It’s Time We Start Treating Our Employees As More Than “Just Staff”

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The job market of today is a fascinating topic to discuss. As of the time of this writing, more and more people are dropping out of their jobs demanding better pay and better treatment. The growing antiwork treatment, those that claim to have been awakened as to the value of their time thanks to the Covid lockdowns, and those fighting against unjust treatments as part of their work are all coming together to create the largest amount of job vacancies for some time.

Furthermore, new norms such as remote working have led many white-collar employees to question just why they spend so much time in the office and what other flexible options could be on display. More than anything, however, there seems to be a revolt against artificial professionalism in the job market of today, as well as the gradation of people in hierarchies on a social level, including the respect paid to certain workers.

It seems that now more than ever is the time for companies to recommit towards their staff members, better their HR approach and making certain that their companies are welcoming and supporting those who make the dream happen. In this post, we’ll discuss a few methods companies can use for achieving these aims as appropriate. With that in mind, please consider:

HR For Our Staff

There’s an impression in some circles that often, HR departments do their best to protect the firm they work for from lawsuits rather than actually helping the staff with the fulfilment they deserve as an employee and properly reporting issues that take place.

This may or may not be true depending on the firm we’re talking about. It may be that this happens more than we realize, or that certain bad apples have given certain employees a bad taste. That said, no matter what the truth is here, it’s important to make sure your staff don’t have that impression.

Of course, HR teams will be concerned with the good of a company, but the staff are the good of a company. This means confidentially dealing with reports of il behavior, making sure that bullying is dealt with immediately, that issues such as scheduling and complaints are handled maturely. It’s also important that HR isn’t considered an enforcement arm of discipline without merit, or that the open-door policy is ever interfered with.

This means properly vetting who staffs your department, giving HR proper training into fair work practices, and ensuring no reports are ever buried or that severance packages are ill-designed. The more you can ensure HR is trusted, the better.

Wellness Drives

Wellness can sometimes seem a little too corporate and fake for many people, and so instead of paying lip service to it, making sure that your staff have access to these services in-house can be great.

It might be, for instance, that your catering team runs healthy options to make sure that staff feel active and happy thanks to good nutrition. Even smaller firms can benefit from purchasing good caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee for use throughout the day, including green teas and more. Investing in ergonomic furniture and standing desks can help undo the damage of sitting. Mental health awareness days can also help your staff understand the importance of speaking if they need it, or having the resources available if possible with absolutely no judgement involved. In many cases, corporate chaplains can make a huge difference for the better, too.

What matters is considering the culture of your company and how wellness efforts can aid with that.

Encouraging Schemes

Some firms go a step further and directly test or implement schemes that consider how the flourishing of their staff can actually lead to improved productivity. Consider how trials of a four day work week in Iceland have been determined as an overwhelming success, with productivity either improving or remaining the same. 

Now, we’re not necessarily saying that your firm should implement that, but we’re not saying that you shouldn’t think about it, either. It might just be that some schemes you invest in, such as a bike to work scheme in which you provide half of the upfront cost of a new bicycle could improve the parking situation around your building while also reducing emissions and giving staff a workout before they arrive to work (which will no doubt leave them feeling energized and attentive throughout the day).

There’s ripe potential here that a creative manager or business owner could look at and perhaps integrate into their own firm. Innovation and being able to think of the future is the key towards success in business, only now turning those skills towards your company culture could provide you with the worth your staff are looking for.

Proper Training

The development and prolonged training of your staff will help them feel actualized in their careers, will ensure they’re less likely to take up an offer to work elsewhere, and of course, can improve the net intelligence and capability of your workforce. 

Proper training of this kind can make a massive difference, then. Training in terms of team bonding itself can make a big effort out of teamwork and the willingness to come together and solve problems. Of course, lectures on the importance of diversity and workplace candor can help everyone feel represented and safer at work.

In some cases, helping staff come out of their shell can make a massive difference, too. For instance, allowing them to take up public speaking training can help them with a skill that many staff members feel nervous to curate outside of the right context. Who knows who in your workforce might present your next showing at a business convention?

Regular Feedback

One of the best ways in which we can help staff feel connected and listened to is in listening to them. That might sound like a patronizing point, but often businesses can forget to do this, or at the very least, not do it as often as they should.

Simple complains, such as a coffee machine breaking every now and then need to be considered important and part of our day to day functioning. We’ll often find benefit in widening our approach, such as taking bi-annual surveys regarding the daily functioning of your firm and what could be improved.

It might be that staff overwhelmingly wish for more ergonomic furniture, for instance, or perhaps the parking situation outside is troubling and putting people in harm’s way thanks to overcrowding there, which could be improved by better signalling and reserved spaces for your staff.

It doesn’t matter what the particular issue is, what matters is that it can be raised and that some effort will go towards fixing the most frequently raised issues. This way, staff know that their contribution matters.

No Tolerance

Of course, we’ve referenced it lightly in this post so far, but it’s very important for all firms to make sure that an absolutely no tolerance approach to bullying, harassment, sexualizing comments, victimization, and other belittling is allowed. Where that takes place, reports should be addressed as confidentially as possible to make sure that those come forward feel safe and listened to.

While these cases are often difficult to get right and investigations can take a little time to develop, they must happen, and we must make sure that space is made for those who need to come forward and discuss problems. This way, staff can feel safe and as if their wellbeing matters, because it does.

With this advice, we hope you can treat your employees with a gold standard approach.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, Founder of Inspired Marketing, Inc., helps overachieving women entrepreneurs conquer limiting beliefs and create marketing plans that win. This includes one-on-one marketing plan development, digital product creation, web design and content marketing. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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