(Aug. 16, 2018) — There are now more self-employed people and small business owners than ever before, but most of us still work for someone else. One of the benefits of self-employment is often claimed to be the autonomy you have: no boss looking over your shoulder, the freedom to do what you wish, and no problems with poor working conditions. Why do so many workers feel that they are not being treated fairly, and why do so many employers fail to recognize the benefits to their business of treating their workers well?
Legal rights for employees
There are laws enshrined in the legislature that aim to ensure the basic rights of workers, to which employers must adhere. These laws cover pay, working hours, rights to different forms of leave, employer contributions to tax and healthcare, and the safety of employees. Running a business that conforms to these guidelines is a minimum requirement, so it’s essential to check that your processes remain lawful. This needn’t be overly arduous, as there are many useful tools available to ensure you are compliant. For example, using a check stub maker to produce pay advice slips makes the task far easier and ensures accuracy. Many employers believe that as long as they remain within the law, that is as far as their responsibility goes. If you are a business owner who follows this model, you could be missing out on a valuable resource, because staff have been shown to be significantly more productive when they feel adequately recognized and rewarded for the work they do.
Treating employees fairly needn’t cost a fortune
Most small businesses have limited budgets and are looking to run their operations as economically as possible. That makes good business sense, as spending money on unnecessary investments will negatively affect your company’s profitability. However, when it comes to staff, they are not automatons who have a limited capability. Therefore, it makes good economic sense to maximize the output of each member of staff by treating them well. That means providing more than just the minimal legal requirement, and investing in your employees to ensure you are getting the best from them. It doesn’t necessarily mean higher wages; in fact, studies have shown that feeling appreciated and valued is more important in raising productivity.
Taking a value-based approach to staffing
Employees are far more than drones who perform a limited range of tasks and have restricted capabilities. There is unmined gold in your staff, which you can discover and utilize if you give them the opportunity. Simple acts like congratulating them on work well done, giving them new and interesting challenges, involving them in decision-making, keeping them informed, being sympathetic to any difficulties they may be having, and having proper conversations with them are all effective methods of increasing motivation and making your staff feel valued. The more valued they feel, the better their input to their role will become.
Treating staff fairly and being a good manager are worthwhile investments that will motivate your staff far more effectively than a draconian approach. Motivated, happy employees will contribute far more to your business than they will cost, so it’s well worth making the effort to treat them well.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.