When someone is considering improving their business or corporation, they often think of many ways to achieve it. They frequently discuss going with more modern technology or talk about bringing in some outside help to assist in operating the company. However, the ones in the chief positions are regularly overlooking an obvious answer to improving the business.
Investing in your current employees is perhaps the best way to bolster your business for several reasons. For one, you already know the people well. You know what they can and can’t handle. There is a good chance you might have employees with very high skill ceilings if they were bumped up to the next level. You’ll never know until you take more of an interest in them and their lives.
If you hire someone new to fill an important position, there is a lot of training that has to be accomplished first. They need to go from zero to sixty in a short amount of time. By giving a promotion to one of your current employees, you’re skipping a potentially-lengthy training process, as they already know quite a bit about the company. Also, it gives the other employees that are working hard the opportunity to see that there are promotions happening from within the company. People often leave jobs because they don’t see how they will ever rise through the ranks. If they know that there is nothing holding them down, then they will be more apt to stay with the company. Less turnover means your company is generally operating well, so hopefully more profits are right around the corner.
There are numerous ways to invest in your current employees. One key way is to make the workplace somewhere they enjoy spending their time. You don’t want a workforce of clock-watchers. Too many companies have drama that can ruin everything. Make sure there are no “Negative Nancys” or “Debbie Downers” poisoning your work environment. Don’t play office politics by pitting people against each other either. Create more than just cubicles where workers spend eight hours a day in. Have fun common places other than just a break room with two lunch tables. If they look forward to work each day, then they will be more productive employees. Sprucing up a building does not have to cost an arm or a leg either. It is amazing what a ping pong table or an arcade game can accomplish.
Reward Hard Workers
Some people may laugh at Employee of the Month awards, but those employees that do their best and try helping out the business as much as possible will appreciate that someone is recognizing them for their work. Your reward does not have to be Employee of the Month of course. For example, you could create three awards to be handed out every month so that employees will have a better chance at receiving them. You might think of adding a gift certificate they can use somewhere along with the gift. If you don’t want to spend the money on a gift certificate, give them an extra day off instead or double their time allowed for lunch for the week.
Employee Scholar Program
If you really care about your employees, have a large profitable company, and don’t mind spending extra money, you can do an Employee Scholar Program. By chipping in for their education expenses, your employees will be more likely pursue lifelong learning than if they had to pay for it entirely themselves. You do not have to cover all their expenses, but by pledging something like 20 percent of their total cost, you may have them acquiring degrees and certificates that will help your company.
Louis Chenevert really emphasized the lifelong learning program for the employees at United Technologies Corporation (UTC) when he was President and CEO there from 2008 to 2014. UTC is a multi-conglomerate with partnerships with many successful billion-dollar businesses. If anyone would know what it takes to run a productive company, it would be Chenevert. During his time leading UTC, their stock prices more than tripled.
Louis Chenevert used the Employee Scholar Program for anyone under his employment that would like to earn a degree in any field they chose. UTC would pay the entire bill for all education expenses. This allowed them to hire from within more often since their employees were becoming even more qualified. Over the course of the program, UTC employees acquired over 39,000 degrees with this program. In total, about $1 billion has been spent on their program. Chenevert believed in investing in his employees and he put his money where his mouth was. You have to respect a leader that follows through and values his employees.
We have all been involved in team-building exercises at work. Some are fun, and others are a bit boring and awkward. How many times can you fall backward into your coworkers’ arms in one hour? The ability to catch someone does not really make you bond all that much. There are much better team-building exercises than that.
For example, there are organizations that build houses for the less fortunate and all you need are basic skills to be able to help. Charitable organizations are always in need of volunteers, so an employee team-building exercise helping those in need can definitely bring a group of people together. It lets them put aside their minor issues or conflicts and focus on completing good deeds for others. Escape room games are also a growing fad and it could be fun seeing which group of employees can work together best at getting themselves out of being trapped in a locked room.
Investing in those who work for you can provide a much better return on your money and time rather than buying the newest fancy computer for the office. In doing so, you will all bond a bit closer and the workplace will be a home away from home. Your employees will appreciate it and they will be much more willing to come into work in a good mood every day.