Is there a magic formula to keep staff happy? As a boss should you worry if your staff are happy or not…. should you be more bothered if they are meeting their targets while you are cracking the whip?
As both Dave and I have worked for companies before running our own business, and worked our way up through the ranks to management level we treat our staff at Bronco how we would want to be treated ourselves. We both used to work at the same company (which is how we met all those years ago) and the company was run very much as a family business where the staff were looked after.
I tend to take the lead in the “make sure the staff are happy department” and I will do this in a variety of ways. In my experience it doesn’t take rocket science to keep a strong company morale together and have happy and productive staff. Even making sure you praise people for a good job isn’t difficult to do and goes a long way.
Firstly as a company we offer a few perks, such as membership to BUPA private health care, which means that if one of the guys gets ill they will get the best medical treatment and also hopefully return to work quickly fit and well again. We also introduced a fuel subsidy last summer when the cost of a litre of petrol was going through the roof, and have kept that going even though the cost of fuel has dropped again. These are 2 things that probably don’t make the staff “happy” just make life a little easier for them.
Added : and free high speed broadband at home (thanks Kean for reminding me)
What I have always done though is to provide lots of refreshments for the team. This started off with just providing tea, coffee & milk in the early days, to now where we have a stocked up kitchen with anything they ask for (within reason). So every couple of weeks I get Tesco to deliver and we have bottled water, coke, sprite, fanta, 4 types of cordial, beer (for special occasions), tea, hot chocolate, and coffee but we supply that separately as we have a bean to cup Jura coffee machine. I then get lots of biscuits, whether its malted milk which are quite boring to the favourites like chocolate hob nobs and chocolate cookies. There is always something to eat and drink in the Bronco kitchen and the guys can just help themselves.
I find that by spending a few hundred pounds a month on supplies, (including Andrex toilet paper) makes a difference to the working environment and doesn’t cost the earth. This is just one of the ways to keep staff happy and I’ll be covering other things that work later on.