Retain valuable employees by creating happiness at work
“Evert is an amazing employee. My customers always have positive things to say about him. He brings in new clients and I can always count on him.” Last week I had a lunch appointment with Xavi. He is the director of a security company. He employs 12 people and his company is doing well. Five years ago, there were only 3 people working there. Even back then, Evert was already working with him.
"He has really helped me grow my company," Xavi says. Xavi is primarily more of a tech guy who knows everything there is to know about securing business premises. When it comes to the business side of things, he is not as strong. He mostly relies on Evert when it comes to the acquisition of new contracts. “He is not only good at getting new customers, he also knows how to retain them. I have Evert to thank for most of my company’s revenues”. Xavi says that Evert is particularly strong when it comes to communication. “He can easily have a conversation with anyone. It doesn't matter who he is talking to. He is a good listener and puts people at ease. Customers appreciate that and like doing business with him."
"They are trying to buy Evert away from me"
Why is Xavi telling me this story? Then the truth comes out: he worries about a big decline in business for his company if Evert ever decides to work somewhere else. "If someone offers him a high salary, he may not be able to say "no". Then I will have lost him."
Evert gets a good salary from Xavi. I tell Xavi that just increasing his salary is not the solution. Money isn’t everything. Having your employees feel happy at work is extremely important as well. It determines the extent to which employees care about the business. The happier they are at work, the greater the dedication and the longer the employees stay. Research has shown that happiness at work affects all kinds of things. It leads to less stress, less absenteeism, fewer accidents at work, satisfied customers, better service quality and higher employee satisfaction.
Xavi asked me how he can make his people happier at work. I am not a “happiness guru”, but I do know that you should not restrict employees too much. Give them room to give their opinions and help make decisions. As a boss, you shouldn’t have to micromanage everything. Don’t be afraid to let go, show employees that you are confident in their abilities, and let them come up with solutions themselves. Allow them to express their personal talents and let them be involved with the things they are passionate about.
Here’s another great suggestion: pay attention to the health and fitness of your employees. Make sure they move around enough during the working day. Encourage healthy eating habits and bring in healthy food. You could even organize active work outings occasionally. Yes, it may cost a bit of money, but in return, your employees won’t be sick as often. Plus, fit employees perform better and feel better about themselves. That also helps determine how happy they are at work.
During our lunch we enjoyed some delicious roasted chicken. Xavi gave me a worried look and asked: "This is healthy enough, right?" Certainly Xavi, I told you that being happy and having fun at work is crucial. 😉
At ENNIA we deal with employee-related risks all the time, so we know how you can minimize risks in the workplace by taking simple preventative measures. We’d love to share our knowledge with you.
ENNIA Corporate Insurance Specialist