Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group of Companies, is known for his radical ideas that turned him into one of the most successful men in his industry. He is also known for the way he considers his employees' well-being. Branson once said “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
Branson certainly has the capability to give his employees what they deserve in terms of bonuses or a good work environment, but how about small or medium enterprises? How can the Human Resources departments of these businesses maximize productivity without worrying about people leaving?
Small Operations Need to Stick Together
Small enterprises usually come with a very small headcount, with major responsibilities placed on the shoulders of one or two persons. With a setup like that, it would be difficult for human resources to know the situation if they work isolated from everyone else. It is best to work very closely with everyone. Eat together, take breaks together, listen to what they say or monitor how they perform. This is one of the easiest ways to catch tension between employees or complaints about policies. Stop problems or conflicts before they escalate any further.
Not all employees are given cash incentives or performance bonuses. Sales people are usually the ones who get extra from commissions or meeting quotas. But what about other employees from other segments like marketing or logistics who work just as hard to make sure customers get their products? It’s one thing for human resources or management to tell those who don’t receive cash incentives that it wasn’t stipulated in their contract. However, this leaves very little for employees to hang on to. Simply hearing about another company with better pay could cause them to easily consider leaving.
One way to balance this out is by creating small programs that can be applied to employees that don't normally earn cash bonuses. For example, HR can tap a local fitness club and tie up with the establishment, then offer this service to those employees. HR can also find other ways wherein employees can spend less money, like sponsoring or subsidizing meals, reimbursing gas, or handing out gift cards as non-cash bonuses.
You can always find a question asking about how well you like your work environment in surveys sent by HR. Surprisingly, a good work environment helps keep employees in the company. Some environments might be nurturing, some fun. But whatever it is, make sure that it is what the employees need. High-stress offices usually have game rooms where staff can play video games or take a break. Other workplaces have their own gym equipment.
Whether it be a round of beers every Friday night care of the CEO, or implementing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) network, human resources must adjust to make the workplace loveable.
Salary Competitiveness and Benefits
More oftent than not, what keeps employees in their seats is the salary. However, if this is the only thing they look forward to, then any offer with a bigger amount could make them leave. This is a challenge for companies with very limited resources. Companies invest time and money training people to be productive, and the company would be losing out on its investment if these employees left. So what can they do if they can’t match what other companies are offering?
One way to compensate this is through useful benefits. For startup companies, front the idea of the company’s potential and how it can grow exponentially. Stock options can also be offered to those who reach a number of years. Other benefits include comprehensive health packages, or insurances that extend to their next of kin.