January 8, 2019

Happy New Year to You and Your Business

By Paul Bieber

OK, I’m sure you have heard this way too many times in the last week or so. It is one thing to say, “Happy New Year,” but another to really have a happy new year. Let’s make your business happy and the sure way to do that is with happy employees. It is your employees and coworkers who make a business profitable. And, the happier they are, the more profitable your business will be. Let’s look at ways to make your employees happy at work.

Say hello to each employee you directly supervise every day. Treat each person as just that, a person, and not a work unit or a statistic. The average manager supervises between ten and 15 people. (If you directly supervise more than that, you are stretched too thin.) Listen to your people. When someone needs time off for a family problem, do everything you can to make that happen.

On a company-wide basis, especially during this shortage of qualified folks, look at your benefits package and spend as much as you can here. Make sure your benefits benefit your workforce. A younger work force isn’t as interested in life insurance as they are in a flexible spending account. Work with your benefits broker to make your whole package adjustable so people can take which benefits they want, up to a preset spending limit.

Don’t treat your families worse than your single employees. Give good insurance for families and their children. A strong medical/dental/prescription plan is the single biggest benefit that retains an employee, most certainly if you have employees over 30 years old. If you pay 75 percent of the insurance, then pay that across the board. Don’t make families pay more for a spouse or for kids. Yes, this will cost you more, but it’s still a heck of a lot less than hiring and training a weak replacement.

Have a family picnic day, where employees can bring the whole clan. Set up a committee to do this and your only input should be to give them a budget. Show up, smile and be happy.

Be sure to write a short note to each employee on their birthday or their anniversary with your company. Send a special note for a birth and for the birth of a grandchild. Give a fair holiday bonus. You know by the end of the year if you had a good year or not. If you did, then share the wealth. This will bring you more personal wealth in the long-run. Another thought here is to give a bonus in the summer as well. If you give a large Christmas bonus, people will work to that and give their notice the day after. Giving bonuses throughout the year will keep more people employed at your company. So, shave a little bit off of the Christmas bonus and give that on July 4. Give $500 to every child entering college for their first year. This will really please that family and they will tell the rest of the company how great you are.

Don’t store your personal toys at your company. This would include a boat, motorcycle or RV. This just rubs employees who doesn’t share your last name the wrong way. If you have a really cool sports car, leave that at home and drive your old clunker to work.

It is not just about sharing the wealth. It’s about sharing your thoughts and ideas with your supervisors and the company in a general way. Make them a part of your future. Listen to their ideas and implement the good ones, giving full credit to the person who suggested it. If it is a money-saving idea, then share the first six months of savings with the idea presenter. That will certainly foster good will and further money-saving ideas.

I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on this topic. Just drop me a note at paulbaseball@msn.com.