The talent market has become increasingly competitive for both employees and recruiters, and companies cannot afford to lose top talents. This is why industry leaders like Google make sure that employees are well taken care of—and this goes beyond remuneration.
While the size of their paycheck and benefits are important to employees, it’s not enough to make them stay if the most important things are lacking. Note that employees who work solely for money and perks are not the type of employees you want. Productive employees (the kind who stick around for years and contribute greatly to the success of your company) are not motivated solely by money and perks, they have a passion that must be fueled and you have a role to play in fuelling it.
If you are a small business and do not have the resources to provide some of the perks that the big boys do, don’t worry. The important things that passionate employees look for are not always expensive.
We will explore the important things—asides competitive pay and swag like lenticular business cards—that make employees stay long-term and keep them performing optimally.
This is a broad term, but we’ll break it down. Employees don’t want an employer or boss to just pay them and tell them to work. They want you to support their work and careers as their leader.
Give advice and help them grow: Your employees will look to learn from you, and they want you to teach them. Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba, said at a world economic forum that people between 20-30 years should find a good boss and company where they can learn. That good boss is you.
Be available to them: It’s understandable that, as a manager, you have important duties. But, making yourself available to your employees every once in a while goes a long way in providing support. You can schedule a meeting where you tackle general problems they have and give career advice. You will find that a good number of employees want to talk with you about the future of their career, you should always be open to do this or provide someone who can.
Motivate them: Jack Ma once said, ” I try to make myself happy because I know that if I’m not happy, my colleagues are not happy and my shareholders are not happy and my customers are not happy.” Your employees feed off your energy and the chain ultimately influences customer satisfaction. If you are always happy and positive, they also will be. If you are overbearing and negative, so will they.
Fulfillment here comes from a sense of accomplishment from their work. Employees feel accomplished when the work that they do has a purpose and contributes to the growth of the company. You can help them feel accomplished by listening to their ideas and contributions.
The main point here is that employees want to know that you will take care of them if anything happens. Some companies take that to the next level, like Google’s death benefits, but you don’t have to go that route. You can purchase a comprehensive health plan from a health insurer. You might be thinking about how much you’ll have to give your employees access to a good health insurer, luckily, there are online directories where you can shop around for the best health insurance providers.
If you cannot provide full health care packages, you can offer deductibles on prescription jobs or extended paternal/maternal leave.
An interesting piece on INC.com explores how innovation is not created by companies who drive it, but by companies that allow their employees to try new things undisturbed. Creative people cannot be forced to work because, as the article points out, creativity does not come in a particular place at a specified time. It comes when employees try new things. Allowing them to try new things or work on side projects could have unprecedented benefits (Gmail and AdSense started as side projects at Google.)
These things aren’t unique to big businesses and tech giants, virtually any business can provide these things. Like we said earlier, even as a franchisee running a small business franchise or an entrepreneur running your own business, provided you have employees, you can create fulfillment and support for them.