What’s a business without its employees? As the owner, you might be the driver, steering the car where it needs to go. But the people you employ are the engine—they do the work to get your business from A to B and beyond. To drive fast and true, you need to invest in your employees.
Your team directly impacts:
- The relationships you have with your clients
- The quality of work you’re delivering
- Your ability to produce work at the pace you need to
It takes an investment in both hard and soft costs to reap the rewards for your bottom line.
What It Means to Invest in Your Employees—and Why You Should
Investing in employees means spending both time and money to ensure that your staff feels valued and informed. It can be as simple as a thank you card for a job well done, or as complex as establishing a corporate training and education program.
Your goal when investing in your employees is to increase their engagement. Engaged employees routinely exceed expectations because they feel like they’re contributing value to something greater than themselves.
Here’s what making that investment in employee engagement can lead to:
ACHIEVE GREATER PROFITABILITY
A 2017 Gallup Poll report suggests that only 15% of employees consider themselves “engaged” at their job, and that companies with a higher share of engaged employees experience higher earnings per share than those with low engagement rates.
SURPASS CURRENT PRODUCTIVITY
Do engaged employees work harder? Research from Dale Carnegie found that engaged employees outperform their less-engaged counterparts by as much as 200%. Meanwhile, almost two-thirds of employees experience “burnout” at work, which can lead to compromised health and reduced productivity, according to CareerBuilder.
REDUCE TURNOVER COSTS
Engaged employees typically stay at their jobs longer. According to some estimates, replacing a single employee (factoring in recruiting, onboarding and training costs) can cost as much as 50% of that employee’s salary. When you factor in additional considerations such as their role, seniority and your company’s industry, that cost can balloon to 200%, according to PeopleKeep.
IMPROVE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Temkin Group found that companies with high customer experience scores typically have 1.5 times as many engaged employees as their competition.
The Risk of Failing to Invest in Your Employees
Failing to invest in your employees doesn’t mean your business will fall apart. However, it can add additional stress and cost. Here’s what you’re in for if you don’t make that employee investment:
DECREASED CLIENT CONFIDENCE
When employees leave, they take the relationships they’ve built with your clients with them. Rebuilding these relationships takes time, and can lead to mistakes that erode client confidence.
A TALENT EXODUS
You want to hire and retain the best people for your company. Disengaged employees are more likely to leave, taking institutional knowledge with them. And you’ll incur costs replacing them. Engaged employees? Not only are they more likely to stay, but they’ll help recruit other top talent as well.
INCREASED HIRING AND ONBOARDING COSTS
In addition to recruiting and training efforts, there are soft costs associated with turnover. For example, teammates pick up the slack when an employee leaves. This can lead to greater stress, longer work days and eventual unhappiness if their efforts aren’t rewarded.
Invest in Your Employees: Where and When to Spend Money
There are any number of ways to spend money on employee engagement, and each of your employees will respond differently. You’ll experience some trial and error as you figure out what works best for your team.
Invest in Your Employees: Where and When to Spend Time
Employee engagement doesn’t always mean spending money. The time you and your organization spend on your team is equally important. Here’s how to contribute to a healthy culture without a large cash investment:
THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO GREAT WORK
You might not always pay the highest salary or give the biggest bonuses. But if you’re a small- to medium-sized company, your employees will have the opportunity to do more. Make sure your best employees have the opportunity to work on projects that will let them develop their technical and/or project management skills.
DEVELOP A COMPANY BUDDY SYSTEM
A welcoming onboarding program is critical for your company. New employees often feel overwhelmed: They want to show their worth right away but are learning everything from scratch. Assigning every new staff member an experienced buddy can help them settle in confidently.
Engaged Employees Deliver Success
Clients and staff are equally important to the success of your organization. By investing in your employees, you can be confident that they’re engaged and productive, contributing to great customer experiences and improving your bottom line.