Planning and investing is an essential and indispensable part of any business that determines its chances of success. As a company owner, you must allocate various resources to your product or services development and marketing, security, technology, and partnerships.
Businesses have recognized people as the most valuable company asset and have started allocating budgets to employee development and well-being. This translates into an improved engagement and commitment. With a 20% productivity boost, 41% decrease in absenteeism, and an improvement in turnover of 40%, investing in employees ensures an unparalleled ROI.
On the other hand, lack of support by their employer is one of the main reasons people look for a new job. Only a third of employees are happy with their employers' support for upskilling, and nearly 60% of workers report they didn’t have any workplace training. Wondering how to invest in your employees effectively?
We’ve collected some winning ideas you can apply to enhance your employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention. Let’s start by looking at some more reasons why you should spend on supporting your workforce in the first place.
The benefits of investing in your employees
The challenges of the contemporary race for talent make the investment in your workforce a way to secure your business’ future. Here are some compelling facts and statistics that showcase how you can benefit from allocating resources to support your employee development and happiness:
- 93% of millennials consider skill development availability a top priority factor. Supporting upskilling will enable you to attract new talent looking for growth opportunities and select the best fit for your company's needs.
- Hiring new staff can cost twice the annual salary of the person they are replacing. Allocating financial resources to support employee development and motivation builds loyalty and reduces staff turnover by enabling them to advance without seeking opportunities elsewhere.
- The additional hidden costs of employee turnover encountered by businesses can be significant. They include reduced productivity, damaged brand reputation, and loss of in-depth company knowledge and expertise acquired only through retaining the workforce over a long enough period. Establishing a people-first company policy supporting employees will help you avoid paying this extra price.
Taking care of your employees' well-being, satisfaction, career development, and upskilling makes them more invested in your company. This will help build a company culture of growth and establish an organization's reputation promoting advancement opportunities, which is particularly important for employee recruitment and retention. How can you put these ideas into practice and make them part of your company culture?
5 possible ways to invest in your workforce
Let's go through five effective ways in which you can support your employees and make a win-win investment.
1. Seek out employee development opportunities
It has long been established that highly trained employees are more motivated and dedicated to the company’s success and indicate higher levels of work satisfaction and engagement levels. Such qualified workers are more likely to bring value to your company. So, assigning budgets to career and skill development is an excellent opportunity to benefit your employee and your business.
The best strategy is to build an employee development plan that will help you organize your efforts and find the best upskilling option matching your workers' individual aptitudes, needs, and desires.
To be able to do so, you have to know your employees and find out what they are good at so that you can lead them down the correct path. Your employees will most likely fall under the following categories:
- Leadership: Employees with leadership skills will most likely be confident, ethical, dependable, and have a desire to influence others.
- Management: Those with management skills will exhibit the ability to delegate tasks, good communication skills, openness, and emotional intelligence.
- Problem-solving: Employees with problem-solving skills will show analytical thinking, good teamwork, excellent decision-making skills, and listening skills.
- Skill-building: The employees that fall under this category typically desire to coach or teach and help others have good communication skills and excellent listening skills.
Find learning opportunities that match their capabilities. You can facilitate courses and seminars for employees to attend so they can sharpen their respective skills. If you’d like to keep the learning opportunities online so your employees can attend from home, you can use these course platforms to find a course that’ll help them professionally.
Supporting employee growth by allowing time off to pursue these opportunities can be a valuable investment. The knowledge and skills employees acquire will greatly benefit your business.
Providing mentoring and coaching from more experienced team members also helps the less experienced team members to catch up with everyone and move at the same pace.
2. Prevent burnout
Overworked employees do not have the time or energy to develop. Excessively loading your employees also negatively affects their output quality and customer service. The American Institute of Stress® has highlighted that businesses lose about $300 billion per year because of key factors like poor employee performance, accidents, absenteeism, and more. So investing in your employees doesn't only benefit them, but it also benefits you and boosts productivity.
