Unhappy employees: Changes to improve staff retention

Nobody wants unhappy employees, and a dejected workplace atmosphere can lead to decreased productivity, a bruised brand reputation, and ultimately, low staff retention. This can all be detrimental to your company’s prospects, with research showing that happier employees work harder and make a company more profitable. All in all, you did not go into the entrepreneurial world to be the leader of a beleaguered business with a worryingly high staff turnover.

If you find yourself in this situation, there are a number of ways you can turn staff frowns upside down and create a warm company environment. Read on to find out exactly how you can improve employee happiness and set your organisation up for future success.

Spruce up the office or move to a new one

Your office itself has a huge impact on employee happiness. Poor office design could be causing disorganisation, depriving workers of a place to socialise, or boring them with a drab surroundings. It’s important that your office brings the best out of your employees, so you may need to change things up if you notice some of the above problems. Some of the ways you can do this include:

  • Reconfiguring the office to ensure there is plenty of space
  • Maximising natural light
  • Adding water features and art
  • Designating quiet areas for staff

If your office’s is bursting at the seams, however, it might make sense to consider moving office entirely. There’s no point staying at an overcrowded office, as it is only going to cause more staff dissatisfaction.

If you do decide to go ahead with a move, there are various factors you’ll need to consider. As well as scouting out a new location that works for all your employees, you’ll need to arrange the actual move. If you only have few possessions, organising the move yourself could make sense. However, if you’re moving a substantial number of office items, you should think about hiring a moving company.

Professional movers will ensure items aren’t damaged, and take away the strain of planning an office move. For instance, some office relocation companies, like Evolve Relocation, provide dedicated project managers who can do much to maintain staff morale during the process. These individuals come up with a comprehensive plan for the relocation, eliminating potential problems in advance and taking most of the organisation off your hands. This means much of the moving stress will be lifted from your shoulders, and the shoulders of your employees—again helping to keep them happy.

Support your staff

Part of the problem at many companies is that employees can feel like faceless, nameless cogs in the wheel of a business, especially if they don’t feel valued by their seniors as individuals. This can make it very difficult to retain staff.

It is imperative that you get to know what’s important to each employee—their needs, desires, and aspirations—and act to ensure these are met. Having regular one-to-one meetings with staff to talk matters through is a great place to start. You should then actively make staff feel as though they’re valued. Back them up with clients—it doesn’t matter how much a client is paying you, if they’re being unfair to an employee, you need to be on that employee’s side.

Offer opportunities for personal progression by giving staff targets for improvement and extra responsibilities, and celebrate staff birthdays and work anniversaries, even if it’s just with a card. All of this will contribute to making employees happier and more willing to stay and progress their career at the company.

Prioritise team bonding opportunities

A key part of employee happiness is fostering a strong office team spirit. A 2016 study on workers led by the University of Surrey found that people’s feelings towards colleagues are a huge factor in job satisfaction. The research revealed that those who enjoy ‘energetic activations’ with fellow workers are less likely to voluntarily leave a company than employees with low energy towards colleagues. Therefore, cultivating this positive energy amongst workmates is imperative for staff retention.

You can achieve this through both work and non-work activities. For work activities, you should encourage cooperation as much as possible, like implementing cross team training activities, encouraging employees to regularly share information, and setting team targets in addition to individual ones. For the non-work activities, ensure social bonding opportunities are a regular feature. Encouraging social interaction amongst colleagues is both a great respite from the mundanity of everyday life and a fantastic way to bolster team spirit. Why not encourage Friday drinks, or organise a team meal every so often?

Employee dissatisfaction is one of the biggest hindrances to a business, so it is absolutely crucial you avoid this as much as possible. By ensuring you have a pleasant working environment and prioritising both individual and team morale, you should be able to improve staff satisfaction and invigorate your company.

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