Gloucestershire's employee expert shares how to be a business that thrives

From recognising employees' achievements to creating an open, honest environment, there's plenty employers can do to help their staff and business thrive, according to Gloucestershire's employee expert, Kelly Tucker.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
Kelly Tucker from HR Star shares her expert advice on how to help your employees thrive in the workplace.

After the uncertainty of the pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis to contend with, it's not surprising that employees are exhausted and burnout is on the rise.

In these tough times, Gloucestershire's employee expert, Kelly Tucker of HR Star, shares her sage advice on how employers can create an environment where employees and businesses can thrive - from providing support and access to mental health resources, to recognising achievements and providing incentives. 

About the expert - Kelly Tucker, managing director of HR Star

Kelly Tucker is the founder and managing director of HR Star in Cheltenham. Having worked in the HR industry for nearly 20 years, she has developed a passion for changing perceptions of HR and loves showing businesses how engaged employees lead to success.

HR Star's unique people strategy session means it can really gets to know the business and its people, then create a strategy to help it achieve its goals and increase profitability, all while ensuring its employees feel valued and engaged. 

How can businesses tell if their employees are thriving at work?

A thriving workplace is one that consists of motivated, engaged and supported employees. As a business leader, your job is to create an environment where each member of your team can reach their full potential.

A great way to gauge whether or not your employees are thriving is by monitoring their performance. If they're meeting deadlines, producing quality work and generally staying on top of their tasks, it's likely that they're feeling satisfied with their job and overall wellbeing. On the other hand, if you notice that performance is slipping or deadlines are frequently being missed, it could be a sign that something else is going on in the workplace.

What are some of the key things businesses can do to create an environment where their employees thrive?

Clear communication should always be at the forefront of any successful business. Without it, employees will feel lost, confused and disengaged from their work. Make sure that all important information is communicated in a timely manner and provide consistent updates on tasks and objectives. Additionally, encourage two-way communication between yourself and your team — this will ensure that everyone feels heard and appreciated.

Providing flexibility in the workplace can make a world of difference for your employees. This could mean anything from flexible working hours to the ability to work remotely when needed. Allowing employees to work on their own terms helps them stay productive while also providing them with much-needed balance between their personal lives and their professional lives. Showing flexibility in how you manage your team will only help improve morale and engagement among all members of your workforce.

Collaboration is key when it comes to workplace productivity – it encourages creativity, helps solve problems more efficiently and allows for better cross-team communication within the organisation as a whole. Encourage collaboration by setting up opportunities for team members to come together both virtually and in person, depending on what works best for everyone involved. Not only will this help promote collaboration, but it will also foster deeper relationships between colleagues which can only benefit the company as a whole in the long run!

Can a business ever be described as thriving if its employees aren’t?

When employees are happy, they tend to produce better results that can lead to higher profits for the company. Research shows that happy workers are more productive, meaning they can bring in more money for their employers.

For example, studies have found that companies with high levels of employee engagement experience 41 per cent less absenteeism than those with low levels of engagement. Furthermore, research has also found that happy employees are more likely to stay with a company longer, which leads to lower turnover rates and higher job satisfaction overall.

After two years of uncertainty due to Covid-19 and now the cost of living crisis, many people may feel like they’re only just surviving, rather than thriving – how can employers help to change that?

The past two years have been difficult for everyone. The uncertainty and disruption caused by Covid-19, coupled with the rising cost of living, have put a strain on many people’s mental and physical health. It is essential that employers recognise this and take steps to ensure their employees are not just surviving but thriving.

Creating a supportive workplace environment can make all the difference when it comes to employee wellbeing. A few simple steps can go a long way towards creating an atmosphere of respect, trust, and appreciation. This includes instituting clear policies and procedures around how employees should be treated; offering flexible work options; providing access to mental health resources; and ensuring that communication between managers and staff is open and honest.

Taking the time to listen to your employees' concerns will help them feel supported during this challenging period. In addition to creating a supportive workplace environment, employers should also encourage their employees to prioritise self-care habits such as exercise, nutrition and sleep. This may include providing access to discounted gym memberships or yoga classes; offering healthy snacks in the office kitchen; or giving employees extra time off for annual leave or personal days so they can relax and recharge.

Additionally, employers should make sure their staff have access to mental health resources such as counselling services or stress management workshops so they can better manage their mental health during these uncertain times.  

How can employers spot the signs of burnout and help to prevent it?

