From poor management skills to employees not feeling valued in the workplace, people choose to leave their job for a whole load of reasons. But there seems to be a common trend amongst most resignations; an employee being left unhappy.
Even if staff turnover isn’t currently an issue at your business, it pays to value employee happiness. Countless studies highlight the strong connection between employee happiness and productivity. Did you know that highly-engaged employees outperform others by as much as 202%?
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that companies are keen to invest in creating a positive workplace environment. A productive team equals a profitable business.
The rise in digital technologies has certainly helped accommodate this dramatic shift in workplace culture, with countless online tools that aim to improve employee engagement. From virtual HR teams to online task management apps that help streamline our lives at work, businesses really need to take advantage of this technology before it’s too late.
In this blog, I’m going to share some of the benefits that businesses can experience by embracing digital to boost employee happiness.
In business, poor communication results in unnecessary mistakes all too often. One missed post-it-note or email can lead to the breakdown of a whole business process. This is far from ideal and something that can be easily avoided in the digital era.
The popularity of business-focused instant messaging apps has skyrocketed over the last few years, with tools such as Slack amassing as much as 10 million daily users. These apps offer a platform that employees can use to quickly get a message across to a colleague, or broadcast important updates to the whole team. They make it really easy to get a message across to someone quickly and can be huge timesavers. Another popular alternative to Slack, which has seen countless new features introduced in the last few months, is Facebook’s ‘Workplace’.
One of the most popular employee perks right now is flexible working. Back in 2017, a whopping 58% of workers had options for flexible working, with the figure growing each year. Whether these options are for flexible working hours or simply the option to work from home, there are several online tools that can make things more practical.
One of these tools is Skype; it allows you to call in from anywhere in the world via voice call or video. It’s an ideal solution for any remote workers that often need to be present in a meeting or a quick catch up.
Another tool that can encourage flexible working is Google Docs. This is Google’s suite of online business tools, much like Microsoft’s Office suite. It consists of Google Sheets (like Excel), Docs (like Word), Slides (like Powerpoint) and more. Whilst these tools aren’t as advanced as Microsoft’s alternatives, they have countless other advantages that can make them perfect for remote workers. Most notably, they allow multiple users to edit one document at the same time. You can even see any live changes that other users are making. This really is great for remote working; rather than having countless copies of one document being sent about, you now just have one.
Having access to these tools will open up the door for flexible working, which can be a great way to boost employee happiness and subsequently employee productivity.
Improve Your Culture
One proven way to help employees feel like valued members of your team is by listening to and acting upon their feedback. Traditionally, this tends to be discussed in face-to-face catch-ups or through anonymous suggestion boxes. But with the introduction of digital, there are now far easier ways to do this.
Platforms like SurveyMonkey offer easy-to-craft surveys which can be used for anything from open-ended anonymous suggestions to simple ‘Yes/No’ employee satisfaction surveys. Rather than dedicating hours of your time to face-to-face catch ups, you can just send a quick email asking your team to click on a link and share their thoughts. Slack even offers an integration with SurveyMonkey and dozens of other similar apps, which can be great for automating regular feedback with your team.
Invest In More Affordable Training
Professionals seem to have become increasingly focused on improving their skills at work, especially in the younger generation. Did you know that 91% of millennials report career progression as a top priority when choosing a new job?
A lot of businesses have been somewhat reluctant to offer regular training in the past, mainly due to high costs and lost hours at work. But thanks to online training platforms such as Udemy, employees can access high-level training from as little as £10. Whether you want to train up your Marketing Manager in Google AdWords or roll out company-wide Microsoft Excel training, there are literally hundreds of online courses that allow you to do this affordably.
Know Your Team
The internet can be a great place to discover new things about the people that work at your business. There has always been a stigma with employees allowing their employer to follow their social accounts out of fear of them being ‘spied on’. But forward-thinking businesses are increasingly using social media with good intentions; to stay better informed about their team and how they truly feel.
For larger brands, there’s an abundance of social listening tools such as Hootsuite and Keyhole which allow you to do this at ease. But for smaller brands, one fairly simple way to do this manually is by creating an employee Twitter List. You can use this list to stay updated with any events or achievements, such as a member of staff getting engaged or taking part in a charity event, or simply finding out unique insights about your team. From here, you can be more effective when trying to shape your company culture or planning any office days out.
Easier Employee Benefits
The rise of digital has also made way to a whole new market for employee benefits schemes. Online platforms such as Perkbox offer a seemingly endless selection of regularly-updated perks and discounts. From high street savings to gym discounts, this can be a great way to reward your team with minimal effort. Employers can simply sign up to the app, send logins to their team, then sit back and watch their staff make the most of their free perks.
These are just a few of the ways that proactive employers can use new technologies to boost employee happiness. Keep an eye on upcoming tools and trends; you never know, you may just discover the next tool to innovate your business.
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