This article is for employers or managers and we are going to explain how you can have a distinct advantage over some of your competition. It’s about brand awareness and how, if you look after your staff, they will look after you.
The big boys!
Google, Facebook, Marriott Hotels and Microsoft are renowned for looking after their staff well with good work culture, benefits, facilities and a friendly environment. Employees are proud to work there, they receive stress buster programs, motivation seminars, health and fitness encouragement and the employers take the time to understand their staff. There’s family support, charity events and overall enthusiasm to help their employees. As a result, they reap success with low staff turnover and high profits.
It’s unrealistic for most employers to offer such a broad range of support but business owners can learn from the bigger successful companies and try to incorporate some of the ideas into their set up at work. So what can you do to look after your employees?
To start with look at your marketing strategy...
A lot of business owners or managers tend to focus their marketing strategy on their customers and overlook the fact that they should be selling themselves to their employees as well. Brand awareness is a vital part of a marketing strategy and by looking after your employees it can give you a business advantage.
Why should you make time for that? It’s simple...
Your employees are ambassadors for your brand, they are representing you. The last thing you want is for your staff to ‘bad mouth’ your business.
How many times in previous employment have you said...“I hate my job, my boss is an idiot!” or “Our products are bad quality, I wouldn’t use them.”? Wouldn’t it be great if you could limit the chance of those sort of things happening to you about your business?
A negative comment by an employee could affect your sales. We aren’t saying pamper to your employees, what we are suggesting is that you make an effort to give them reasons to say great things about your business and spread the word, you should include that in your business goals.
Your business goals...
One of your many business goals should be to get your employees to care about your business and it’s important to remember that employers have a duty of care over the people that work for them. Unhappy and unhealthy staff can result in a lot of sick days affecting your productivity and profits, so strive to make the well being of your staff a priority.
Here are a few things that you may already do but this is just a gentle reminder of different aspects of running an important business and supporting your team, it’s not just about profit.
Good communication - and that’s between everyone! Make your employees aware of changes before you tell the customers, they need to be confident and professional in their role so you should offer them good training opportunities and some insights into future goals
Encourage opinions and input - ask them questions about what they do, how can processes and procedures be improved on and other questions that show you care about their role in your company. You could use anonymous staff questionnaires to get honest feedback from the people in your team
Show that you care about their physical and mental well being by offering them helpful information - posters with advice or free samples can be put in and around the office. The kitchen is where people gather so that would be an ideal place to put leaflets, sweet treats and information about health supplements
If possible, be flexible with working hours, especially with the current climate because of the pandemic. Be open to employees working from home or starting later in the morning etc. Some employees have childcare to think about and being flexible can take away a lot of pressure for them resulting in a better quality performance at work. Remember, your employees are people, not machines
Create a facility so employees can communicate within the company such as the use of an intranet, a computer network so your staff can share information about events, team building and educating each other. Your business is a family that you should nurture and support
Have a reward scheme - this doesn’t have to be financial, you can offer things like an afternoon off work or theatre tickets. If you can afford bonuses that’s great but if you can’t, be creative and think outside of the box - do you have friends who own businesses that could be useful to you. For example, someone who owns a hotel, could you get a weekend away for an employee at a discounted price?
Sometimes, all it takes to make a big difference to your workforce is something small. Try this… Let everyone go home an hour early, you can cover the phones!
It’s tough being a business owner, sometimes it feels like all you do is look after people and don’t get to do your job role the way you want to.
Just do the best you can and look after your physical and mental health too.
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