Being a good employer is all about keeping your staff happy, isn’t it?
Of course, you want your staff to be happy at work, why wouldn’t you. However, are you placing the happiness of your staff above the happiness of your business?
Common approaches to keeping staff happy at work
- Always accommodating staff requests, even when you’d rather say no
- Offering really flexible working practices, even if they are not ideal
- Making safe or easy decisions, rather than ruffling feathers
- Delaying difficult conversations, to avoid upsetting others
- Simply accepting “that’s just the way they are”, as it’s easier than trying to change things
- Providing high degrees of autonomous working, also known as not managing!
- Developing friendships or personal relationships with staff outside work, risking blurring professional boundaries
Results of trying too hard to keep staff happy?
- Some staff are very happy – but others are very fed up!
- Problems are moved or ignored, rather than solved
- Managers losing credibility or respect
- Lack of structure or control within the business
- Sending messages that’s it’s OK to do something when it really isn’t
- Generating a ‘What’s the point’ view in people seeing colleagues getting away with things
- Ignoring business needs for sake of ‘quiet life’
How to focus on making your business happy
- Before saying yes to staff, consider the impact on your team and your wider business needs. Are there other options? Or should you really be saying no?
- Treat everyone fairly and consistently. Be aware of your own personal bias factors
- Do your best to make the right decisions, not just the easiest ones
- Involve your team in key changes. Seek their ideas, feedback, and concerns. Make an informed decision and ensure your team understands your reasons.
- Be very mindful of the professional boundaries between work and personal relationships. No favouritism, please! It’s right to be friendly, but think carefully before becoming a close friend.
- Don’t be afraid to manage your business or team! It’s OK to rock the boat if you need to!
- Focus on facts, figures, pragmatic evidence, things you can easily measure or quantify. Emotional decisions are rarely good ones in business.
- Trust your team to do a good job for you. Take pride in what they achieve and work well with them……. but if issues come up, deal with them.
Being a good employer is about….
- treating people with respect
- managing them in a fair, transparent and objective way
- recognising their strengths
- being friendly and approachable
BUT not ignoring your own business needs. If you can keep your team, and your business happy then great!
If you’d like advice on how to effectively support your staff, but not ignore the needs of your business, then get in touch!