Increasingly companies are reluctant to part with their dollars, regardless of talk of
recovery from the economic downturn. With fewer resources, the business mantra becomes “work faster, harder and more efficiently.” However, smart employers also know that employees are not machines that just need a little more oil. Treating them as such will hurt the business in the long term.
Creating a work environment that recognizes and allows for employees’ personal lives, on the other hand, is vital to a thriving company. Michael Crom, executive vice president for Dale Carnegie Training, says that “a happy, well-rounded individual will provide more creative solutions to problems and will get more done in his or her time at
For instance, the mother who knows she can make it to her son’s baseball game without
a hassle is much more likely to show up early for that presentation you need her help preparing. At the same time, inflexible work hours, an overbearing supervisor or excessive expectations can negatively impact both employees’ outside lives and work performance.
Besides allowing for more flexibility, what else can employers do to create an
environment where employees want to work harder and are less likely to leave?
Some of the benefits smart companies provide include:
- On-site daycare. A key strategy many high-tech companies have found
for keeping women in full-time jobs – and their workforce at critical staffing
levels – is ensuring they have daycare arrangements that allow the mothers to
visit their children during the day.
- Personal services. Benefits that are booming right now include free
massages, on-site delicatessens, on-site hair salons, on-site dry-cleaning and
anything else that saves employees a stop on the way home. Small companies can
partner with other businesses in the community to provide some of these
- Health-centered activities. When employees are working hard, exercise is
usually the first thing to fall off the list. Encourage a healthy lifestyle by
offering discounts to local health clubs and providing exercise classes before
and after work or at lunch time. Set up support groups for weight loss, smoking
cessation and stress management.
Weave these and other creative ideas into your business plan and soon working harder
with less won’t seem quite so hard anymore.
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