When you think about return on employee investment, what comes to mind? Productivity scales, training schedules, benefit plans or quarterly reviews? It’s surprising how little of the human picture actually makes it into HR projections.
If you’ve noticed all your numbers are in order but your employees still aren’t happy, it might really be because they aren’t happy with their job environment. Employee engagement and job satisfaction aside, there are reasons why some workers come to resent going to work, even if they have the best retirement plans and wellness programs of any of your competitors.
To get people tuned in at work, make sure they’re not missing out on important things outside the office. Most people have regular social routines once they go home for the night, and extra overtime or bringing their work home can easily get in the way of those activities. Rocking the boat, so to speak, in the outside-life sphere will have negative implications on the work that kept them from having fun.
Don’t put people on display all the time. Offices should have open-door policies and airy floor plans, but employees will still want “alone time;” somewhere closed off from the workspace of the office, like a break room or outside area, so that they can take time during the day to separate themselves and recharge for the rest of the day. To give them a sense of separation, you could try letting people listen to music during the day if their jobs permit.
Be sure to keep an eye out for conflicts in the workplace as well. Workforce management can sometimes put you in the position of mediator if tensions get too high between employees, but in order for an office to run smoothly and with as little stress as possible, people need to get along. It may be that somebody has an annoying tick, leaves a mess in the microwave or never refills the printer paper, but no matter how trivial the issue may seem it’s still an issue for those involved and needs to be resolved.
Unlike computers, you can’t just reboot or get a new one if one or more of your workers goes on the fritz. To get the best return on investment, be involved in employees’ lives.