Google ‘taking care of employees,’ and you’ll likely come up with millions of pages. Many of the actual articles posted there will feel like you were tinkering with a care. Simply do this, and this, they tell you, and your employees will be happy and pain or difficulty will leave their working experience for the rest of your days. But as we know, people aren’t usually happy with being treated like machines, or those we can simply prod and poke for an intended result.
It takes soul for a business to care for their employees well. You might also call this the human factor. That responsibility starts the moment someone walks in for a job application. Should they succeed, it ends the moment they leave the premises on their final day, of course exempting any severance packages of retraining programmes you might have sponsored, and of course references or pension responsibilities you might have.
But taking care of your employees in a human way can net you more than simply seeing the realism of your staff’s experience with more depth than ‘give them coffee and a comforting chair.’
Let’s explore that below:
Listen To Their Troubles
There are many issues that can cause someone to drop off in their working capacity. It might lead them to seem exhausted at work. It might be that they have little confidence despite seeming radiant the week before. They may fail to engage in new training programs or simply find it hard to turn up to work directly on time, instead shaving a few minutes off their attendance here and there. Perhaps they used to be pressing with email responses, and now it takes two days to reach any form of contact.
Sometimes, immediately lambasting and punishing them for this can be counter-intuitive, and it might force them to reconsider their options of working for you. Of course you have a certain standard of work to uphold. But consider your first response. Are accusations the best introduction? Or do you simply listen and give them ample reason to discuss with you, or your HR team? A confidential, impartial conversation with someone willing to listen can help them talk about issues they might be experiencing at home. Perhaps they’ve been made aware of the loss of a close family member. Perhaps they’re simply struggling to get out of bed in the morning, and your encouragement for them to see a Doctor is what they need to address it.
Simply listening to their troubles can ensure that you get to the heart of a story more quickly. It can be tempting to rule with an iron fist, but often if trying to dig under the surface more carefully, you can. You’ll likely find something you can work with. And if not, at least you’ll understand why, and can apply the appropriate discipline correctly.
You should always consider how you can protect your employees. Of course, standard safety measures are essential. But you should also go above the call of duty to meet simply litigation, and try to equip them with all preventative measures to ensure they are cared for. Simple notices about your hot kitchen equipment can cover you should someone get a little too carried away with the kettle. But let’s say that you have one of your employees conducting a task that requires protective gloves.
For example, a restaurant employee. Providing them with a thick apron and goggles might also be worthwhile. You may not ‘need to’ through conventional means, but being extra-sure is always valuable. Investing in training can also be a great idea. Would you rather only two people in your building knew first aid, the correct ratio for the amount of employees you have? Or would you rather invest in giving most of the people you hire this skillset? It could even save your life. A little enhanced safety does go a long, long way.
Insure & Protect
You should also ensure to insure your employees, in every conceivable manner. This also goes for liability insurance to cover mistakes, and the damage it may cause. It’s best to prepare for eventualities rather than have to enact a solution from scratch when they appear. For example, having a semi truck accident lawyer on hand before a crash ever occurs needn’t be something you have to inspect for its potential value. It should be self-evident.
When protecting and insuring your employees, you’re telling them that they are more valuable to your firm than any difficulty they might experience. Care and protection first, potential necessary discipline or cover later.
With this tips, you’re sure to become a more measured employer.