with the initial direction to take seeming unclear. Therefore, focusing your attention on several different aspects can help you accumulatively to develop a successful image.
The Issue of Absence
While you might be aiming to make your relationship with your employees one that is as smooth as possible, you are going to encounter bumps in the road from time to time, bumps that cause issues of productivity for your business, with one example perhaps being that of absences. While employees are going to be entitled to absences in certain situations, the trust is broken in this regard can end up being more damaging than you likely expected, meaning that ironing out some contingencies for if this were to occur can make you feel more secure in your ability to control such a situation.
While many absences are going to be legitimate, some will not be. Absence management can help you to stay on top of this, allowing employees to take time off when it’s necessary while keeping morale high throughout the entirety of your business and closing in on the few occasions where the system is taken advantage of.
The idea of flexible working is one that you’re going to have your own opinions on, as well as one that will or won’t be feasible for your business and how it operates. However, before you make an immediate decision, it’s worth brushing up on some of the positives and negatives of allowing flexible working could be, as this could open your mind as to how it could work for you. Additionally, if you find that it would help to make some of your employees happier, or perhaps help to encourage new employees to apply for work with you, it could be something that you feel is well worth implementing in some shape or form – even if that capacity is limited compared to what some employers can offer.
It could even be something that you’re simply open to discussing with employees on a case-by-case basis, but this could be a slippery slope if some staff members feel as though opportunities are being offered to some and not to others.
The Physical Work Environment
If you do decide against flexible working, however, then you must make some decisions regarding the nature of the physical work environment itself. While it can be tempting for the sake of finances to simply find the most affordable workspace possible and cram everyone in there with minimal changes to the environment outside of what’s necessary, this might result in some very miserable employees. This is a space where they must spend a great deal of their time, and so making it an area that has as much effort put into making it a comfortable space as possible is going to make a big difference.
Enough room so that your staff feel comfortable working in their own space, plenty of natural light and the right colours to make use of that light, interior decorations such as houseplants to add some vibrancy to the area, these are some ways that you can think about keeping this place as positive as possible.
Progression and the Future
While the ability to work flexibly or in a positive environment are things that can affect the happiness of any given employee on a day-to-day basis, you might find that how much of a future they feel as though they have with your business is a big decider in whether they stick around for the long-term. This might not be something that you feel every position is going to have, but it’s important to be aware of how much of a difference that possibility can make in the eyes of a prospective employee.
Even if you’re not sure you can offer roles that continue to scale the ranks for everyone, you might be able to offset this by offering opportunities for training in certain areas – a sort of allowance, with different training courses available that can allow the staff member in question to customise their professional development.