Customer satisfaction should obviously be one of your company’s most significant priorities, and while it’s vital that you keep them happy, it’s important that you look inwards too. Your staff is your most crucial assets as, even with an incredible product or service, success is hard to come by without a happy, high-performing team. As Richard Branson once famously said: “Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
While it can be difficult to focus on team development amidst the day-to-day pressures of running a business, you’ll be rewarded for taking the time to do so. Statistics show that companies investing in the employee experience make four times profit than those that don’t, plus have workers with greater satisfaction and productivity levels. With such clear advantages, what exactly should you be investing in when it comes to your staff?
Training courses and upskilling
Teaching your employees new skills can improve performance and even boost your business’s bottom line, with research showing that companies which invest in training programmes make 24% more than those which don’t. Perhaps the most important things your staff can learn are digital skills, especially considering the increased reliance on computerised technology in the workplace. In fact, 82% of jobs now require some level of digital competence. Pertinent skills in which you can offer training range from anything from coding and social media management, to data analysis and digital project management.
With more businesses expanding internationally, having multilingual staff who can interact with overseas clients and customers is also hugely valuable, so providing language lessons can therefore be particularly advantageous. Unless you have specific international clients you need to consider, French could be a good place to start. Not only is it a major business language, but with French lessons compulsory in UK schools, staff are likely to have a background understanding of it, making the language relatively easy to learn.
New office equipment
Investing in office equipment will bolster your business by ensuring that your employees can work to the best of their abilities. For example, digitalising could massively improve productivity, especially with statistics showing that employees spend around 40% of their working hours looking for paper records. By introducing digital workflows, cloud-based storage, and online communication tools, your staff will be able to save plenty of time. Other types of office equipment to consider investing in may include up-to-date computers and related software, work mobile phones, and new stationery.
As well as updating the tools that your employees need to do their jobs, you should also invest in office equipment that can enhance their work lives in general. Simple changes like improving lighting or introducing office plants can go a long way. Studies have shown that natural lighting can improve a worker’s sleep and quality of life, while biophilic offices can lead to greater productivity, boost creativity, and reduce stress. Upgrading kitchen facilities, storage, or office design can make a huge difference to staff happiness too.
With studies showing that work friendships improve productivity by creating a positive environment that increases engagement, it’s important that you encourage team members to socialise with one another. Team building allows them to see each other from a different perspective, outside of the stresses of work, and may facilitate collaboration back in the office.
Physical activities are another great way to get employees together—why not set up an office 5-a-side or hire a fitness instructor to lead group exercise sessions? However, simple get-togethers like post-work drinks or team lunches are just as effective, and can be great icebreakers. Meanwhile office trivia, scavenger hunts, and board games can also help create bonds between staff while also encouraging some healthy competition between colleagues.