Your People, Your Greatest Asset: 5 Effective Ways to Empower and Retain Valuable Employees

Employees are the lifeblood of your company. It’s a given that employees who are engaged in your business bring a competitive edge and dynamism to the organisation. And for them to safely make a long-term commitment to your company, you’ll need to give them good reason to stay. But how? 

The saying goes: “The grass is greener on the other side.” Or is it really? 

The grass is only greener if the work environment that you set up is not a happy and conducive one. Yes, money and benefits are always a consideration for employees. But equally important is fostering a strong work culture, making staff feel valued and empowering them with the right training and development. So here are 5 practical steps you can start to take:

1. Give them a strong sense of community 

Nothing keeps a loyal team player more than a feeling of belonging and unity. A positive workplace culture also encourages ownership and in turn respect for one another’s views because everyone has a unique strength to contribute.

In a forum jointly organised by Human Capital Partnership and Singapore Press Holdings, Toby Koh, Managing Director of Ademco, a security solutions company, shared the importance of having staff work towards a common cause. “Team spirit, bonding and a common sense of mission create exponential synergies in any organisation,” he said. 

Promote transparency across departments and set aside a fixed time for employees to share their thoughts on improvement.Empower them to make it happen.

Read Also: 6 Ways to Promote Employee Recognition at Workplace 

2.   Encourage work-life balance with Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs)

Having face time with your employees does not necessarily equate to productivity or efficiency. Instead, your employees will be more appreciative if the company understands the importance and benefits of a flexible working arrangement. This can help them increase productivity and improve their morale.

In a seven-year research conducted in Singapore by Randstad, a global recruitment company, they notice that employees and jobseekers are placing more emphasis on work-life balance.

KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital adopted a compressed work week under the FWA scheme and saw a reduction in absenteeism. In addition, 90.5% of employees have expressed satisfaction with this shift arrangement within a year of implementation.

If your company wants to adopt a better work-life balance for employees, there are grants and incentives available for you to implement FWAs. You may also wish to tap into the enhanced Work-Life Grant which consists of FWA Incentive (up to $70,000 per company over two years) and Job Sharing Incentive (up to $35,000 per company over two years). 

3.   Promote self-improvement and enrichment 

Caring for your employees’ growth is equivalent to caring for your company’s. Businesses need to invest more resources in continual training so that employees can deepen their skills and keep pace with fast-changing technologies. Based on an LinkedIn report, two in 5 Singaporeans have left a company because they felt that it did not provide enough learning and development (L&D) opportunities, and only 17% were satisfied with their company’s L&D programmes.

So how do you go about giving employees valuable opportunities to enhance their skills, knowledge and experience?

For a start, there are plenty of accelerated training approaches available on the SkillsFuture website. Additionally, you may wish to tap into the Enhanced Training Support for (SMEs), a programme by SkillsFuture that offers up to 90% of grant in course fees including Absentee Payroll funding of 80% of basic hourly salary.

4. Co-set clear goals, track growth and follow through with tangible rewards

Employees need to feel recognised for a job well done. To acknowledge good results, you first have to set clear and measurable goals.

Encourage line managers and team members to jointly set quarterly goals. Set aside planned time for official performance reviews done more frequently, instead of during annual career reviews. Provide solicit feedback on individual performance, determine where they are currently and how they can further push forward to reach their goals. With everyone on the same page, goals and growth will no longer be a blindsided obligation. 

The final and probably most important step is to follow through. Nobody likes empty promises and this is perhaps a common mistake companies overlook.

Celebrate the team players first and always, for the grass is greener where you water it!

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