There are plenty of good reasons to invest in your teams. Firstly, boosting employee engagement is essential to a productive workplace. But most importantly, when you invest in your teams, you’re more likely to get the best out of them. Here are 11 easy-to-implement ways you can invest in your employees and achieve success.
Develop a solid onboarding process
When bringing in new employees, first impressions are everything. Too many employers make the mistake of thinking their new staff should just be happy to have a job. But the reality is, to engage your staff and get them to buy into what you’re doing, you need to present a professional image to them. You’ve gone through the expense and hard work of recruiting people you believe to be the best candidates, so why risk alienating them in the first few days?
Investing in a quality onboarding process ensures your new recruits feel comfortable, supported and equipped from day one. Remember, if you want to get the most out of people, you need to market your company to them just as much as they need to market themselves to you.
Investing in professional development
The ultimate investment in people is through training and development programs. This is a far-reaching concept, and professional development looks different for every organization. Professional development can include company-specific training, external accreditations and licenses, and a whole range of online training courses. It’s all about developing your staff and giving them the skills needed to be the best at their job.
Professional development is also huge when it comes to employee engagement. Staff members who receive regular training feel more supported and confident in their daily work.
Project management certification
While there are almost endless possibilities when it comes to choosing professional development courses for your staff, we wanted to touch on one specific training need. Project management certification is something that all employees can benefit from. Regardless of their role within the company, employees with project management skills are better equipped to take on new tasks, manage time efficiently and work within a team for the desired result.
You can easily arrange a time for your employees to earn project management certification online. It may be an investment in both time and money, but you’ll end up with a workforce who all have a deeper understanding of how business works.
Personal development courses
The other training and development courses your teams may find valuable are personal development ones. While professional development focuses on specific work skills, personal development is more about soft skills. Staff can learn how to deal with conflict, have challenging conversations, manage time effectively and much more. There are even leadership courses out there, teaching people everything they need to know about managing teams, leading through change and performance management.
These types of courses can benefit your employees wherever they go in their careers. Personal development training is a great way to show your teams that you care about their long-term career, not just the job they’re doing right now.
Team building activities
Another way to invest in your teams is through team building activities. The best thing about team building is the scope is so enormous. Team building can be as simple as all going out for coffee, or something more structured like Lego® Serious Play® courses.
The fact is teams who get along well tend to perform better and get better results. So, any opportunity you have to break down normal workplace barriers and let people be themselves is always good for business. Plus, team-building activities inject a bit of fun into the workplace, which everybody needs from time to time!
Perhaps the most obvious investment you can make in your teams is through salary and wages. It might sound a bit cold, but money talks. If you want people to give their best, they need to feel like they’re being compensated accordingly.
If you pay staff according to an industry award, consider whether you can do a little extra. Even if you can’t afford to go above standard wages, are there other benefits you can offer? Strike a deal with a local gym franchise to give staff a free membership. Offer performance-based bonuses. There are plenty of ways to increase employee benefits without technically raising wages.
Flexible working conditions
You can also invest in flexible working conditions to improve performance. People who have a good work-life balance usually produce better results, so why not try to accommodate people where you can? Whether it’s working from home for a couple of days a week or working different hours to allow for school drop-offs, flexibility goes a long way. Show your employees you support them to be their best at work, and you’ll see a performance increase.
It’s a tried and true method for improving employee engagement and getting the most out of your teams, but recognition programs work. So many people feel undervalued at work, and it’s often one of the main causes people have for leaving a workplace. According to research from OC Tanner, 79% of people who left a job did so because they didn’t feel appreciated.
Recognition programs don’t always have to be super-serious either. As long as you don’t offend anybody, you can have a bit of fun with quarterly or monthly reward programs.
As an extension of that, you don’t even need to have formal recognition programs. Giving praise and recognition on the spot is often more appreciated than anything formal. Ensure you’re thanking staff for their efforts and recognising their hard work at the time, and you’ll definitely see continued good performance.
Celebrate the moments that matter
Further to improving your work-based recognition programs, it’s worth putting some time into celebrating the other moments that matter for your teams. People who feel included in the workplace are known to perform better, and that’s why it’s important to really get to know your staff. In fact, 79% of people who have one life event celebrated at work feel like they belong.
You don’t need to throw huge parties for every single occasion, but a simple morning tea or a cake to celebrate people’s birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones is a great way to show you care. Remember that your employees probably lead rich and rewarding lives outside of work, so take the time to celebrate that. If someone on your team makes a great sporting achievement on the weekend, recognize it. If someone participates in charity work for a special cause, ask how the workplace can help or get involved.
Build career pathways
Investing in people is all about setting them up for success. One of the best ways to help people achieve their goals is with career pathways. Promoting from within is a system that makes sense in so many ways. Firstly, you elevate people who already know your core business. But more importantly, you show all employees that career advancement is possible if you work hard. In addition, people see that they don’t need to leave the company in pursuit of advancement.
So, by building career pathways and aligning training programs to them, you give people the best chance to succeed with your company long-term. This is a great motivator for people to give their best.
Provide networking opportunities
Finally, never forget about the importance of networking. Whether it’s arranging informal catch-ups or sending staff to seminars and conferences, networking is always a valuable business tool. Many people think about networking as a chance to advance their own careers. This is true, however, it’s also about being inspired.
When employees network with those outside of their daily work colleagues, they often return full of inspiration, ideas and a desire to improve. That’s great for everybody!