Workforce Happiness: How to Keep Your Team Motivated

Business.com / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Happy employees are well worth their weight in gold. These tips will keep your workforce running like a well oiled machine.

Managing a workforce entails a variety of tasks, including: time and attendance, scheduling, payroll, recruitment, and performance tracking.

In a time when employee engagement is low, and retention is becoming more difficult, efficient workforce management can make all the difference in your organization. It saves time so you can focus on building engagement and retention, to keep your business running smoothly. 

Related Article: Why Company Culture Matters More to Employee Than Pay

How Workforce Management Software Makes a Difference

Workforce management software streamlines all staff management related tasks, so you spend less time and money juggling it all.

Take for instance Friendly’s Ice Cream. With more than 500 franchised locations in 15 states, labor costs risk creating havoc on the budget. They turned to workforce management software to assist with scheduling and forecasting. Now, it’s easier for them to balance their labor force with demand, so they can continue to provide a stellar customer service experience, without worrying about over or understaffing each location.

The attendance data automatically transfers to payroll, saving time and eliminating errors. As a result, Friendly’s has been able to stay within planned budgets, which is critical to achieving profit in the restaurant industry.

Employee Engagement

Gallup polls show only 32 percent of U.S. employees are engaged. This isn’t to say disengaged employees don’t do their job, but those workers are the ones who are most likely to do the bare minimum required to keep their job, more likely to miss work, and more likely to leave the company in favor of the next best opportunity.

Why do you want engaged employees? Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202 percent. Why? Engaged employees love what they do, and who they do it for. They come to work regularly, are highly productive, and focus on doing their job well. 

Boost employee engagement with these tips:

Allow flexible scheduling when and where possible. Survey data indicates 70 percent of employees said their employers should offer flexible work schedules to help them maintain a better work-life balance. Make employees happy and simplify your scheduling process with your workforce management software.

Keep the lines of communication open. People are happier when their managers are honest and responsive. Encourage them to provide feedback and suggestions as to how you can help improve company policies and processes.

Provide positive feedback and incentives for a job well done. Use praise when an employee does well to provide a short term increase in dopamine and make the employee feel good. For larger scale initiatives, consider physical rewards like cash, gift cards, tablets, computers, and gaming consoles.

Allow employees to work from home. Studies show giving your team the freedom and flexibility to work from home actually increases productivity. Not only this, but it also helps save on overhead costs such as office space and furniture. 

Tony Newton of Linktub explains, “My entire staff telecommutes, and business continues to grow. Sure there are times when having the team all in-house is advantageous; but have you seen the price per square foot here in Venice? Now that SnapChat has moved into the neighborhood, we are looking at upwards of $9 a square foot. That translates to $10K a month for a team of 5 or so in 1200 square feet of office. That’s just not doable for many firms, including ours.”

Employee Retention

In 2014, total U.S. turnover was 15.7 percent of the workforce, with 11 percent representing voluntary turnover. Turnover is costly for any business, since you must invest time into recruitment and training for a suitable replacement.

Let’s say your business employs 100 people, and loses 25 percent of them every year. Each employee earns an average salary of $40,000, but produces twice as much value. It takes you 37 days to fill the position, plus an additional 60 days ramp up time to reach full productivity. You spend 15 percent of the employee’s salary on recruitment costs. Guess how much you’re spending on employee turnover every year?

According to this calculator: $517,123. If we keep all other circumstances the same, but each employee makes an average $100,000 in salary, that figure jumps to an astonishing $1,292,808. Even smaller businesses, with 10 employees, who lose three employees every year, with an average salary of $30,000 will lose an estimated $46,541 to replace them as a result of recruitment, unfilled role cost, and ramp up opportunity costs.

Wouldn’t you rather invest money in keeping your current employees happy? Sure, you’re not going to be able to stop all employees from quitting, but reducing turnover and improving retention will save you money.

Related Article: Motivated to Sell: Proven Sales Compensation Strategies

Reduce Turnover By:

Boosting engagement. Increased engagement will: boost productivity by up to 22 percent, reduce turnover by an average of 25 percent in high turnover organizations and 65 percent in low turnover organizations, and reduce safety and quality incidents.

Providing opportunities for advancement. Not only will this help motivate employees to work harder, but it helps reduce recruitment and ramp up costs. Promoting from within is often better than opting for external hires because current employees are already familiar with your company and are more likely to stay.

Paying a competitive salary. A recent survey shows 61 percent of job seekers consider compensation, including pay and benefits the number one factor in job satisfaction. If you’re not paying as well as other businesses in your area, you’ll struggle to attract and retain the top talent the industry has to offer.

With the right workforce management software in place, organizations can take precautions against employee disengagement and turnover. Management no longer has to stress about how to appropriate scale as business grows. With the logistics out of the way, managers can spend more time focusing efforts on motivating their employees and building relationships with them, which helps increase profits.

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