Profit used to be king in so many businesses and companies and for some sectors, it most definitely still is. But for many, there has been a realisation that there is more to running a successful company than just a healthy bottom line.
It used to be that the only thing the top dogs used to worry about and focus on is money. What the business was spending, what it was earning and what it could save – and the people who were part of the machine that delivered it all were somewhat secondary.
I have definitely worked for organisations where profit is king and everything else falls by the wayside but unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened: people, their happiness, wellbeing and overall job satisfaction very much waned.
This led to a reduced workforce not only in numbers but also ability, dedication and loyalty and guess what, their precious bottom line suffered too.
It’s not rocket science to realise that a happy employee equals great productivity and work environment, but I am still shocked at how many lead teams don’t support this and ignore their overall organisational health.
Many clients I work with are deeply unhappy at work. They don’t feel valued or visible and their confidence has suffered because of it. I work with them to re-discover their purpose and put a plan in place to either tackle their existing situation or start a new journey altogether.
But there could be so much done by employers before it even gets to that stage. Here are my top insights from my years of work and practice:
1. Get to know your team
Everyone is different and everybody works differently so as a manager it is really worth taking the time to get to know your team individually – what are their goals, what makes them tick? With this information comes so much insight into their work habits and where they show strength and weakness and where they need your support the most.
2. Invest in staff happiness
A happy team makes for a happy boss and ultimately a productive and successful business. Have a think about what addition could really aid wellbeing and staff happiness. Some companies encourage flexible working and an open-door policy and others allow you to bring your dog to work. There’s a plethora of staff motivators you can choose from but I urge my clients to look deeper than just buying baskets of fruit for the office and take the time to understand what your employees actually value. Really spend time looking at how you could increase happiness at work for your staff and put yourself in the shoes of the most junior member of your team to do so. It’s definitely an insight!
3. What values are your values?
Be clear on what your company values are and as an employee, really think whether your values line up. If they don’t, there will be deeper issues to address. If supporting your community or only working with a business who actively works to support sustainability is important to you, then it’s unlikely that being given a free staff lunch voucher is going to keep you in happy employment.
4. Business as a force for good
Certified B Corps are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving of a global movement of people using businesses as a force for good. Why not look into what really drives a business when you’re looking for your next job? Learn more about B Corps here.
5. Rewards aren’t just about the money
By this I don’t mean a financial reward but just a ‘well done’ or a recognition of a job well done as this goes a long way. And if you want to get the first round in to say thank you, I’m sure it will be very much appreciated! But as you’ll likely have a diverse group of employees, do consider what they value and what rewards are most appropriate for them. Have you considered a flexible reward scheme for your employees?
6. Get educated
As managers we’re all expected to know everything a lot of the time without necessarily the training or guidance. If you are not experienced in recognising if your staff are struggling, don’t know what to look out for or feel nervous about how to tackle overall wellbeing and support then speak up and ask for the relevant training from your company. Do get in touch if you’d like to discuss management and leadership training packages.