The Great Resignation has pulled back the company curtain, exposing pain points that are sending employees running for the exits. The once-almighty paycheck is no longer the most important thing in employees’ lives. They’ve demonstrated that they won’t continue showing up for agonizing experiences every day just to earn one.
There’s a reason employers have been taken off guard by this season of employee discontent. Although many companies research their customers ad nauseum, they’re just discovering they really don’t know their employees. And that’s a serious miscalculation.
Employees, like customers, face certain problems in their lives that need to be recognized, understood, and resolved. Even employers who think they’re addressing pain points at work are missing the mark. The Venn diagram overlap between employees’ work and personal life is massive, so both must be addressed.
Employees in pain are neither content nor productive. Employers need to do more than leave a bottle of aspirin in the break room. Here are five employee pain points and solutions to cure them.
1. Make Sure Payroll and Benefits Are Friction-Free
Payroll can be a pain for both the employers who manage it and the workers who receive the wages. While business owners and payroll admins have a lot to keep straight when they deduct and remit taxes, cut paychecks, and accrue time off and benefits, many employees are confused by nuances of their wages, benefits, and all the taxes that whittle down their net pay. And nobody wants to go down the bumpy road of correcting incorrect payroll taxes.
A payroll software solution can be a very simple and inexpensive way to make the payroll process easier for everyone. Of course, not all payroll providers offer the same level of service. Take a long look at up-to-date payroll company reviews to see which systems make the grade. Providers that receive top marks from employers can reduce everyone’s frustration with what is an essential but cumbersome process.
Running payroll should be easy and accurate for employers. And no employee should have to stress about withholding mistakes, classification errors, or whether they were paid correctly for overtime. They should just see their pay appear in their bank account on time and calculated correctly.
2. Get Your Tech Up to Snuff
While you’re addressing glitches in your payroll system, you should dive into your entire technology infrastructure. If you don’t already have a record of every bit and byte of technology you use, create one. Then look at every component to make sure your infrastructure is complete and highly functional.
Particularly now, when employees are increasingly engaging in remote work, your tech needs to be top-notch. Few things are more frustrating than trying to meet virtually with team members, a customer, or a prospect and having the Wi-Fi break down. You can’t expect your IT staff to continue cobbling together last decade’s tech to keep the office humming.
Have a plan for ensuring your employees keep current with software updates. Give your IT staff what they need to make sure your tech is up to date and running like clockwork. Tech should make an employee’s job easier, not be more trouble than it’s worth.
3. Embrace Flexibility
The pandemic fully exposed the enormous impact of changing circumstances and the critical importance of adapting to them. A flexible workplace is inherently adaptable to change. And employees working in that type of environment will be more adaptable as well.
Among the changes forged in recent history is the commitment to bringing work and home life into a healthy balance. For employees, that may mean working from home when a child is ill or condensing a workweek into four days. For those who can’t do their jobs from home, it involves the flexibility to take unscheduled time off.
If your mindset is that flexibility means nothing more than a scheduling nightmare, change it or risk losing talent. Bear in mind that flexibility makes your employees and your business more resilient. If your company work-time policies can bend it like Beckham, you’ll begin striking all your goals.
4. Untie Their Hands
Most companies build leadership hierarchies where decision-making authority increases as you climb up them. This usually requires employees at the bottom — which is where most of them are — to run everything up the flagpole. That exercise makes their jobs both painful and exhausting.
Empower employees at every level to make certain decisions autonomously, and you will build more energetic and invested workers. Frontline employees, who frequently have the least decision-making authority, often have the most contact with customers. Give them the ability to make more decisions in the moment, and you’ll have happier workers and customers.
Employees need to feel more in control of their lives these days. A little empowerment in their job descriptions will give them that. Untie their hands, and watch what they can do for themselves and the business.
5. Recognize and Reward Performance
Sales staff are habitually recognized and rewarded for performance, while other hard-working employees can feel unseen. Consider the morale of the person answering the customer service line or the one keeping their co-workers in office supplies. If it takes every employee to make your company successful, then everyone deserves recognition for a job well done.
Implement a system that gives customers, co-workers, and managers a way to talk about individuals’ great performances. Design ways to recognize employees for going above and beyond, and reward them for doing so. Build a culture that gives employees a reason to invest themselves in the company’s overall success.
Monetary rewards are always welcome, but your system doesn’t have to offer cash bonuses or free vacations. It just needs to shine a light on employees doing their part, whatever that is, for your business. That pat on the back for a job well done is never painful contact.
It’s an employee’s market these days, so the old company line to “Suck it up, buttercup,” isn’t going to work anymore. People want and need to enjoy their jobs and to find them both professionally and personally fulfilling. Companies who get to know their workers, identify their pain points, and address them will be employers of choice.
For employers who build that culture, there will be no pain and great gain for everyone involved.