Burnout is a serious issue, especially in high-stress workplaces. It can be difficult to spot the signs of burnout but understanding the symptoms and taking preventative steps are essential for employers who want their employees to stay healthy and productive.

Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion caused by prolonged stress or frustration. It often occurs when individuals feel overwhelmed or unable to cope with the demands placed on them at work or in other areas of their lives. Common signs of burnout include feeling worn out all the time; losing interest in activities you once enjoyed; having difficulty concentrating; sleeping more than usual; and feeling frustrated and irritable.

The best way to prevent burnout is to create an environment that encourages self-care and supports employee wellbeing. Employers should look for ways to reduce stress levels by providing flexible working hours or offering additional resources such as access to mental health services or support groups. They should also foster open communication between staff members so they can express any concerns they may have about workloads or job roles without fear of reprisal.

Additionally, employers should encourage employees to take regular breaks throughout the day and offer rewards for meeting goals or completing projects on time. All these things will go a long way towards helping prevent burnout from occurring in your workplace. 

There’s been a lot of media attention on ‘quiet quitting’ recently – what is this phenomenon and how is it affecting businesses?

Quiet quitting is the unfortunate reality faced by many employers - when their employees start showing up to work, punching in and out with minimal effort expended. It can be hard to spot someone who's quietly checked-out unless you know what signs to look for; they're not volunteering themselves for extra tasks or going above and beyond what’s been asked of them.

Engaged workers are critical for success because an engaged team brings improved innovation, healthier working habits and increased job satisfaction that leads to lower staff turnover rates. So make sure your people stay committed – watch out for any warning flags!

How can employers turn things around if their staff aren’t happy or engaged?

Unhappy employees can be a major problem for any business. When morale is low, it can lead to decreased productivity, increased turnover and a negative work environment. Fortunately, there are ways that employers can turn things around if their staff aren’t happy or engaged. 

Communication is key. The first step in re-engaging unhappy employees is to communicate with them. Ask them what their concerns are and listen to what they have to say. This will help you identify areas where improvements can be made. Additionally, try to encourage an open dialogue between yourself and your employees so they feel heard and valued. This will go a long way in creating a happier workplace environment.

Employees want to feel appreciated for the work they do. Acknowledging their contributions on a regular basis is one way employers can show their appreciation and motivate employees to continue working hard for the company. This could include offering recognition awards like Employee of the Month or financial bonuses when appropriate. It’s important that these rewards are given out fairly and consistently so that all employees are treated equally and fairly rewarded for their efforts.

In addition to recognising employees’ contributions, employers should also provide support in terms of resources, guidance, feedback and mentorship when necessary. This could include providing training opportunities or access to educational resources, as well as setting up mentoring programs where more experienced colleagues mentor less experienced ones in order to help them develop new skills or improve existing ones. Doing so demonstrates that you are invested in your staff’s success which will go a long way towards increasing employee engagement and satisfaction levels at work.

Re-engaging unhappy or disengaged employees isn’t always easy, but it’s worth the effort if you want your business to succeed long-term. 

With many people looking for new jobs in the New Year, how can employers attract – and keep – the best candidates when they are recruiting?

As an employer, this presents both an opportunity and a challenge. Let’s take at look at what it takes to create an attractive recruitment process and how you can ensure that your top talent remains engaged and productive.

When hiring new employees, it’s important to have a comprehensive recruitment process in place. This means having clear objectives, timelines, procedures and criteria for selecting candidates. Setting expectations from the beginning will help you find the right people for the job and also make sure that everyone involved in the process is on the same page. Additionally, be sure to provide candidates with detailed job descriptions before they apply so they know exactly what is expected of them if hired.

Once you have hired your top candidate(s), it’s essential to set realistic expectations about their role within your organisation. Be sure to clearly communicate any company policies or procedures that they need to be aware of, as well as any individual goals or performance metrics that they will be expected to meet throughout their tenure. Additionally, providing ongoing feedback on their performance is key to keeping employees motivated and engaged in their work.

Finally, investing in your employees is one of the most effective ways to attract — and retain — top talent. This could mean offering professional development opportunities such as training courses or conferences; helping employees balance their work/life responsibilities; or providing competitive salaries and benefits packages. Providing incentives such as these will help keep your best employees engaged and motivated while simultaneously helping you attract even more talented people in the future.

Attracting great talent is only half the battle. Retaining them is just as important, if not more so! By creating a comprehensive recruitment process with clear objectives; managing employee expectations; and investing in your employees through professional development opportunities, competitive salaries and benefits packages, for example, you can ensure that your organisation has access to top-notch talent year after year.

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