As the owner of a small business, you may wonder what your employees' emotional or mental health has to do with you. Well, not only does an employee's mental frame of mind impact directly on his or her ability to perform, but also on your organisational productivity and profitability.
If your company has a high turn-over rate, with staff leaving as fast as they got there, taking 'sick' days when you know they're not ill and employees constantly arguing or fighting amongst each other, the environment is probably not an emotionally healthy one.
Here are some tips to promote optimism, loyalty and the willingness to go the extra mile amongst your employees:
- Involve employees in decision-making. Empower your employees by getting their input on issues that affect them (whether directly or indirectly). You can use a suggestion box, weekly/monthly meetings, employee representative, etc. And remember to actually implement at least some of the suggestions
- Allow your employees some job independence. An employee with a track record of reliability and good job performance probably does not appreciate you looking over his shoulder all the time. So loosen the reigns a bit and give him some job independence. This can take the form of self-managed operational teams, employee task forces and so on
- Be supportive. It's a researched fact that employees who feel their circumstances and other responsibilities are being considered, feel more motivated and committed to the company's success. This includes rewarding and recognising jobs well done, by individuals and teams of people – which can be as formal or as informal as you want to it be; monetary or not
- Embrace and promote diversity.
South Africa is a colourful nation and this spills out into the workplace. To ensure that everyone "gets along" so to say, have diversity workshops, teambuilding events and other networking opportunities where your staff can get to know one another
- Balance is key. Genuinely try to boost your workers' quality of life. For example, give them more control over their time or provide opportunities for growth and in-service training. Alternative work arrangements, stress management courses, health and wellness info and dependent care are only a few of the things you can do to promoted more well-balances employees
Research has shown that when workers feel their employer is concerned about their wellbeing (both in and outside of work), it boosts their morale, job satisfaction and increases their committment to the organisation. You'll be rewarded with more productive, solution-orientated employees who actually show up for work motivated to do their best.
And that equals a stronger bottom-line, which is bound to keep you happy too.
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