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The Fine Line Between What You Do and Don’t Owe Employees

The Fine Line Between What You Do and Don’t Owe Employees

As a first-time business owner and boss, managing a team can be a new and different experience. You may not yet understand what employees expect or what you owe them as their employer.

Employees expect certain things when they come on board and, in many cases, employers should deliver. For new employers, meeting employee expectations is very important, as it can have a large impact on the employer brand. And the employer brand can potentially make or break a new business.

Here are four basic things employers, both new and experienced, do owe their employees — and four things they don’t:

1. A safe place to work
This sounds obvious, but at the very least, employers owe their employees a safe work environment. Their environment should be free of any safety hazards — both emotional and physical. Employers should create a work environment that is comfortable and conducive to productivity. The employer should also continue to take take preventative measures to ensure employee safety.For example, make sure the office is well lit, the temperature is at an appropriate level to be comfortable and the office space is free of unnecessary hazards / clutter.
What’s not owed: A sleep pod and PlayStation. As more leading and trendy companies begin to offer fun work perks, more job seekers have come to expect them and get disappointed when they aren’t offered. But the emphasis should be of the office culture and environment – not the perks.
While it’s advantageous to create an enjoyable work environment, employers don’t owe it to their employees to provide game rooms, nap time, free daily catered lunches and monthly massage therapists.

2. A sense of transparency
Employers should endeavour to maintain a sense of transparency with all employees – beginning most importantly, with the hiring process. Potential employees should be briefed honestly and understand exactly what will be expected of them. Current employees should know how their work contributes to company-wide goals.So, keep employees in the loop (about the good, the bad and formal or informal company matters). After all, a better understanding results in better relationships which leads to better working environments.
What’s not owed: Complete 100% transparency. Transparency in the workplace is necessary for employee satisfaction and engagement, but the line needs to be drawn at some point. That line often varies from company to company. For some, it starts at company financials, and for others at recruitment and terminations, etc.

3. A balanced schedule
Work-life balance is the primary reason 74% out of 1,500 job seekers seek out flexible work options. Employers should be open to discussing with
employees how create a schedule that allows for greater work-life balance. Paid parental leave, use-it-or-lose it policies are benefits
employees value and deserve.
What’s not owed: A radically flexible work environment While allowing employees to design their work schedules or work from home can in still a
better sense of work-life balance, employers don’t owe employees those alternative work schedules. Not everyone is cut out to work well from
home, and it’s up to employers to decide whether the business can handle such schedules.

4. A chance to grow
Employees are a company’s most important asset. As such, employers owe employees a chance to grow as professionals. From a detailed on boarding
process for new hires to professional training and development opportunities for current employees, give employees an opportunity to improve and
expand their skills. Research has also shown that allowing you employees a chance to grow and expand their skills within or outside their role
will lead to greater motivation and happiness.
In addition to providing employee training, employers can help their employees grow by giving them regular feedback. Employees are owed that
much, at a minimum.
What’s not owed: A promotion. Employees deserve an opportunity to receive training or attend professional development events, but that
professional growth doesn’t have to result in a new title every year. There are other ways to reward employees and, especially for startups,
career advancement may not be an available option — just one more reason why employers should be transparent during the hiring process.


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