You’ve all most likely heard of the Virgin Group and if you have, then you must know about their founder, Sir Richard Branson. Innovative entrepreneur is just one of his many titles along with adventurer, philanthropist and one of Britain’s highest-profile billionaires. He’s known for his many quotes that have been shared time and time again, whether it’s about how he started his business or how he continues to grow his impressive conglomerate. There’s one in particular that I want to share with you all in this blog – “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”(1) It does sound simple on paper but in practice, is your business managing to do this? How well are you looking after your employees?
When we talk about looking after employees, the first thoughts that normally go through anyone’s mind is increasing employee’s salary or to give them more direct monetary benefits. However, there’s actually many other different and fun ways in which you can look after your staff. Below are a few ideas to get you started.
We all have our personal lives outside of work and an inevitable fact of life is the services you and your employees need to use will be open at the same times that you’ll be working. There’ll be dentist and doctors’ appointments, parents evenings and broken water pipes that the plumber needs to fix. Instead of making them take a half day off for these tasks, give employees the option to work around office hours as long as they complete the time required of them and their tasks. Maybe offer them the opportunity to work once a week from home if they wish, as some people can be more productive this way.
Free snacks and coffee
Sometimes, it really is the little things that make a difference. The most basic benefits you could offer your employees is free tea and coffee; the one thing that the majority of people will crave before they can function on a Monday morning. In our office, there’s unlimited coffee on offer to get us through the working day, considering the amount of coffee myself and my team get through, we’re more than thankful that we get an unlimited supply. Even better, how about providing your employees with a small selection of snacks each week to keep them fuelled?
Continued education and training
We’re all constantly learning in the workplace, looking to improve and searching for opportunities to take the next step up. Provide materials and opportunities for your employees to constantly learn and strive to be better. Whether this be offering a selection of self-learn books so they can read in their breaks, bringing someone in to teach new or improve on existing skills or setting some budget aside so certain members can go on external training. This is one way to make your employees feel valued. They’ll appreciate your investment in them after all the hard work they’ve put into your company.
This kills two birds with one stone so to speak. Many people will now choose to work for companies whose brand values match their own and increasingly so, that in this century, we’re all becoming more socially and environmentally conscious. Offering them the opportunity to take paid time off work to take part in volunteer projects can help boost staff morale. Not only this, but it’s also brilliant publicity for your business, showing that you’re giving back to the community. You could even make it a team day out to help a local organisation in your area.
Games room or a relaxation area
Even for the most motivated and superhuman folks amongst us, it’s not possible to be 100 per cent focused for the full eight hour working day. We all need to take a few minutes out every couple of hours a day, whether it is looking away from our screen, having a quick wander through the office to get away from our desks. Why not make these breaks enjoyable for employees by giving them an area away from their normal working environment to switch off for a while. A games or relaxation area is the best option here. All you’ll need is some sofas, a TV perhaps and if you wish, a games console or snooker table so they can get back to work feeling recharged.
The point is, increasing employees salary year on year may make them happy but this won’t last long if you don’t invest in and look after them throughout the year. You can’t expect staff to be happy if you put pressure on them all the time, not reward or acknowledge their achievements yet when they make a tiny mistake, they’re punished for it. If they aren’t happy, it’s going to be difficult for them to make the people who come to your company happy. Happy staff make happy customers.
Source: 1 virgin