Improving Your Employee's Career Options Improves Your Business Options
Ask any business to pick the one person or group most vital to their success. Most will respond the same way: the customer.
This isn't a radical notion. After all, a business can't survive without customers. But that doesn't necessarily mean they're the most important group.
Some leaders within the business world subscribe to the idea that the companies should put their employees first and their customers second. It may seem counterintuitive, but when you consider that your employees represent the main touchpoint for your customer base and it starts to make sense. Ensuring your employees are satisfied with their jobs increases the likelihood that they'll be happy. Happy employees are more likely to lead to happy customers.
The best way to take care of your employees is to help them improve their career options as they grow along with your organization. Let's take a look at some very specific ways in which you can help improve your employees' career options as well as the specific ways that doing this will help your company improve its business options.
You allow your employees to grow professionally
Subsidizing your employees' work-related educational opportunities is a great way to help them diversify and expand their career options. This can take the form of certifications, online training, or classes that help them perform a task or learn a skill set that can apply either to their job or their career as a whole.
This benefits the employee by allowing them to broaden their professional horizons. It can open up opportunities they wouldn't otherwise be exposed to. This helps them strengthen their knowledge base as well as their resume.
You can give them access to training resources that directly help them with their current role and responsibilities. You can also give them access to training resources they may not need at the moment but will benefit from in the future. For example, let's say you have a great junior team member who shows initiative and leadership in their role even though they're not a supervisor. Why not pay for their project management training? They may not use it right away, but it sets them up for success in the future. Meanwhile, you've just helped develop a new leader for your company without having to find one externally.
At first, it may seem intimidating to give your employees the opportunity to grow professionally. It may seem like you're helping them find their next job, potentially at another organization. But you should always put the individual needs of your employees above the company.
When you do this, what's more likely to happen is that the employee will recognize an employer that puts their needs above the superficial needs of the organization. They'll feel valued by this gesture. Plus, you're giving your team members more skills and areas of expertise, which will benefit your organization in the short and long-term.
Creating more educated and well-rounded employees will leave them feeling appreciated. It will also leave them feeling like they work for an employer who creates opportunities for improvement, making them more likely to stick around to determine other ways they can improve professionally.
You can help your employees feel better physically
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) having a physical health program such as a worksite wellness program "has the potential to increase employees' productivity, reduce absenteeism, and increase morale."
When your employees are in better shape, they're likely to feel more fulfilled in their roles at work. This will, in turn, lead to superior job performance. Physical health programs can take a number of forms, including:
- Exercises classes offered on the worksite
- Including gym membership reimbursement as part of the company's benefits package
- Adopting employee-led physical fitness challenges with built-in incentives for hitting goals
Encouraging better fitness through wellness benefits will go a long way towards making your workforce healthier. Assisting your team members in implementing these types of lifestyle changes will have a compounding effect on both them and your company. Healthier employers tend to take less sick leave and therefore are more productive. It's also a major win from the employee's perspective - they'll associate the positive benefits of their improved physical fitness with their employer.
Letting your employees improve their skills and fitness levels aren't the only areas in which an employer can help give them career options. They can also provide financial assistance as well.
Financial wellness benefits help your company as well as your employees
Helping your employees improve their financial literacy can obviously benefit them, but there are a number of ways in which it can make your organization stronger as well. First, let's take a look at ways in which you can assist them with their finances:
Earned wage access
Giving your employees early access to wages they have already earned could make all the difference for their monthly budgeting and planning. The best part is that employers can offer it at little to no cost to them. This can help ease your employees' financial burdens in some cases. It provides them with flexibility depending on their current financial situation.
Financial planning advice
Partnering with a company that can offer financial wellness benefits can serve as an invaluable resource to your employees - particularly new hires just starting their careers who aren't as well-versed in managing finances. You can offer these financial services to your employees at no cost, helping them navigate through issues like paying off debt and building a budget.
It's clear that offering financial benefits can help your employees improve their career prospects in multiple ways. But what benefits will you observe as the employer? There are potentially many. Remember that your employees are your first customers, and any benefits they experience will be repaid to you in the form of the solid work they contribute and the increased efficiency they provide. A few potential benefits of providing your employees with financial wellness benefits include:
Reduced stress amongst your workforce
Mismanaged finances can be a massive stressor for your team members. Providing them with the tools to clear their minds of their financial problems - or at the very least alleviate them - allows them to focus less on money issues and more on their specific tasks at hand. Giving your team members the presence of mind to succeed in their role makes your organization that much more attractive as a career option.
Employees with financial issues may spend time looking for a side gig or a higher paying job. This can hurt an organization when they have an employee in exactly the right role in exactly the right pay grade. By providing them with financial resources, you increase the likelihood they'll stay with the organization longer.
You forego the costs of training a new hire
The process of bringing on someone new is both lengthy and involved. You'll have to vet new candidates, conduct multiple interviews and the background check process, and onboard any new team members once you hire them. This isn't just a multi-step process, it's also a costly one. That's why offering financial benefits, along with various others, can help you retain your top talent and save money. You won't have to engage in the costly process of finding new candidates because you'll be able to keep your existing team on board.
It's easy to look at your employees as cogs in a machine, holding on to a singular mission. But employees are complex, with ever-changing goals and aspirations. As an employer, giving them multiple career options - and giving them the tools and resources needed to have multiple options available to them while working at your company - positions you as a positive force in your employees' lives.
Your team members don't just want a job. They want a career in which they can flourish. That may be within their current position, or in a future position they'll one day hold with the company. Either way, you can help retain your current roster of talent while becoming more attractive to potential candidates by giving your team various career options through improved training, health programs, and financial benefits.