A diverse group of employees sit casually in an office, smiling and talking with their manager.
Employers who want to retain their staff members must invest in employee happiness, from embracing flexible work arrangements to providing opportunities for growth. — Getty Images/ fizkes

Businesses across the country have announced more than five times the amount of job cuts from a year ago, with close to 80,000 position cutbacks in November alone. As a result, the American workforce is shifting focus to “career cushioning” [lining up a backup job while still fully employed] as a way to prepare for new opportunities.

In light of all the layoffs, workers are fixing up their resumes and focusing on strengthening new skills to find a position that better supports and aligns with their values. However, some experts believe workers can secure their current job by reinforcing their importance. Business owners and company leaders can take steps to ensure a promising outlook for the company and its employees in 2023. Here are 10 simple but effective ways to keep your team satisfied and engaged.

Embrace flexibility and autonomy

Employee autonomy impacts job satisfaction and engagement levels. Allow employees to choose their working schedules, set up flexible deadlines, encourage a hybrid working environment, and enable remote working options to embrace autonomy in your workplace.

Provide incentives

Providing incentives to employees helps boost morale and strengthen loyalty to your company. Whether that’s allowing employees to work from home for the day or bringing in dogs from the local shelter, such incentives can increase motivation, productivity, and even happiness.

Map out growth opportunities

Simply put, a company is more likely to retain workers when it invests in its employees’ professional growth. Offer learning opportunities, such as online courses and access to resources that will help them develop skills they can use to grow within the company.

[Read more: How to Develop a Growth Path for Employees]

Work toward DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) goals

Having a healthy level of diversity, equity, and inclusion is a goal every workplace should strive to achieve. As employers adopt DEI goals, employees of all backgrounds will feel more comfortable going to work each morning, knowing they won’t experience disrespect or discrimination. Promoting diversity in the workplace also helps employees understand that being different is an asset to the company.

Offer remote and hybrid work options

Quarantine measures at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic made many businesses adopt a remote working arrangement. Many employees are eager to continue with either remote or hybrid work options to create a better work-life balance. If you can adopt this in your business model, offer your team the chance to work remotely and mutually determine which days they would come into the office.

[Read more: How to Create a Positive Hybrid Office Culture]

Employees feel valued when their employer cares about their overall well-being, which impacts employee engagement. Individuals who feel valued will more often try to return the favor and value the business more.

Improve communication

Clear and consistent communication is one of the most important factors when running a business. However, too much or a lack of communication can cause issues between departments and demotivate employees if not at the correct level. Ensure your team is updated with the latest information so miscommunication doesn’t occur, but don’t micromanage their everyday workload by sharing too much input.

Focus on employees’ mental health and well-being

Employees feel valued when their employer cares about their overall well-being, which impacts employee engagement. Individuals who feel valued will more often try to return the favor and value the business more. If you notice an employee is struggling, reach out to ask how you can better support them.

[Read more: 5 Small Business Owners on How They Support Employee Wellness]

Provide training

Personal and professional development allows employees to build essential skills to be the best at their jobs. Engagement rates are higher when companies invest in their employees. The more skills an employee acquires, the more they will be motivated to perform well — especially when they feel supported by their employers.

Make time for socialization

About one-third of our lives are spent at work, so creating a friendly environment with co-workers at all levels is critical for morale. Socializing can increase the bond you have with your employees. Simply taking employees to lunch or dinner after work or walking on the weekends outside of work can improve relationships in the workplace.

Implement employee feedback

Receiving feedback is a huge part of job development. For employees, receiving positive feedback is motivating, and highly motivated, skillful employees contribute to twice the revenue growth and profit margins. As a business owner, take feedback and act on it.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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