In many ways, in many fields, businesses are rated by official award programs, or can become nominated for them. You may have seen some firms awarded the “best employer” award within a certain field, given by a licensed body that has vetted its processes and made sure that all of the essential virtues are hit.
Firms awarded with seals of approval like this are often found to gain a big boost in support, and in willing applicants looking to work for them. It’s true to say that while we should never focus on the award rather than considering what internal structures we need to generate in a particular and specific manner in order to be worthy of such an honor, making yourself as eligible as possible is always a good idea.
This is because the effort itself, award or not, is winning enough in itself. It shows that you’ve taken a real dedicated approach towards ensuring your people are happy, that your human resources are well-calibrated, and that you are a genuinely employee-oriented business. Let’s consider how businesses become eligible for such outcomes:
Onboarding is an important measure to consider, but unfortunately, not all businesses consider it to be as essential as they should. Employee onboarding is a process that focuses on a new employee’s easy transition to working for said business, from introducing them to the team to the very many processes and tasks they’ll have to deal with.
Most often, this includes a tour of the building, a health and safety contract reading, and teaching the codes and practices your firm follows. But of course, it can also go deeper than this. You may directly teach a new staff member how to interface with new software, how to report things to HR, how to book certain days off, and how to operate the kitchen facilities if you have a specific coffee machine, etc.
Employees tend to become so much more settled, productive, and happy when they feel they’ve had a responsible introduction to your firm. First impressions count, as they say, and so it’s worth making sure your hire feels comfortable, and is able to ask questions that they have.
Assigning someone to help train them can ease them into their position, even if this takes a couple of months, too. Ultimately, this is time well spent, and will translate into more secure newcomers.
The Availability Of Resources
Staff should never have to worry about asking for or demanding resources during the scope of their day. This can be as simple as making sure paper, toner and functional printers are available, installing a VoIP machine on every desk, or simply ensuring all templated cloud documents are accessible.
In many cases, resources such as software that allows for easy communication between department members, as well as devices that can be loaned out for remote work will all make a massive difference to how seamless and portable your workforce is.
If staff can always rely on the logistics of their job, they don’t have to worry about administrative tasks in order to thrive. That in itself can be tremendously worthwhile, and lend itself to a sense of working ease that they’ll really begin to appreciate.
The Competence Of Training
A well-trained workforce tends to be a happy workforce, or at least a workforce that cares about fulfilling their potential. This may entail regular placements for training, or simple accreditation packages such as enrolling volunteers in your office onto a first-aid course.
Training is, of course, something that aids your business through and through. Knowing you have at least three people who can commit to first aid within every department may, quite simply, save a life – the most important thing you could ever plan for.
But growth and development, adding skills to the resume, these are things that staff care about developing. It helps them become more rounded professionals, and they’ll develop allegiance and loyalty to firms that actually wish for their staff to improve.
Another benefit to this, which few people speak about, is how it helps to break up the work year. A two-week training course fully paid for with accommodation in tow, or attending seminars and events, these are fun and enjoyable, breaking up the responsibilities they have more readily. Staff tend to feel much more actualized in their jobs if they can partake in this.
The Dignity Of Provisions
Making sure that the amenities provided to your staff are not only in good shape, but great shape, is so crucial. When your toilet facilities are spotless and cleaned every couple of hours, when your kitchen is in good shape with modern appliances and enough space for people to prepare their meals, when you offer good parking or even a smoking shelter away from the front door, people tend to feel more comfortable in their jobs.
It’s little details like this that speak to the quality of your brand, and how much you’re willing to invest in your staff. In some cases this can be basic but fundamentally appreciated, such as providing left-handed keyboards and mice to those who require them at their desktop.
In some cases, it might mean a direct investment, such as switching out your basic office chairs for ergonomic models and adjustable standing desks when you have the funding to do so. There’s a dignity in providing these amenities and features, because they show that yes, the daily experience of your staff counts.
Team Spirit & Work Atmosphere
Team spirit can develop naturally, but it can grow quicker and more assuredly if you give it a simple push. This may mean investing in things like the year-end staff Christmas party, award shows for larger businesses with bigger teams, or perhaps team building exercises that are actually fun, like team sports or training, as well as escape rooms and other recreational activities like this.
Improving the work atmosphere can also require the means by which to design your offices in the best way. Make sure that each staff member has a comfortable amount of space to work, and that harassment or social disputes are confidentially reported and appropriately resolved, no matter how high on the ‘totem pole’ an employee may be.
These things foster a team that doesn’t necessarily have to be the best of friends, but can trust one another to do the job well, to behave and be polite, and to contribute a friendly spirit to the office itself.
Challenging Work & Measured Volume
Employees tend to respond well to work that pushes them, but is applied within the realm of their capability. This might mean making sure an entire office is cared for as part of the HR department, running payroll for a bunch of outsourced freelancers you have to manage each, or hiring a coach to ensure staff can onboard with the latest software more easily.
It’s also important to make sure that measured volume is applied to your staff, that they feel as though they can tread water with the workload they encounter and as such, enjoy a better work/life balance. Properly measuring the productivity of each staff member and assigning them work based on their capabilities and how much they’re able to do will allow you to keep them at the best of their ability, rather than over or under-booked.
Note that work/life balances are often promoted by making sure that staff feel as though their personal time remains their personal time. From ensuring they don’t have to reply to emails while on time off, to rarely calling them in unless in an emergency, firms that respect the outer lives of their employees tend to score much more highly in employer ranking tables.
It may seem as though accountability is some clandestine approach to take towards making sure your staff are behaving, such as through keeping an eye over everything they do, using fear to rule. But that’s not the case in truth.
Accountability is best considered when used as a prism through which we can make sure safety is assured, best practice is kept up with, and disciplinaries are properly considered and submitted. If a staff member forgets twice to make sure safety equipment is properly logged, that can cause an issue. This demands a robust response, but only once we’re assured that this happened due to carelessness rather than being thoroughly overwhelmed with their duties.
Reporting sheets, CCTV, inventory tracking, all of this can ensure that you know where the buck stops, or that the right people are able to be defended when the problem isn’t their fault.
When staff know you make sure to assess each situation impartially rather than relying on the blame game or becoming unprofessional, they trust your management staff much more, and they feel more satisfied in their positions as a result. It really can make a profound difference to cultivate this.
With this advice, you’re certain to become more eligible for the best employer awards – but more than that, regardless of any trophy or plaque, you become the kind of firm that benefits from those principles.