It is the little things that are often overlooked when employee retention programs are discussed. Employee morale is probably impacted more by simple gestures such as a concern for the family, or keeping a promise from line supervisors and co-workers, than anything else.
A customer recently commented that one of his daily challenges was having the right people to operate the plant. Changes in his production schedule can mean requiring his employees to work a longer shift or calling them in for overtime. He makes an effort to know his employees and when they ask for specific time off, he knows it is important to them and makes sure not to call them in. By doing so, he has noticed a reduction in the number of sick days taken, thus improving plant performance and uptime. While most employees appreciate the extra income, they also appreciate their time off and performance is significantly higher when the company respects their scheduled time off.
This isn’t a new discovery, rather something we need to be reminded of every once in a while. We all know that employee morale is vitally important to the operation, but we can get so caught up in the daily workings that we can sometimes overlook it.
Some other effective actions that you can take to help morale:
There are many more actions you can take to show that you care about your employees, and most likely you have your own list of successful morale builders. Whether you are in a supervisory position or not, success is gained by helping each other to be successful. We look forward to continuing the discussion with you.
- Solicit ideas from employees on how to improve the operation.
- Implement their ideas for improvement.
- Send employees to offsite training.
- Have the person(s) that went to the offsite training provide onsite training.
- Bring in suppliers to give “Tech Talks”.
- Allow employees time to go to a local industry conference.
- Bring in breakfast (or lunch).
- Be consistent.
- Say “Yes” more often.
- If an employee asks for time off for a specific occasion such as an anniversary or birthday, send them a card.
- Be a mentor – help everyone be successful.
- Remind employees about your company’s educational assistance program (if offered).
- Pair an experienced employee with a new employee, making sure the expert understands they are responsible for teaching and coaching the new employee.
“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want” – Zig Ziglar