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10 ways to keep your employees happy

By Abhijit Nimgaonkar
January 20, 2016 08:55 IST
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The secret to retaining good employees lies in making earnest effort towards encouraging and engaging talent.

How to keep your employees happy

There's always a rush to hire the brightest minds from the top colleges in the country.

But more often than not, these hires turn into short-termed stints and employees move on in search of satisfaction elsewhere.

In fact, the hiring manager's job doesn't end once the hiring is confirmed.

It is only the beginning of his/her responsibility to ensure the talent's association with the firm is long term.

Most employees are now more concerned about various factors that have taken precedence over their paychecks. A few are elaborated below:

Well-defined career path 

Employees within the organisation need to not only understand that there is room to grow, but also be informed that efforts will be made from the top down to facilitate their career growth.

Ensuring loyalty is about thinking beyond remuneration and figuring out how to get your employees to genuinely engage in the business.

Having a career development plan in place makes employees feel valued for their work and for the skills they can offer your organisation in the long run.

A well-defined career path also empowers employees and provides achievable objectives for their growth.

Keeping them interested 

HR professionals often joke that more than half the employees have usually mentally "checked-out" of their current jobs.

On a more serious note, this is an area of concern that can hold back the leaders from achieving their long-term business objectives.

An engaged employee is one who is enthusiastic about his/her work, delivers higher productivity and is always willing to go the extra mile to the further the organization's interests.

Organisations should focus on coming up with best practices to engage employees rather than only the methods of measuring it.

Work-life balance 

It's not easy for employees to prioritise between their job demands and personal goals.

A lot of employees wake up and rush to work, which leads to fatigue and leaves no room for productivity after office hours.

This can be addressed by encouraging employees to develop effective time-management skills to pursue their hobbies outside work without compromising on their efforts at work.

A quick jog or a lap around a pool in the wee hours of the morning and wrapping work up early to have dinner with family is what most of us need at the end of the day.

Encouraging employees to dedicate time to follow their passion by allotting some "Me-Time" is a great practice.

Recognition & Feedback 

Employees often feel that their bosses never miss a chance to give them a feedback whenever their performance is below par.

However, a word of appreciation is rarely forthcoming from the upper levels when a job is well done.

Letting your employees know you appreciate their effort is a great way to boost their confidence and thus build engagement.

Allowing employees to submit feedback anonymously and addressing their concerns should be a priority.

Accessibility and collaboration 

Structures are important in organizations. But doing away with hierarchy on projects with small teams and firm-wide recreational events are also a great way for employees to engage with upper management and collaborate directly with leaders.

Transparent and fair reviews 

Enabling transparent and clear reviews and appraisals for employees helps them strive to achieve more with a clear picture of being rewarded on the basis of merit and not be left with a bitter taste after these meetings.

Exciting incentives

Rewarding your employees with achievable and believable incentives and career progression opportunities is another great way to engage employees and enable their career progression.

This also allows employees to understand that you keenly follow their contribution to the organisation.

Mobility and work flexibility 

A lot of employees seek opportunities to travel abroad and experience new cultures.

Facilitating the employees to work from different offices across the globe is a motivational factor for retaining employees.

Indulging in CSR (corporate social responsibility)

Giving back to the community and empowering others through contributing your time and resources has a powerful impact on employee motivation and workplace positivity.

It also allows employees to interact with their peers in a non-work based environment.

Company culture 

Culture plays a big part in an employee's decision to remain with a firm and is also crucial to attract new hires.

A culture true to the organization's core values needs to be fun, innovative and adaptable to change. Workplace culture is definitely among the top of the priority list for job seekers.

The author Abhijit Nimgaonkar is India CEC's head at ZS Associates, a global consulting firm.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/

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