Boosting Employee Morale is a Full-time Job

As a small business owner working in water damage restoration, you have no room in your budget for wasted money. Of course, you can tighten your purse strings by watching what you spend on supplies, utilities and equipment, but if your employees aren’t giving their all to their work, you should know you’re wasting money on labor.

Unengaged employees cost their boss big bucks, according to a 2013 poll by Gallup. In fact, an estimated 70 percent of the workforce aren’t fully engaged at work, which is believed to cost American employers hundreds of billions of dollars every year. While it may be true that some employees simply aren’t willing to give their all to a job and should be let go, you as an employer hold a lot of power in the workplace. If you can make strategic efforts to improve employee morale all year long, you can expect to see productivity and performance soar.

Don’t Wait for December to Show You Care

What is the status quo for employee appreciation in your company? Like many companies, are you offering a year-end bonus and throwing a small party during the holiday season? You should know that these practices are great, but the status quo isn’t cutting it anymore. Showing your employees you care in December isn’t enough to chase off burnout for the rest of the year.

Because of this, it is important that business owners and managers learn to make employee appreciation a regular occurrence in the workplace. Showing your employees how much their hard work and dedication means to you doesn’t have to consume your budget or require a lot of time. We suggest starting with optional, monthly outings like bowling, happy hour or family-friendly, summer barbecues.

Your Employees Shouldn’t Be Another Face in the Crowd

For some time, the common belief was that professionals should keep their work life and home life completely separate. Because of this, many companies have made it standard practice to avoid talk of what is going on outside of the four walls of the business. Research suggests a clear separation of the two doesn’t hold many benefits, but actually creates stress for employees who feel pressured to leave who they are outside of work behind when they clock in.

The truth is, your employees don’t want to feel like another face in the crowd, as if their workplace doesn’t care who they are or what is going in their life. Instead, they want to work in a place that knows their kids’ names, knows when there is an exceptional amount of stress in their personal life and offers a little flexibility in the workplace when their personal life requires attention. Offering flexibility, to respond to the occasional phone call or take a personal day when something needs their attention, is directly linked to how satisfied and comfortable your employees will feel in their job, according to the Harvard Business Review. This doesn’t mean you don’t expect your employees to stay off their cell phones during work hours or maintain a level of professionalism, it means you build a level of trust with your employees so they feel comfortable asking you for a little freedom when an emergency arises.

Make a Habit of Recognizing and Rewarding Hard Work

As the leader in your company, it is more than OK to expect employees to give their all to the job at hand. However, as the leader in your company, is it important that you are prepared to recognize and reward hard work when your employees step up to meet your high expectations.  When an employee’s actions are directly related to the success of your company, always make an effort to communicate how much you appreciate their dedication to the vision.

The best talent in the water damage restoration industry won’t stick around if they feel their dedication is going unnoticed. This is where learning the difference between recognition and reward is essential as well as learning to use both to keep hard working employees on your team.

Recognition requires noticing when your staff members are going above and beyond and praising them in front of other employees. This could be a casual comment at an employee lunch or something more formal like an employee of the month certificate.

Rewarding an employee takes recognition a step further by offering your team member a little something extra for their high performance. Employee rewards don’t have to be cash, although bonuses are certainly appreciated when possible. Instead, we suggest making a habit of using small rewards to encourage hard work, like taking an employee out for lunch to say thank you, keeping a few $5 gift cards for coffee or McDonalds on hand to pass out spontaneously, or granting extra vacation days to the employees who stand out above the rest.

Boosting employee morale may feel like a full-time job, but it doesn’t have to be an all-consuming task for the leaders in your company. At More Floods, we encourage leaders to implement operational systems that make everything from employee recognition and training to budgeting and invoicing happen on autopilot. To learn more about the operational resources we offer, click here or call 1-866-667-3356 for more information on becoming a More Floods member.

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