Sometimes, an employee can quit with no warning even though they appear happy with their position at an organization. In fact, a recent study on employee happiness in the workplace found that 81% of unhappy employees faked being happy, which made them unproductive for over 15% of an 8-hour workday. Because of this, getting to the root of this issue should be a priority for every organization.
For leaders, being aware of how your employees feel is the key to unlocking greater productivity and morale. Professor Christine Dufner of Maryville University emphasizes in the degree programs she leads how modern day management is about more than business, it’s about people. By focusing on developing key skills related to human resource management, you’ll be able to build effective relationships during the preboarding, onboarding, and period of initial hire.
1. Examine your preboarding process
Many organizations tend to neglect the preboarding process in favor of focusing on onboarding. However, prioritizing employee happiness during this stage is crucial to setting the scene. Preboarding usually involves introducing new employees so that they have a better understanding of company culture, even before their first day. Maintaining a positive vibe and taking advantage of that initial excitement is key.
The benefits of positive preboarding are limitless. Giving your new hire a basic understanding of the business will help adjust and adapt faster to the demands of their job. To make the most of the preboarding process, keeping it concise and relevant will prevent them from feeling overwhelmed. Invitations to social events, and providing physical or digital information packs will also help welcome them to your team.
2. Streamline your onboarding process
In the next stage, thinking about all the details involved in your onboarding process will help you form long-term working relationships with new employees. For instance, it should be tailored to your company’s city and office location. Provide insider information about public transportation, parking, local neighborhoods, and where to grab some dinner after the workday is over. For new hires who may have relocated, this will help them feel included and more prepared.
Paying special attention to individual likes and dislikes will also be appreciated. This includes offering decaffeinated beverages for those who don’t take coffee or tea. In addition, keeping in mind dietary, health, and religious restrictions will help your employees feel valued. In addition, accommodating flexible workspace set-ups such as height-adjustable desks and lumbar support for people with back problems will boost productivity.
3. Adapt to new circumstances and take it virtual
Now that many employees are working remotely, adapting to their new needs is becoming an increasingly important priority. This involves using virtual methods to reduce stress and involve your team in some light-hearted fun. Instead of physical team building activities, making do with online quizzes and old school games that incorporate the social element can serve as a way to promote bonding and improve camaraderie.
If you’re looking for something out of the box, hosting a virtual scavenger hunt and gathering everyone to report their finds online, planning a competitive game night, or joining a virtual escape room are some great options. For newer employees, this will serve as a way to get to know the rest of the team in a low-pressure environment. It can also help combat loneliness that many workers feel as a result of social distancing measures, making everyone feel connected and valued.
4. Promote a long-term working relationship
Even during the early stages of an employee’s time at your company, showing that you truly care about the well-being of your employees will make them less likely to quit prematurely. Giving them the opportunity to make a difference through their career and making their individual opinions feel heard will make all the difference. In addition, consistently communicating updates regarding the direction of the company and their individual direction is important.
During the first three months of hiring an employee, providing early developmental support is crucial. This involves exploring training opportunities, career pathways, and potential for advancement. Having regular talks on their progress and giving them actionable insights on what they can do to improve is essential to keep them focused and motivated throughout the entire duration of their employment.
5. Take steps to prevent burnout
Finally, burnout is a common issue that can impact employees even if they’re recent hires. Having unrealistic expectations for what individuals can achieve can quickly contribute to low morale and chronic exhaustion. To combat this, managers and employees should mutually agree on these goals during the onboarding process and regularly touch base if any changes need to be made.
In addition, helping managers determine the various causes and symptoms of burnout will help determine the extent of the issue. This includes frequent illnesses, lack of productivity, and lack of communication. Addressing these before they grow more serious can help your employees re-evaluate their goals and use some vacation time to decompress. Going beyond basic benefits such as healthcare and dental insurance will also be greatly appreciated.
At the end of the day, making small changes and examining areas of improvement can dramatically improve the atmosphere at your workplace. Taking a comprehensive look at what’s missing or what can be done to promote happiness will help ensure that this positive energy will spread throughout the entire team.
Guest Blog written by Haley Friesen