Treating employees well is the key to business success

At the core of HR lies the interests and satisfaction of an organisation's workers. No matter how the role changes or the scope of tasks grows for this department, professionals will still need to ensure employees are happy and healthy at work.

Unfortunately, sufficient levels of employee satisfaction are not always fully realised within Australian companies. According to a survey produced by the Fair Work Commission, employees rated their satisfaction 5.42 out of a possible 7 points. While this is by no means a poor figure, there is still room for improvement.

This is especially true when you consider that only 62 per cent around the world are engaged in their work to some degree, according to Aon's 2015 Trends in Global Employee Engagement.  

With these figure in mind, how can your business better engage the staff and what benefits can these efforts bring? 

The business case for fair treatment

There was a clear correlation between staff satisfaction initiatives and the success of financial policy.

Research published in Journal of Financial Economics found firms that actively sought to keep employees satisfied had lower debt ratios compared to those that didn't enact any policies. There was also a clear correlation between the ability to implement staff satisfaction initiatives and the success of financial policy.

With engaged workers may even come more engaged clients, according to the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph. This is due to a higher feeling of engagement and employees therefore coming to work with more energy and a willingness to go the extra mile. 

"Many companies do not recognise the importance of employee engagement to organisational performance," said Professor Alan Saks, co-author of the paper.

"Current approaches to increasing engagement in organisations are limited because they are not directed at individual employees and they are not part of the performance management system."

Treating your workers equally

Most recently, the University of North Carolina found that business leaders are often prone to favouring members of their teams over other individuals within the company. This creates a divide between the "in-group" and the "out-group", which causes a significant drop in performance. 

Business leaders needs to ensure they avoid favouritism. Business leaders need to ensure they avoid favouritism.

The balance between awarding for positive attributes and avoiding favouritism can be a fine line, according to research co-author Professor Bradley Kirkman.

"In practice, leaders should not treat all members the same – there needs to be some differentiation based on competence and ability – but they also need to avoid engaging in extreme preferential treatment," he said.

To ensure your senior managers are finding a good middle ground, it is wise to look into HR consultancy services to evaluate the interactions with subordinates.