Why doing good deeds for your staff pays off

In this piece, Lee Biggins explores the impact of kindness on employees, from social activities and paid-for lunches, to surprises and rewards for hard work.

November 13th 2016 marked World Kindness Day, a day to celebrate and promote kindness in all its forms. In what has been a truly tumultuous year, it got me thinking about how everyday acts of kindness can contribute, and make a difference to, our overall happiness and wellbeing. As a business owner, it was only natural that I started to consider the impact that acts of kindness can have on my workforce; from social activities and paid-for lunches, to surprises and rewards for hard work, it is a strategy that can pay off. Below, I explain in more detail why doing good deeds for your staff is a strategy that works.

Increasing retention

Unfortunately in today’s working world employees are more stressed than ever before, battling with heavier workloads, longer working hours and increased pressure from above. In fact, our research finds that over half (53.2 per cent) of employees report that stress was an issue in their current workplace. It’s inevitable that there will be busier times in any organisation, so acknowledging this and helping your staff through it is important.

Whether that’s giving an employee an afternoon off because they’ve put in a lot of extra hours recently, sending them a nice email to congratulate them on their hard work, or buying them breakfast because they’ve come in early: these simple steps can go a long way. Ultimately, members of staff that can see their hard work being noticed and that feel valued, will likely stay in an organisation for longer. And, the employees that feel neglected, unappreciated and fed up, will simply look for a better opportunity somewhere else.

Talent attraction

Good deeds don’t just work for keeping your current employees; they can also help with attracting new workers into your business. After all, in today’s environment, candidates can build a perspective of a company within minutes and there’s a range of platforms out there which job hunters can use to find out exactly what it’s like to work in a certain organisation. This can make or break a business: social media is a great branding tool for showing off what it’s like to work in your company, but can also be a platform for individuals to speak negatively about their experiences.

So, giving employees something positive to talk about to potential recruits is integral. While hard work should be expected, it should also be rewarded, and this should be the case for employees of all levels, no matter how long they have been in the company for. With job hunters becoming increasingly pickier about the organisations they want to work for, a business that appears to respect its staff, and offer exciting perks on the side, will likely win in the talent war.

Employee wellbeing and happiness

One of the main reasons for doing good deeds as an employer is for the health and wellbeing of your staff, and as a business keeping your employees happy and healthy should be a top priority. If your employees are overworked, they could become stressed or fatigued, and even risk burnout. Expecting staff to put in too many hours is counterproductive; in the long run it could have a knock on effect on their productivity, and may even lead to them needing time off sick.

The important thing to do is stay on top of things and ensure that your acts of kindness aren’t just in reaction to someone feeling stressed or burnt out. Otherwise, you promote the message that you’ll only do nice things when employees are truly at the end of their tether. We all need a pick-me-up every now and again and bosses that truly care about their workers will notice when things are getting a bit much. This attitude is widely appreciated by employees.

Overall, it goes without saying that staff need to be rewarded for their hard work, and those that feel appreciated will likely stay in your organisation for longer, and recommend it to potential new recruits. The important thing is to stay on top of it, monitor morale and don’t just have a reactive approach. Be proactive, be kind and most of all, be the kind of boss that you would like to work for.

Lee Biggins is CEO of CV-Library. 

Further reading on employee management

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