What do we mean when we say, “invest in your team”? Employee benefits? Training and development?
It can be several things. The key, though, is that it has to be something that will differentiate your company from others.
Companies realise they must do their best to stand out, and that they must offer top talent a reason to stay. This is not a new strategy; however, the way in which you invest in your team has changed. There are different ways of creating loyalty and trust.
Benefits do make a difference. You should always have the straightforward ones, such as financial incentives and employee perks. However, you also need some that will set you apart.
Some companies go out of their way to create unique benefits. One US law firm even throws what they call a ‘luggage party’. All employees bring in a bag of luggage; four winners are drawn randomly. These winners get an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas for the weekend. Obviously, this at the top end of the spectrum. There are things you can implement right now that still have impact. Stock the fridge with beer and wine, pay for gym memberships or offer a very flexible working schedule.
There is no doubt that one of the best employee motivators is a sense of pride in what they do. If you’re in a team that all believes they are the best at what they do, and they are proud of that, that will go a long way.
Encouragement goes a long way. Investing some support in your employees can be a significant motivator for an individual and even better for the company overall. If they are the right person, all this encouragement should make them more loyal.
Investing your personal time
Probably the hardest investment, but one of the most valuable, is investing your time with employees.
Time spent with an employee can have significant benefit. Take them out to lunch and bring them on business trips if it relates to their area of work. Build an environment where everyone trusts each other, has good relationships and feels there is no hierarchy. This helps people learn and become leaders faster.
It may take up time, and you might have to spend more money, but this is one of the best investments you will ever make.
Give them an opportunity
Staff want a chance to prove they are valuable and they can get tasks done effectively. It’s not just about a commission or a bonus; it’s about letting them progress, learn and have new experiences. Give them the opportunity to be a part of negotiations, finalise deals, sit in important meetings.
See which employee is willing to go the extra mile for nothing. When you find that person, and they are flourishing in their role change, then reward them. Increase their salary, give them a great bonus, offer them a new title and an office. This creates loyalty and trust.
Never be afraid of your employees creating large networks. Some leaders get scared that new job opportunities will come to employees who build their network. If you are going out of your way to invest in your team or an employee who shows promise, they should be loyal.
Make it your goal to introduce your team to influential people you know. Let them mingle with the big players in the industry; people with an opinion that matters. Often, it can create new opportunities for your business, something you may have missed. Furthermore, it grows their confidence. A more extensive network means more resources and more learning. Some of the best information and advice comes from the people who have experienced the most. Get your employees connected.
Remember, you want your company to stand out from all the others. To do that, you must help your employees do the same. Your team is the most critical aspect of your business.
About the Author:
Laura Martins is a content manager for RateCity, where you can make smarter financial decisions and compare thousands of financial options. In her time away from RateCity, Laura loves reading about tech and spending time with her dogs.