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IN light of today’s tough labour access landscape, it’s more important than ever for agribusiness companies to have happy and productive employees.
When employees are loyal and engaged in the business, productivity, returns and profits tend to be higher. Conversely, when people feel unmotivated or undervalued, the company suffers.
Studies show that engaged employees have less days off, perform better, and are more supportive of changes and willing to make them happen.
Keeping employees happy in any economy is hard work. Why? Because happiness is, primarily, an inside job. In other words, happiness comes from within a person. However, friends, family and employment can add to or detract from someone’s happiness level. So if the workplace is stressful, employees’ production may go down.
Happy employees are also satisfied and feel a sense of accomplishment in their work. They like themselves and what they do, and they find satisfaction from their work – a sense that what they do is important and meaningful. Such feelings reduce stress, which is a major factor in productivity.
Here’s some guidelines to consider in order to make your workplace one where happiness and productivity thrive
Aim to be a ‘good’ employer
A good employer is one who sets clear expectations for employees, including what is to be done, when it is to be done by, and where it goes after staff complete their responsibilities. Within these expectations, managers need to set clear boundaries, demonstrate healthy leadership and provide sound direction.
This means spelling out rules, regulations, policies and procedures. While this can usually be accomplished by creating a comprehensive employee manual, a good employer or manager will also use the ‘personal touch’ by talking with employees in group and one-on-one settings.
Whatever expectations are set, make sure they are consistent for all employees. Include such things as clocking-in early, break times, lunch hours, etc. For example, is it acceptable to clock-in early and leave work early? Are breaks mandatory? Will an employee be docked if they consistently take too long for lunch? The more issues and expectations you outline, the fewer problems arise, which leads to productive workers.
Help employees to feel valued
Be encouraging to your employees and offer praise when appropriate. Thank employees for doing a good job and let them know that you value them.
Should something go wrong or someone makes a mistake, don’t punish the person. Rather, talk to them, teach the correct procedures, and offer encouragement and further teaching when needed.
Remember that punishing people only makes things worse in that the employee may become angry and bitter and in a worst case scenario, may want to sabotage their work to get back at the company.
As an employer, you have an excellent opportunity to make a difference in your employees’ lives.
This may mean a smile, asking how their family is, or asking about their interests or problems. If you sense that someone is depressed, help that person get the necessary resources, as employees with depression have higher absenteeism, increased health problems, and decreased performance.
Remember that we are all humans working together to get through life. We need to care about each other to get the best results.
Get people involved
Create a comprehensive employee manual that is clear and simply written. In it include procedures for handling every imaginable scenario, including family emergencies. Ask employees for their ideas for the manual so they feel a sense of ownership with the company.
Additionally, help employees feel involved by having regular meetings where everyone can voice their opinions and concerns. This has an added benefit in that the company can gain valuable information about concerns that will hurt the bottom line.
Consider having a designated charity or cause where people can donate both money and time. It might be as simple as a working bee at the local community school. This helps each person to see the bigger picture. Research indicates that people feel better and have better lives when they volunteer. It also helps the company’s bottom line by increasing employees’ performance and demonstrating to the community that the business cares.
Keep Them Happy; Keep Them Working
When employees feel that they are a dynamic and essential part of the team, they are more productive and willing to go the extra mile for the company and co-workers.
Therefore, give praise openly, set goals appropriate to the work and always take employees’ needs seriously. By respecting and listening to staff, you’ll be giving them the motivational push they need to stay loyal and committed to the business’s goals.
And when you have a happy and productive workforce that is eager to contribute, your business can weather any economic storm.
Source: Meat Processors Pty Ltd