Young Upstarts

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How To Make Sure Good Employees Are Happy Employees

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They’re not your minions. The people who work for you are the lifeblood of your company. Since you already know that, why are so many of the good ones walking away to find greener pastures elsewhere?

Turnover is a serious problem for all businesses. Ideally, you want to train once, and keep that person working for you and happy for the rest of their working years. These days, an employer is lucky to get more than a couple of years out of their investment. It is very difficult to find good help, and even harder to keep them.

Here are a few ways to hang onto the good ones:

Ask them if they’re happy.

If you really want to know something about a person, the first thing to do is simply ask. It is amazing how often this effective diagnostic tool is overlooked. It is surprisingly easy to get people to open up to you if they believe you care. For some employers, it may not always be that easy. If your employees feel intimidated or threatened by you, they may be more hesitant to open up to you.

Nonetheless, you still need the information. You might consider bringing in a third-party. For example, employee survey company Infosurv specializes in getting information related to employee satisfaction. Such surveys enable companies to implement policies more conducive to employee retention. They do so while making employees feel like their opinions and feelings matter.

Other benefits include increased employee morale and trust. Asking about your employees’ satisfaction is the easiest route to gaining it. Consider continuing in this direction and conferring with your employees about strategy, perhaps even delegating new tasks. Make them feel like they are part of the business growth–because they are!

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Are you one of those bosses who blows a vessel every time someone clocks in 2 minutes late? Here is a tip gleaned from other successful companies: Stop it! We have all had the experience of being called into the office to endure a 3 minute lecture for being 2 minutes late. That is no way to run a business. That is a clear sign that you have forgotten the point of your business, and the value of your employees. Your business does not succeed because everyone clocks in on time. It succeeds because everyone is great at what they do.

Data shows that with the aid of modern technology, a third of employees are logged into the company network by 6:30 a.m. On average, they have spent 37 minutes working before they get into the office. No paycheck is ever truly based on the numbers on the timesheet. It is always based on the value of the service rendered.

Some people do their best work when running late, or after a long lunch, or with frequent, unauthorized breaks. If you have to let an employee go, make sure it is because their performance was not up to standard, not because they need a little extra startup time in the morning. As long as they are getting the work done, who cares if they ever punch the clock?

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Making a big deal out of little things is a great way to make your employees miserable.

Provide ample opportunities for advancement.

According to businessknowhow.com, one of the top 10 reasons people leave their job is the lack of advancement opportunity. That was reason number three. Number four is that they are denied the ability to make decisions or have pride of ownership. When employees feel undervalued and overworked, they will seek a more equitable arrangement.

If there are no officials promotions, promote them by empowering them. Make them feel like the experts they are at the position they have. Don’t make them beg for a raise. Be proactive about recognizing their worth. An employee that feels appreciated is much more likely to stay. If there are no promotions to offer, find other ways to make them feel appreciated.

It is time to stop using the Dilbert comics as the manager’s guide to dealing with employees. The world no longer works that way, and never should have. In this brave new world, successful companies treat their workforce like equal partners to the extent that is possible. Do that, and you reap the benefits of a satisfied and inspired workforce.


Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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