Five human capital strategies to get the best out of staff

18 April 2018 4 min. read
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Adults spend most of their waking hours in the workplace. However, different from a couple of decades ago, many employees nowadays do not want to simply go to work, complete their tasks and return home. They instead want to reach the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, feel valued in their job position and become an integrated part of the company’s culture. Laura-Jane Todd, an advisor at change consultancy Impact International, reflects on how employee satisfaction in the workplace can be advanced.

In a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, employee satisfaction in the workplace was explored. Amongst the top ten contributors to job satisfaction were: respectful treatment of employees (ranked first); job security; opportunities to use skills and abilities at work; supervisor’s respect for your work; and compensation and pay.

Other findings included that millennials valued career development opportunities, career advancement opportunities and job-specific training more than older employees.

Five strategies to get more out of staff

For employers, it can be easy to assume that all employees are satisfied when management is receiving the results that they are after. However, productivity can increase with a happier workforce and it is worth implementing some of the following strategies to get the best out of staff:

Respectful treatment of employees

Ranked first as the main contributor of employee satisfaction, this one shouldn’t be ignored. One way to ensure that employees are being treated with respect is to maintain an approachable attitude. For leaders, if employees feel that they can come to their boss with issues, it will be easier for management to find out if anyone is being disrespectful. Employers can introduce regular reviews with staff to demonstrate their concern for welfare and provide an opportunity for problems to be raised.

Five human capital strategies to get the best out of staff

Job security

Looking for a new job can be stressful and, at times, demotivating. Therefore, all employees hope to feel secure in their current job role – it means they can come to work feeling safe and happy. One way to implement this in the workplace is to keep staff informed of the financial situation of the business. Update members of the company with successes and profits to keep them in the loop.

Opportunities to use skills and abilities at work

Staff can feel overqualified and demotivated in their role if they are not using their skills and abilities to their full potential in their role. As the research showed, Millennials are happy to undertake job-specific training too, to develop their skills further. Bosses should aim to ensure that members of staff are in the correct role for their skillset. This can also be discussed in regular review sessions – perhaps a member of staff has more to bring to the company than management knows of.

Supervisor’s respect for your work

Some employees may find it demotivating and upsetting when they spend time on a piece of work that goes unappreciated. The key here is the approach to staff that supervisors take. By providing relevant feedback to employees or taking time out to thank them for their time, this can make staff feel more valued. Approaching members of staff this way may also encourage them to work hard(er) in the future.

Compensation and pay

Salaries and compensation will always be a key aspect in employee satisfaction. However, this does not have to be in the form of money or pay rises. Compensation can come in the form of a reward system – perhaps the employee of the month may receive a prize or short trip somewhere. Offering trips and social events for employees can also encourage them to feel valued, as it is a treat that they would not have received if they did not work there.

In summary, employee satisfaction is largely dependent on the attitudes within the organisation. This can be improved without massive investments or having to compromise any business activity. Through valuing staff and encouraging employee engagement, in addition to a happy workforce, management may see internal productivity levels soar.