A carefully considered labor relations program is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. Employers should strive to foster a work environment that promotes productive and happy employees. However, as it pertains to the later adjective, ensuring the happiness of your employees may be difficult to achieve and somewhat challenging to quantify.
Why You Should Strive to Keep Workers Happy
In Q422, Forbes coined the term “Striketober” to characterize a troubling trend playing out in industries up and down California, across the country, and throughout the world. Strikes are becoming much more common. Notably, an increasing number of workforces at major companies, from John Deere to Starbucks, are also in the process of forming unions.
How does this correlate to the happiness of your employees? People who are content in their jobs are much less motivated to strike. In this scenario, your operations remain open, and you can focus on building your company instead of worrying about impending strikes and arduous union negotiations.
How to Recognize Unhappy Workers
Unfortunately, employee morale can be tough to quantify. While some workers are generally productive but like to gripe openly, others may be more private about their dissatisfaction. Some who outwardly seem motivated and happy at work, may privately nurse discontent. Internal surveys or interviews are not always a successful way to measure employee dissatisfaction. That said, there may be several other practices that employers should utilize to facilitate overall employee satisfaction, including:
- Respecting your workers’ autonomy
- Paying fairly for their labor
- Providing reasonable benefits
- Openly discussing company direction
- Holding leaders accountable for their behavior
- Showing concern for the safety of team members
Most often, two main issues typically cause discontent in your workforce: 1) Employees want better treatment and recognition of effort; and 2) Employees want to be adequately compensated. Treating your employees well and being transparent with compensation can go a long way to mitigate the rise of potential labor issues in the future.
What Are Your Legal Liabilities?
Most organizations have areas that could be improved. You should consult an experienced labor and employment attorney to conduct a comprehensive legal review of any workplace concerns to identify and resolve workplace issues before they erupt into something as disruptive as a strike.