How to keep your employees happy and productive

Want to retain your best employees? Your first thought may be to offer them a raise, but as it turns out, the old adage is right, money doesn’t buy happiness. In light of today’s economic landscape, it’s more important than ever for companies to have happy and productive employees. When employees are loyal and engaged in the company, profits are higher.

In order to make your workplace one where happiness and productivity thrive, consider the following guidelines.

Be a good employer

Set clear expectations to employees, including what is to be done, when it’s to be done by, and where it goes after they complete their responsibilities. Within these expectations, you need to set clear boundaries, demonstrate healthy leadership and provide sound direction. This means spelling out rules, regulations, policies and procedures. Whatever expectations you set, make sure they’re consistent with all employees.

Help employees feel valued

Be encouraging to your employees and offer praise when appropriate. Thank them for doing a good job and let them know that you value them. Should something go wrong or someone makes a mistake, don’t punish them. Rather, talk to the person, teach the correct procedures, and offer encouragement and further teaching when needed. Punishing people only makes things worse. The employee may become angry and bitter and may want to sabotage their work to get back at the company. If errors continue after correction, then you may need to evaluate that person to make sure they are a good fit for the job.

Get people involved

Create a comprehensive employee manual that is clear and simply written. In it include procedures for handling every imaginable scenario, including family emergencies. Ask employees for their ideas, so they feel a sense of ownership with the company. Additionally, help employees feel involved by having regular meetings where everyone can voice their opinions and concerns. And if they want to talk about specific topics, such as, agricultural finance or cellphone banking, allow them. This has an added benefit in that the company can gain valuable information about products and concerns that will hurt the bottom line.

Offer benefits beyond the basics

There are many ways to supplement salary by assisting employees in other areas of their lives. You can offer an extra level of life insurance or disability insurance for employees to protect their incomes. Other ancillary benefits, such as dental, optical wellness, are all well received by employees. And gym memberships and transit benefits are great perks to keep employees happy and healthy. It’s important to provide higher benefits so your employees know that you truly care about them and their families.

When workers feel that they are a dynamic and essential part of the team, they’re more productive and willing to go the extra mile for their customers and co-workers. Therefore, give praise openly, set goals appropriate to the work and always take your employees’ needs seriously.