By Tom Greenhaw
As the owner of a retail store, it is in your best interests to keep your employees as happy as possible. Disgruntled or otherwise unhappy employees are more likely to seek greener pastures. Hiring new people and training them is time-consuming; it also costs your store money. How can you motivate your employees and keep them happy so that they don’t jump ship? As it turns out, a great way to do that is by being as flexible as possible. That doesn’t mean that you should not have any rules or procedures in place. It means that you should always remember that your employees have lives outside of their jobs. By keeping schedules as flexible as possible, you’ll have an easier time keeping everyone happy.
What Makes Employees Happy?Recent studies confirm the fact that flexible schedules are extremely important when it comes to keeping employees happy. They’re not the only thing that matters though. The ability to telecommute frequently appears near the top of the list. Of course, retail jobs don’t lend themselves well to telecommuting, so this option is usually off the table. Higher salaries are frequently cited, and you should definitely do what you can to improve the pay of the employees who deserve it. Improved quality of life and better growth opportunities are also listed as conditions that keep employees happy.
Striking a Work/Home Balance
The number-one thing that keeps an employee happy and motivated is the ability to strike a nice balance between work and home. Employees who feel as if their jobs rule their lives are much more likely to be unhappy than those who don’t feel overly consumed by work. Flexible schedules come into play here in a very big way. It is critical to take your employees’ needs and wants into account when creating schedules. For instance, it is usually best to schedule parents for time when their kids will be at school. It makes no sense to have them work evening shifts that will keep them away from their families.
Talk to Your Employees
The best way to figure out how to keep employees’ schedules manageable is by talking to them. Get to know your employees; find out what their outside lives are like. Some people may have second jobs or school to worry about; others may have hobbies that take up a lot of their free time. In short, learn what makes each employee happy outside of work. Make sure that their schedules aren’t getting between them and what they love to do. If you don’t keep this in mind, resentment could begin to brew and contentment is sure to suffer.
It isn’t always possible to make everyone happy all the time. If you have a recurring issue regarding one particular shift, though, you might want to think about bringing on a part-time employee. Trying to force people to work shifts that are completely incompatible with the rest of their lives isn’t practical. It also doesn’t make for motivated or happy employees. In most cases, however, simple compromises are all that are needed. Perhaps two employees could take turns handling one unpopular shift, or maybe you could allow an employee’s children to stop in for visits from time to time.
While you can’t hope to keep each and every employee perfectly happy at all times, you can definitely strive for it. By doing your best to accommodate your employees’ needs in terms of scheduling, you will have a much better shot at keeping them all happy. When all else fails, try putting yourself in your employees’ shoes. How would you feel if your boss showed no consideration about your life outside of work? With that in mind, you are sure to make decisions that will improve workplace happiness.