‘Love’ is not a word you often hear uttered in office corridors and board rooms, and yet, it has a strong influence on workplace outcomes.
The more love employees feel at work, the more engaged they are. In a recent study by the Harvard Business Review, employees who felt they worked in a loving, caring culture reported higher levels of satisfaction and teamwork, and showed up to work more often. People who work in a culture where they are free to express affection, tenderness, caring, and compassion for one another were more satisfied with their jobs, committed to the organization, and accountable for their performance.
So how do you create a workplace your employees love to come to? Here are 6 ways to wow employees by creating a workplace they will love.
Your leadership style accounts for the biggest influence in the workplace. The best employers are leading their organizations with clear, articulated direction for growth. To love the workplace, employees need to know that what they are doing is important. For this to occur, there must be clarity in direction, goals and even purpose.
Top companies are looking to become an ‘employer of choice’. These companies show that people matter from the moment a job seeker looks at the job and evaluates the company. They know that having good people on board helps them attract more good people, so they focus on establishing high standards for hiring. It is important to show appreciation for employees to keep them happy and motivated to stay.
Let people know why you appreciate their hard work and results. While expensive perks like gym memberships, free lunches and free travel can certainly be effective, workers can feel equally appreciated by less lavish perks, such as the opportunity to telecommute or take on new responsibilities. Even simply saying ‘thank you’ is a measurably effective practice for any company, it costs nothing, and means everything to the employee.
Listen to Employees
The best companies listen to their employees. They look for informal opportunities to ask employees for their ideas and input. It is important that employees feel part of the decision-making process, and having their voice heard during these discussions can go a long way towards creating a workplace that employees love.
Empower People to Grow
Help employees develop a plan for advancement, whatever that looks like for each person. Learn what their career aspirations are and help them put a plan in place to get there. Most people don’t want to remain stagnant in their careers. In fact, after salary, the second most common reason job seekers accept an offer of employment is because of the career growth opportunities offered.
‘Employers of choice’ recognize that employees want to work in flexible conditions. With the ubiquity of technology – smart phones, tablets and cloud services – employees can work anywhere at any time. Consider implementing an anti-workaholic policy. The idea being that employees need to have time to do things important to them outside of work. It’s hard to have a work-life balance when work dominates employees’ time. As a leader you can significantly influence this mix.
Give people hope that good things will come from their hard work. Wow employees through your leadership actions. Create workplace optimism. It is time to create a workplace that employees can fall in love with!