The economy continues to go from strength to strength – employment figures are up and apprenticeships are also up with a third of businesses taking on up to five new members of staff in the last year. However, our recent research shows that many companies place just as much emphasis on retention and satisfaction as they do on expansion.
Have you ever heard the saying ‘Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work’? These are wise words from Aristotle, we’re sure you will agree.
Sage customers certainly do as the latest Sage One Omnibus research found that although many businesses are taking on new staff and apprentices, there is now an emphasis on the retention and satisfaction of staff.
A happy workforce makes for a profitable business. Staff members who go to work and feel they are contributing and making a difference are likely to be more productive, more passionate and more likely to stay in the job than those who do not.
No pain, no gain
There are many ways in which businesses can show employees they are interested in investing in them and their professional growth. Training is a key part of making staff able to increase their skill sets and harness the energy in areas in which they are passionate. However, as the economic crisis hit many businesses reduced their staff training budgets.
The potential issues associated with not adequately investing in staff cannot be underestimated. 43% of businesses have told us that this year they have kept their staff training budgets at the same level as last year, with a third of businesses still having zero budget set aside for training.
As people, we constantly strive to better ourselves and the worth that we can bring in what we do. Training is a fundamental piece of the foundation to build-up the skills that will keep staff motivated and able to try their hand at new tasks. Of course, every business is different and has its own requirements but ensure that you are fully aware of the ambitions of your staff.
Expect the unexpected
We all know the sayings about life never being plain sailing. For a business, especially a small business, getting into choppy waters can potentially have huge consequences for the running of the day-to-day business if one or more of the staff are out of action.
However, as we all know matters such as these cannot always be avoided which is why a number of larger and medium-sized businesses have begun to implement flexible working and remote working schemes for some of their employees.
Although nearly half of Sage customers have told us that they were not currently looking to implement such schemes in their workplace, technology makes it easier for businesses to be better connected than ever before (see our previous blog ‘Is the Paperless Office finally here?‘)
In certain circumstances it is in fact easier for companies to look to offer flexible or remote working schemes. From the new mum that has just had her first child, to personal family illness, or even start-up partners collaborating overseas, remote and flexible working can allow businesses to sustain activity and keep up-to-date without the need to fill that position with another full-time worker.
On the back cover of the excellent book ‘Remote: Office not required‘ by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson (Founders of 37Signals) it says: “The most talented people in the world don’t all live in one place” and “Going remote allows the most talented people to produce the best work regardless of their location”.
We all like to see each other face-to-face, but for some businesses this simply isn’t a reality due to the nature of their work, business or lifestyle. The truth is that businesses can set their own parameters for flexible and remote working. The point of a scheme can show employees who might not be entitled yet that the company is willing and understanding to the needs of its staff and has the infrastructure in place to support remote working at short notice.
Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work
Aristotle was not wrong, when staff are happy in their jobs you are more likely to see greater productivity, passion and the ability to build up that team of yours so your business can not just go for growth, but seize it.
If you’re looking to give yourself or your staff the freedom to work online and on the move, our cloud-based Sage One Accounts and Payroll service will let you do this from any Internet-enabled device. Especially when you have a good handle of your cash flow and can pay your staff on time! Try them both free for 30 days here.