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How To Make Long-Term Investments In Your Staff

By News Creatives Authors , in Small Business , at September 28, 2021

This article is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal, employment, or tax advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.

In a 2020 Deloitte survey, 47% of 3,900 global respondents believed that their employers were making a significant investment in their professional development. Only 34% were happy with their organization’s investment in improving their skills and performance

The research makes clear that more workers are looking for career development and opportunity from their employers — not just short-term investments. 

In a highly competitive job market, choosing not to invest in employees’ futures can have a damaging impact on employers’ ability to attract and retain talent. Investing in the development of new skills and capabilities among employees can drive up loyalty for employers and lead to happier workers (and more satisfied customers, in return).

Here are some ways to make valuable, long-term investments in your staff. 

Establish company values

Without clear company values, prospective and current employees can neither know what you stand for nor assess whether your ethos aligns with their approach to work long term.

If you haven’t created company values, spend some time learning what’s important to your employees. Find out what they like about working for you and incorporate those ideas into a set of principles for your company. Establishing core values can help you find and retain employees who are loyal to the philosophy behind how you do business. 

READ MORE: Tips To Help You Speed Up Hiring —Without Sacrificing Quality

Give employees opportunities for job training and growth

While some of your employees may be satisfied to stay in their current roles long term, a portion of your staff is likely hoping to advance and grow. Finding ways to help employees develop new skills and capabilities ultimately helps you drive employee satisfaction and ensure you have a well-rounded workforce.

Consider sponsoring offsite education opportunities, such as conferences or classes, or creating cross-functional, special-project teams, which allow employees to collaborate and learn from each other as they solve problems for the company. Encourage mentoring across the organization — perhaps by assigning mentors to each new employee — and have all hires create individual development plans (IDPs) to help them establish and reach short- and long-term career goals.

Show respect to their lives outside of work

Investing in your staff isn’t just about professional development; it’s also about acknowledging and respecting the significance of your employees’ personal lives — especially in light of the stresses the pandemic has placed on many individuals and families. 

Prioritizing work-life balance at your organization has never been more important. Make sure you offer the kinds of leave policies, remote-work options, and flexible schedules that can help employees manage their personal responsibilities without dragging down their lives at work. The Square Team Management system gives you the tools to make this process easier, with real-time scheduling reports and the ability to adjust schedules quickly and sync your system to your payroll.

READ MORE: The Different Types of Workers You Can Hire at Your Business

Embrace team-building activities

Whether they work remotely or from the office, employees who feel like they’re operating in a vacuum are more likely to seek work elsewhere.

Ensure your employees feel like they’re part of a larger team. Hosting yearly off-sites, all-hands meetings, and department-wide social events can help build the kind of camaraderie that supports loyalty and retention.

Compensate fairly and offer valuable benefits and perks

An August 2021 PwC survey found that 65% of employees are looking for a new job. Their top reason: getting better wages or salaries. 

Don’t let your organization lose top talent due to delayed compensation. Reevaluate your comp plans across the company to know you’re competitive with peers and consider a bonus program. Provide quality benefit options and consider additional perks, such as childcare services, free food, and unlimited PTO.

Recognize good performance

Your employees are the backbone of your company. Don’t let them toil away without acknowledgment of their achievements. 

Celebrate work anniversaries and reward completed projects or milestones. Recognition in the form of team parties, individual bonuses, and other tokens of appreciation can go a long way toward making employees feel valued and respected for their contributions to the company’s success.

TRY: Start selling with Square

Listen to employee feedback

When an employee approaches their manager to discuss a potential career change or a job opportunity outside your company, make sure their voice is heard and supported, not just dismissed with a goodbye.

Listening to why employees want to leave — and providing thoughtful recommendations about whether they should stay or go — can actually help them feel more connected to their existing workplace and give you insight into areas of improvement for the company. It’s all about letting employees know you care about their career journeys and are invested in their growth and satisfaction. 

Ultimately, having satisfied employees helps ensure you have satisfied customers. In today’s high-turnover job market, investing in your employees is the best way to set up your staff for success and keep retention rates high.

Square has the tools to run your business — on your own terms. To help celebrate businesses paving their way forward, we partnered with Forbes on the Next 1000 initiative to spotlight bold entrepreneurs and share their most valuable lessons. By sharing firsthand experiences, we’re helping businesses celebrate resilience, build skills, and explore what’s next. See how Square works, and get more expert guidance for the next era of small business.

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