While you may have the best business plan in the world, with the most luxurious office and unlimited resources, if your employees are not happy, they will not be productive, and your business will suffer.
Research can corroborate this claim: economists at the University of Warwick in the UK found that happy employees are in fact 12% more productive. The contentment of one’s workers should be a priority for every small business owner not least because they will work harder but because losing an employee and having to replace them is so expensive. A separate study conducted in Oxford found that on average it costs about £30,614 (or about $39,500) to hire someone new.
The reason for this is that first you have to advertise. Your HR department then has to spend time (and therefore money) to consider each application. There is then the expensive business of interviewing the prospective candidates, and once you’ve decided on someone, you have to get the details of their contract sorted out.
Meanwhile, your company will have lost productivity in so far as it can no longer rely upon the services of the person being replaced. Not only that, it will take time to train the new employee to the level of their predecessor which means more money lost in reduced productivity. In any case, it pays to keep your employees happy.
There are lots of way of doing it too. While a lot of people would like a pay rise, it may not be the most practical option. You can offer them benefits though. While health insurance is expensive, it is a massive draw to a lot of people.
It does not need to be so time-consuming though. The annual cost of sick days and worker compensation in the United States is a startling $576 billion. However, all you need to do is look at this telemedicine video conferencing solution to get some idea of how you could save money. Inviting your employees to communicate with medical professions by video is easier because they do not lose time traveling to the doctor’s office and it is cheaper too.
While it may sound counterintuitive, there are times when using less technology is the best thing for your business. The consequence of smartphones is that people are always connected now, and that means that it is more difficult to disengage and relax.
A recent survey found that 40% of people check their work emails at least five times a day outside of office hours. This may seem like dedication but it is more aptly described as anxiety, and that is not good. It will certainly make your employees less efficient. Following the example set by France and granting ‘the right to disconnect’ is a good way to have a happier, healthier workforce.
Lastly, not everyone is suited to the office environment, and it is the responsibility of a small business owner to decide how best to utilize the employees that they have. This may mean allowing some people to work remotely, whether that it from a home office or from wherever they want. Technology makes this easy, and it can lead to a more flexible, dynamic work environment.