A happy employee is a productive employee

Many factors can influence productivity in a workplace. This has a direct impact on a business’s profitability and sustainability. When an employee works in a positive environment he/she will be more productive.

Employers can consider the following:

Workplace culture

Every business is unique and it is important to appoint the correct employee not only to do the job, but also fit in with the workplace culture which should support the long term goals for the business. Employers should always include a probation period in the employment contract. This will allow the employer to assess if the employee’s performance meets the required standards, as well as fit in with the workplace culture. The length of the probation period will depend on the nature of the job. The more complex the nature of the job, the longer the period of probation will be. The employer can never just terminate an employee’s service, even if the employee is on a probation period and does not perform according to the required standards. This can lead to an unfair dismissal claim against the employer.

Personal management style

The relationship between the employer and the employee is based on mutual benefits and respect. The employer should focus on a few key factors to create a happy workplace:

  • Trust your employees and inspire them
  •  Avoid micro management
  • Recognise employees’ efforts and reward them
  • Always be fair and reasonable

Compliance with relevant legislation

Clear rules and guidelines ensure that friction and misunderstandings are kept to a minimum. This in turn promotes not only productivity but also a positive working environment. Employers must implement clear rules in the workplace and follow correct procedures with regards to all labour matters.

Communication

It is important to consult with your employees on a regular basis and also keep a record of all consultations. Topics to discuss can include:

  • The employer’s expectations and fixed standards in the workplace.
  • The employee’s performance.
  • The employee’s role in the business.
  • The impact the employee has on the business as a whole.

The employer can hold regular meetings with employees, individually or in a group. This will create a platform for employees to voice their thought and ideas, as well as to discuss any specific needs.

Grievances procedures

The aim of the grievances procedure is firstly to create a harmonious working environment by identifying and resolving any dissatisfaction or feelings of injustice from an employee’s side. Secondly, the grievance procedure helps to protect the employer in a case of constructive dismissal. In such  a case the commissioner of the CCMA will always ask whether a grievance procedure was in place. This procedure contains information of how a grievance is dealt with, as well as the different stages in the procedure, should the matter not be resolved during stage one.

Labour risk is a huge business risk. To ensure the sustainability and profitability of your business, labour risk needs to be managed in a productive manner. A positive workplace leads to a happy and productive employee.

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LWO Regsadviseur - LWO Legal Advisor

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