When our parents and grandparents were in the workforce, things were a lot different. There were much more stringent rules and employees were expected to adhere to clearly defined roles and processes. Today, the most effective companies understand that some employees work better under different conditions. By being more open and flexible, companies can improve morale, retention rates, and productivity.
A lot of time and energy goes into finding a qualified candidate to fill an open position. But your job is not over when they walk into the office on their first day. You need to ensure that the onboarding experience effectively prepares them for their new daily responsibilities, and also helps them integrate and connect with their new colleagues. The first few months are a critical time, and may determine whether the new employee is here to stay or whether you will be posting the same job description yet again.
The first thing that you should do is ensure that you are being open and honest during the interview process. Your goal should not just be to get a top candidate to accept the position. You need to be clear about what the job entails and what they can expect when working with your company. If you feed them unrealistic expectations, then they are likely to feel unsatisfied and resentment from the beginning. And, chances are, they will not be there for long.
There are many companies that expect their new hires to change their work habits – and even their personalities – in order to fit in with the established company culture. This is a big mistake. The most effective organizations understand that each employee can bring something new to the table, and that teams should be continually evolving in order to best reflect the current staff. When you do this, you strengthen your teams and allow your employees to grow both personally and professionally.
In fact, being flexible is one of the best ways that you can improve company morale and decrease employee turnover. Every team member is unique and will thrive under different conditions. Some prefer to work during certain hours of the day, and many perform better in different environments. If you want to maximize productivity and improve your work product, give your employees some ability to customize their schedule and surroundings.
Of course, you do not just want to give your employees free range and hope for the best. By keeping open communication along the way, you can better understand how to help your top talent perform at their highest level. Maybe it is the ability to work from home a couple days a week, or to work in either a solitary or open environment. When you understand what is important to your employees in their professional workspace, you can highlight these factors to prospective candidates.
By prioritizing transparency and flexibility, you create an environment that lets your employees thrive. This will not only improve morale and decrease turnover, but it will also improve productivity and work quality – all of which can greatly benefit your bottom line.