By Nick Suwyn
My experience with companies who invest in their employees, companies who don’t, and the results of both.
Most of us have worked a job where the policy is if there is nothing to do, and everything is spotless, clean something. On the other side of the spectrum, many of us have heard of companies like Google, who have implemented “20% time” for employees to work on whatever they feel will benefit Google as a company. Both sides of the coin come from logical decisions that were made with hopes of increasing productivity, and ultimately profit. There are opposing views surrounding productivity, and I do not intend to prove or disprove any. My goal in writing this article is to examine some of the methods used at a few of the companies I have worked for and compare the results. We will explore what they did, and how it affected employees, culture, and overall productivity.
If you are interested in the full article, read it here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/roei-return-employee-investment-nick-suwyn.
Summary of What I've Learned
Here is what I learned at each of these companies.
Unnamed Home Security Company
- As an employer, don’t tell prospective employees that you need them to make an employment duration commitment because it costs a lot to train them. The way you run a business and treat employees should speak for itself and cause employees to stay because they want to. As an interviewee, if a prospective employer pitches this, don’t swing – drop the bat and run off the field.
- As an employee, being given the opportunity to learn new skills can be invigorating! As an employer, providing these opportunities to employees can have a positive effect on morale.
- Asking an employee to do something for the benefit of the company, and then reprimanding them for working on it while on the company dime, does not paint a great image of the company.
- If you don’t invest in employees, they likely will not invest in your company.
QuEST Global Services
- Training employees on new technologies is a good thing; many people love the opportunity to learn new skills.
- Listen to, and encourage, innovative thinking; people have good ideas, and it builds trust and appreciation when you listen to them.
- Allow employees to utilize existing skills. The return could end up being much more than you expected.
- Give employees time to research. If you expect someone to accomplish the task they are given, using only the methods you currently use, you will miss out on more efficient ways of accomplishing tasks.
Choice Hotels International
- Excitement is contagious. If you are excited about pushing technological frontiers, and you show your excitement, then it will spread and the ripple is exponential.
- Investing in employees, both their learning and just giving them nice treats, not only builds employees into greater assets, but makes them genuinely happy to work for that company. It builds a sense of gratitude towards the company and a resolve to repay the company through diligent service.
- The aesthetic look and feel of the workplace can have a strong impact on the attitude and morale of employees.
- Allowing employees to have fun at work improves the workplace environment and increases productivity.
- When a company is doing exciting things, employees will feel the excitement and have a desire to accomplish company goals.
- Implementing employee ideas shows that you value them and their contributions, which drives employees to perform better and bring more great ideas to the table.
- When company leadership shows sincere appreciation for employee contributions it makes employees want to contribute more.
- Investing in employees by giving them the tools needed to progress makes employees worth more to the company and shows that you care about them.
- Giving employees opportunities to go above and beyond, but not forcing it, makes them want to continuously go above and beyond.
There is a correlation between an employee’s happiness and willingness to work hard for a company, and the investment a company makes in its employees. The most successful companies out there make investing in employees a high priority; when a company invests in employees, they invest in the company and everyone wins.
Nick Suwyn Co-Owner of Suwyn IT Solutions and a Full Stack instructor for Coder Camps.