It’s almost Labor Day, the last holiday of the summer! Have you considered what Labor Day means to you and your employees?
It could mean more than you think. The relationship between employees and their employers, after all, is critical to a successful workplace, and holidays are an important opportunity to strengthen that bond.
According to 2018 research from Gallup, in order to retain your best employees, it’s crucial to make them feel valued by investing in them and offering them them the workplace culture that they need to thrive. The current tight job market means that if employers don’t step up, those top performers have no trouble looking elsewhere.
As you contemplate the Labor Day holiday and what it means to you, spend some time thinking about how you can positively support your employees…and hang on to them.
3 Ideas to Implement after Labor Day
1. Stimulate and empower
According to a Virgin Pulse survey, 53 percent of respondents said that “interesting and challenging” work is the top reason that employees love what they do. Interestingly, the company’s mission also ranked highly as a reason for loving their company, and it doesn’t take much to achieve this.
As an employer, find ways to empower your employees by giving them assignments above and beyond their everyday duties—ones that clearly align with your mission. Empower them to complete the project on their own, checking in with you at key milestones. You could also think about involving your team in brainstorming or decision-making sessions. Show them that their contribution to the business is important and that they share in its success.
2. Support your managers
There’s an old saying that employees don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad managers. It’s often true. Gallup found that “managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units.” In other words, the skills of individual managers have a big impact on their teams, and on your company as a whole.
Since engaged employees are more productive and more likely to stick around, it’s in your interests to support initiatives that will increase employee engagement. You can contribute to this important aspect of your culture by providing support and training for your managers, both when you promote them, and on an ongoing basis.
Providing opportunities for personal development and fostering positive relationships between coworkers will benefit every employee, and engaged managers have a positive ripple effect in your organization.
3. Support Work/Life Balance
The key to employee happiness rarely comes in the form of financial benefits. Only 28 percent in the Virgin Pulse survey said it was the number one reason behind workplace well-being and happiness. Rather, promoting a work/life balance was the top way that employers could show they care.
Giving greater flexibility to employees can be a great way to do this. It can also be a good way to promote gender equity in the workplace. In fact, according to Gallup, 46 percent of female employees say flextime is the most important benefit a company can offer its workers.
As a small business owner, you can probably appreciate this. After all, flexibility is one of the biggest benefits to being your own boss.
Consider the following strategies for promoting work/life balance:
Allow employees to work from home (industry-permitting and a maximum of one day per week).
Offer flexible hours and personal days off (on top of regular vacation time and sick days).
Facilities-permitting, provide child care and fitness options in the workplace. Allow employees to bring their furry friends to work on a Friday.
Don’t forget to be inclusive of your employee’s family. Plan family-oriented events outside of the workplace at least twice a year. Think picnics, movie nights, sports events—anything that brings everyone together and makes them feel like a valued whole.
What will you do to invest in and improve your labor force this holiday?