Keeping Employees Happy
Posted by Trevor on 26 April 2012 | 1 Comment
Keeping employees happy day to day can be a major challenge for the owner of a traditionally structured business, to the point where it consumes much of his or her energy and effort. As human resource departments have a larger role in the modern business world, I have often found that companies have hired an entire department with the mere goal of keeping their employees smiling.
When I reflect on my regular career before I started my own company, I can recall spending most of my time sitting in meeting rooms discussing topics that were about improving employee morale. Rarely was a meeting about revenues, profits or customer satisfaction. I could waffle as well as anyone else in the room, and for many years convinced myself that there was a purpose to it all. The penny dropped the day I sat in a room with six other executives to spend three hours deciding if the previous day’s spotty attendance should be taken as a snow day or allocated as vacation. Then I lost a month of my life while completing employee performance and appraisal forms that were all about morale.
Several surveys conducted in recent years by The Wise Marketer, The Guardian, and Computer World, however, demonstrate that while indeed there is a direct correlation between employee loyalty/satisfaction and customer loyalty/satisfaction, employees aren’t especially loyal to their companies no matter what level of benefits the company provides. In order to attract and retain employees in the digital age, companies must increase benefits, compensation, and individual attention, when much of that effort is for naught anyway.
A small business just does not have the time, energy, or financial resources to focus on employee satisfaction. As a business owner you also no longer have the time to hold people’s hands.
One of the main benefits of a virtual company is that networks of expert consultants replace the regular employees. In my experience, consultants are self-motivated, and need little hand holding from the business owner. The owner is freed up to focus on growth and profits.