A healthy work-life balance helps employees grow their skills and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Excessively rigorous schedules will inevitably affect your business. Employees are unlikely to consider working at your business as a long-term option if it impairs their wellness and personal lives. This means that you will have a high employee turnover, which will inflate your expenses in the long run.
Introducing employee assistance programs, expanding access to activities like yoga, and limiting overtime are some of the ways that you can use to avoid burnout. Conducting surveys will also help to reveal patterns that cause burnouts and ways to break those patterns.
3. Enable employees to invest in the company
Staff that profit directly from your company’s success is more motivated to contribute to your business growth. This translates to more dedication, better decision-making, and improved output. Enabling your employees to invest in your business will help you retain more long-term talent. This translates into a low turnover, which in turn saves you money in the long run.
You can get inspiration from several successful businesses that apply this strategy.
GoDaddy®, for example, has offered opportunities to employees to buy and sell stock options every 6 months since the company started offering shares to the public in 2016.
Recognizing employees as “the beating heart” of the organization, TextMagic® offers stock options to its team to promote a working environment of satisfaction and happiness. As CEO Mr. Vaikmaa explained, “Just like other tech companies, a strong team is crucial to our success. To ensure the company’s continued growth, we want to engage and motivate our people by offering stock options, not only to the management but to all team members.”
SalesForce® allows employees to buy stock options at a discounted price. Employees are only required to pay the offering date or the purchase date price depending on which is lower at the time. They also get a 15% discount on shares and can use up to 15% of their income to buy stock.
4. Offer more flexible working
Offering a remote work option and flexible scheduling that fosters a favorable work-life balance is an invaluable investment that will show excellent returns in the long run. Ensure that your employees do not have to carry excessive workloads consistently. They might need to bite off a little more here and there, but it should not be the norm.
You have probably already expanded your remote and flexible working options due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, instead of coming in daily, perhaps employees work in the office once a week and follow a schedule that allows them to work remotely and still have a social life at the end of the working day.
More than half of employees want to continue with their hybrid work arrangements even after the crisis is over, and 9 out of 10 workers strongly prefer flexible work schedules. Accommodating the needs and preferences of your workforce and creating schedules that allow them to do so on agreed weekdays will enable you to build loyalty in response and improve retention.
5. Remote worker perks
In-office workers often have access to job perks that remote workers do not. This includes wellness programs, excellent work equipment, employee recognition and appreciation, fitness tools, and workout gear for leisure activities.
Investing in similar perks for remote employees ensures they do not feel secondary to the rest of your teams. Help your employees create an efficient workstation in their homes by providing them with chairs, desks, and other equipment that will make their work more manageable.
A workspace promoting creativity and productivity with all the necessary equipment will motivate them and cause a spike in the quality of output. Flatfile® is a good illustration of this point. They provide fully-equipped home offices for their remote staff, creating personalized and comfortable work conditions enhancing their workers’ satisfaction and productivity.
Also, always make sure your remote employees are not excluded from any kind of seminars or workshops. You can provide them with premium online courses to not be left behind.
Ensuring fair play for both on-premises and remote employees will promote a company culture of equal opportunities and unity.
The backbone of any company is its workforce. As we progress in the business year, make it a point to invest in your employees and help expand their skills and enhance their performance.
We’ve discussed some of the ways to enrich your employees' work experience, such as enabling them to share in the company’s success, offering a more flexible working arrangement, and giving them opportunities for professional development. Allocating financial resources to support your workforce's well-being, upskilling, and motivation is a far-sighted investment that can help your business stay competitive and thrive in the challenging today’s market.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The SmartBiz® Small Business Blog and other related communications from SmartBiz Loans® are intended to provide general information on relevant topics for managing small businesses. Be aware that this is not a comprehensive analysis of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide specific recommendations to you or your business with respect to the matters addressed. Please consult legal and financial processionals for further information.