I have worked in many industries in the past 40 plus years. They include: manufacturing, logging, road building, construction, food industry, accounting, and sales. I now find myself looking back to just how important and costly employees are to a company.
Employees are the largest expense a company will incur. The cost of hiring, training, safety programs, human resource, tools and wages add up to make each and every employee a very costly and important investment for the company.
I have experienced the improved standards of employees over my many years of employment, but I believe businesses still have a ways to go to understand exactly what each and every employee needs and in fact desires.
Standard or expected benefits are: fair wage, safe working conditions, friendly atmosphere, basic training, employee representation, employee acknowledgement.
Optional but should be standard or expected benefits are: ongoing safety improvements, employee feedback, continued employee training, honest and fair employee acknowledgement, employee advancement, honest and fair employee expectations and treatment of each employee.
If employees are indeed the largest expense for your company then they will be the present and future growth of the company. Ideas, new innovations, improvements to product, improvements to working conditions, improvements to production all should be solicited in a fair, honest, and rewarding fashion.
Programs to solicit these ideas should be rewarded, not necessarily monetarily, by announcements and public recognition in a timely and fair fashion. The more you put off employee recognition, in any way or fashion, the less participation the company receives from them.
Regular meetings to announce improvements in safety, production, benefits, company policies, company direction, and general improvements go a long way in helping each employee realize their importance to the company. Employees all have the ability to hear and understand what they want from each meeting, if feedback is not forthcoming then they will walk away from the meetings with a different meaning or understanding from the actual intent of the meeting. Honest and fair programs for each and every employee are very important to them and if they don’t understand their individual importance to the company they will become less productive, safety oriented, disgruntled, and less forth coming with their participation.
Employees need a fair wage, but this is not the most important reason for them to work for any one particular company. Fair and honest-treatment, programs, advancement, information flow, representation, expectations, improvements, acknowledgement are all more important after a fair wage.
Employees need to know that they are not wasting their 40 hours per week, they are safe, and most important, that they are respected.