Your employees aren’t just the heart of your business, they are your business. Without them, your company would cease to exist. But showing your employees how much you value them is about far more than being kind, paying them well, or offering a competitive benefits package.

It’s about investing in them.

It’s about using your time, money, and talent to create a working environment that reminds them each day of the value your company places in them. It’s about rewarding their talents and their efforts with a rewarding career, a supportive growth culture, and a stellar working environment. This article will provide you with the best tips and tricks for making the ideal workplace a reality for your employees.

Environment Matters

Investing in your employees begins by giving them a safe, welcoming, and inspiring workspace. How you choose to outfit your workplace will depend a great deal on the kind of work you do, and what your staff and clients need to feel comfortable and productive.

A great strategy is to infuse your workspace with natural elements, from water features and green plants to organic materials, such as wood or granite countertops and banisters. You might even consider an electric fireplace insert for your lobby or waiting room. This can provide your business space with a cozy, homey ambiance that your staff and clients alike will appreciate.

Safety Rules

Creating a warm and inviting physical environment is only the beginning, however. Your employees also need to know that their health and well-being are of paramount importance to you and your company.

That means that you’re going to want to be proactive about the safety of your workers. Conducting routine, vigorous, and comprehensive safety assessments across all areas of your business is essential.

That means monitoring everything from the safety and functionality of your equipment to the quality of your air and water. Maintaining your office HVAC system, and investing in quality air purification and water filtration systems will make your workforce healthier and more productive, limiting absences due to illness. Best of all, though, investing in these technologies will show your staff you care about their comfort and their health.

Bringing Out Your Employees’ Best

By far one of the best ways to invest in your employees is to help them invest in themselves! Giving them the chance to develop professionally, whether through in-house training or through tuition reimbursement for in relevant college courses, or professional licensure or certification programs.

Showing your employees you believe in them and their potential will not only help them believe in themselves, but it’s also going to enable them to envision their future with your company. And that’s not only going to make for a higher-performing staff, but also for a more loyal one!

In that spirit, you should consider hiring a chief learning officer (CLO) to help you cultivate this environment of professional growth and learning. Your CLO will have the expertise to help you identify the core strengths of individual employees and your teams as a whole. Best of all, they’ll have the resources and the knowledge to ensure that your staff has the training they need to reach their highest potential.

Investing in a CLO is going to help you cultivate a loyal, engaged, motivated, and highly skilled workforce that will not only ensure your staff are meeting their own professional and personal goals, but that they’re serving your company’s long-term goals as well!

Envisioning the Future

In addition to providing professional development opportunities, you’re also going to want to show your staff how dedicated you are to their long-term success by developing clear, specific, and long-term career plans with your employees. Take the time to work with each staff member to discuss their goals, figure out where their strengths and interests lie and determine how they envision their future with your company.

But this isn’t a one-and-done proposition. You also need to follow up with your staff at least once or twice a year to see how they are progressing with their goals and to make sure they’re awarded properly for their efforts.

Offering incentives, from pay raises to vacation bonuses to promotions, will not be a great motivator for your staff, driving their loyalty and encouraging their continuous improvement. After all, what incentive do they have to stay with you, to work hard, or to cultivate new skills if they don’t see themselves going anywhere in your company?

Make the Rewards Worthwhile

Investing in your employees in a way that truly motivates them to stay with your company and give their best efforts to the company also means understanding what your staff needs and values. That will mean different things to different people.

The key is to mix things up a bit. Provide both tangible and intangible rewards. Give compliments and reward successes with frequent, specific, and public praise for deserving employees and provide incentives, both large and small, to motivate and encourage staff. This can range anywhere from springing for pizza and doughnuts on Fridays to reward a week of hard work to annual retreats and pay bonuses for 365 days of dedication and effort.

The Takeaway

Investing in your employees takes more than money. It also takes time, effort, and ingenuity. But the rewards of doing so are vast. Not only will investment help you retain your best talent, but it’s also going to make for a more motivated, engaged, loyal, and higher-performing workforce.

Fortunately, there are many ways, expensive and inexpensive, simple and more challenging, to show your staff how much you value them. This includes creating a workplace that is both inviting and inspiring. It means ensuring the health and safety of the environment. It also means helping your staff to achieve their highest potential through continuous professional development and career planning and advancement.

Finally, it’s about figuring out your staff’s currency, what they need to feel appreciated, from praise and small tokens of kindness to grander gestures, like spa retreats or hefty year-end bonuses.