3 Ways to Keep Your Employees Happy at Work
Office culture. Work-life balance. Millennials.
There are a lot of mainstream buzzwords about marketing agencies. And for all the sarcastic jokes we hear about beer-filled fridges and having dogs in the office, there’s a lot to be said about the positive aspects of a progressive work environment.
At 9 Clouds, our team has good days and bad, but we’ve had incredibly low turnover, something we attribute to our workplace culture.
Although marketing perks won’t work for every industry (it’s sure hard to work remote and sell cars), these are three things we think will improve morale and retention no matter what industry you’re in.
1. Provide Frequent Reviews
If you’re a manager, how often do you sit down, one on one, and honestly review your employees? If you’re not in management, when is the last time you had a review? For most people, the answer is probably sometime in the last year.
At 9 Clouds, we do reviews once a quarter.
Four times a year, we sit down for at least an hour with our CEO and talk about our performance, feedback from our teammates, and SMART goals for our future — both personally and professionally. We review our job description, which is a refreshing reminder about why we’re at the company. It’s also an opportunity to bring up areas of frustration or growth.
This isn’t the only reason our team keeps working at 9 Clouds, but I promise, our reviews keep us on track. This hour-long conversation, four times a year, acts as workplace rejuvenation. A reminder about why our work is important to us and to the company.
The idea of doing quarterly reviews seems crazy, I’m sure, to some business owners. Even yearly reviews are difficult for some management teams. But if you’re not having conversations with your employees about their successes and opportunities for growth, you’re doing your business a huge disservice.
Frequently reminding your employees of their unique value to your company — and of the opportunities they have to improve your business — will encourage them to stick around.
2. Encourage Personal Accountability
As I mentioned, everyone at 9 Clouds sets personal and professional goals during their reviews. You read that right: personal and professional.
It’s fulfilling to set and review goals on a regular basis, but many companies don’t even do this professionally, much less personally.
Here’s why. People who are fully fulfilled in their personal lives will come to work focused and energized. If you can offer the ability to help with their personal fulfillment by providing accountability to their personal goals, you’ll have more well-rounded, happy employees.
If you need to think about it in terms of numbers, you can consider it this way: The cost of an employee gym membership or entrance to a professional conference will cost you significantly less than the cost of hiring and training a new employee.
3. Find Opportunities for Mentorship
Finally, I think it’s important for business owners to start providing mentorship opportunities to their employees.
A lot of young people entering the workforce have more questions than answers. A good mentor can help them find direction.
A mentor doesn’t even have to be someone within your organization. If you can help find guidance for a lost employee — wherever that guidance comes from — you’re likely to keep them around.
Think of this as another form of professional development. A mentor in your industry is providing valuable education that an employee wouldn’t learn in the classroom, all while putting focus on the career path of the mentee.
Value Your Team
If you ask anyone on our team at 9 Clouds about what they enjoy most at work, they’ll likely talk about any of the above (although the free coffee at Queen City Bakery might also make the list).
We think accountability goes both ways in business. It’s something that makes employees feel truly valued in their positions.
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