1. Take a break

Encourage your employees to take their full lunch break, and all their annual leave. It can help them come back to work with a fresh perspective on problems, prevent employee burnout, and reduce stress and stress-related absences.

2. Make it OK to ask for help

All too often employees will keep quiet if they’re feeling overwhelmed, so regularly check with your employees, on an individual basis, to see if their workload is manageable, and that they don’t have any problems. Let your employees know that it is OK to ask for help, and that you will do what you can to ease any excess workloads.

3. Make criticism constructive

If you need to talk to your employees about their poor performance, then do it in private and make it about the performance, rather than the individual. Show them specific issues, and work out together how your employee can improve, by asking them to come up with ideas to better their performance.

4. Have an employee reward and recognition scheme

Incentives and reward can improve employee engagement and performance. Implement an employee reward and recognition scheme, to really motivate your employees.

5. Appreciate your employees

Employees perform better when their efforts are appreciated, so make the time to say ‘thank you’ for their efforts. Encourage all the team to say ‘thank you’ to their co-workers for their help and assistance – appreciation shouldn’t just come from the team manager.

6. Be tactful with your employees

Whether it’s a flexible working request, a holiday request or something else, sometimes you need to say ‘no’. Treat your employee with the respect they deserve, and don’t embarrass them by failing to explain why you’ve refused their request.

7. Benchmark your salaries

Salary might not be the main motivator for most of your employees, but it’s good business sense to regularly benchmark the salaries you offer against your industry, and similar roles outside of your industry. If you’re offering significantly lower salaries, you will struggle to retain your employees.

8. Help your employees get the right work-life balance for them

Everyone’s idea of work-life balance is different, so find out what would make life easier for your employees. Does starting and finishing 30 minutes later mean they avoid the worst of the traffic? Can they work from home occasionally? Can you offer on-site services, such as accepting private deliveries for employees, or having a dry cleaning collection and delivery service?

9. Create the right working environment

Create a working environment that your employees want to come to work in. This can include how the workspace is laid out and decorated, the behaviour of employees, having proper coffee and tea making facilities, and comfortable chairs to work in.

10. Cut down on meetings

The more time you and your employees spend in meetings, the more you all become distracted from the work that needs to be done, which can contribute to feelings of being overwhelmed. Only arrange a meeting if it’s absolutely necessary, and keep them focussed and to the point when they do happen.

11. Get out of the office occasionally

Arrange events for your employees outside of the office, so that they can switch off occasionally, and get to know each other on a personal basis. You could organise a lunch meal in a local restaurant, after work social activity, or an off-site team-building day.

12. Learn to recognise the signs of low morale

Learn to recognise the signs of low morale – such as high absenteeism, team conflict, poor performance, and high levels of customer complaints – so that they can be addressed earlier, rather than later.

13. Conduct exit interviews

Arrange an exit interview with all your employees, conducted by someone other than the employee’s manager, so that you can find out what caused them to leave, and what the business could do to improve things.

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