Simon Jones http://www.flexiblebenefits.coop 2m 593
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Any decent manager worth their salt will already be well aware of the importance of workplace morale. Workers who are disillusioned or feel they aren’t being adequately rewarded for their efforts are highly likely to disengage from the work process, perhaps even subconsciously – they’ll be less productive, and this can have a severe cumulative impact on your business, preventing it from reaching its full potential. It’s worth remembering, therefore, that good workplace relations are good for both employer and employee alike. Some employers tend to favour the stick over the carrot, but in fact it’s more likely that the reverse approach will produce the best results.
Why high turnover rates can hurt your business
Not only are disillusioned workers likely to be less productive than their more satisfied counterparts – they’re also more likely to leave. This presents a significant problem for firms. High rates of staff turnover can destabilise a business and wreak havoc with its balance sheet. Training and replacing new workers is very expensive, and once experience is lost it often proves difficult to replace. It’s therefore in employers’ interest to ensure that staff stay with them for the long term. Experienced and motivated workers can provide businesses with a crucial competitive advantage – so treating workers like mere machinery is a seriously misguided approach from an employer’s point of view.
At a time when good jobs are so hard to come by, and the number of job hunters massively outweighs the number of vacancies, it’s easy for employers to get a bit complacent and start to think that their workers have no choice but to stick with them come what may. This leads them to implement a number of regressive measures, for instance by cutting wages in real terms or perhaps increasing the working day. Even in non-unionised workplaces, this can cause real problems in terms of employer-employee relations – and it can backfire on the former as well as hurting the latter.
Skilled workers always have a number of options open to them, and these are the people that employers most need to hang on to. However, that doesn’t mean that those further down the workplace hierarchy can be treated as dispensable. Experience and knowledge are vital, and the more of each a firm has, the better placed it’s likely to be in relation to its competitors. They’re qualities which can prove extremely difficult to replace once lost – so although it’s tempting to thin the workforce during economic downturns, an inexperienced workforce can in fact be a hindrance to firms when growth eventually returns.
Consider employee rewards
Of course, it is true that many firms are genuinely unable to offer pay rises in line with or above inflation – but there are alternatives which should help to maintain good relations between employer and employee without imposing an onerous financial burden. Employee rewards are proven to boost staff morale and loyalty, so the benefits to employers should be clear. It’s important to discuss which employee rewards are likely to prove most effective with individual employees. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and what motivates one employee might not motivate another. Nevertheless, employee rewards schemes could be just the solution for cash-strapped firms.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Contributed by Simon Jones, a workplace manager who understands the importance of workplace morale & treating your employees in the right way, particularly with things like employee benefits from the midcounties. All these areas make or break a workplace environment an a business.