Although many employers might rate employee productivity above employee happiness, the opposite is often proved to be true: a happy employee is a productive one.
Recent studies show that the modern situation of increasing workloads show a corresponding increase in stress (CIPD employee well-being report), with a significant 25% increase in people taking time off sick when work just isn’t working.
How the stress shows itself
Over 60% of professionals felt that excessive workplace pressure had the direct effect of making them feel anxious or depressed, a situation which presents the pole opposite of happy, productive employees the gold standard of good, supportive work environments.
Shifting the balance
So what can employers offer?
Having appropriate support networks in place to support stress which generates from work or comes into work from domestic or personal situations is a great way for employers to demonstrate to employees that they are trying to understand and offer a reprieve from work place stresses.
Often it’s the case than management do value their employees and recognise their dedication, but when this recognition isn’t communicated appropriately or regularly, employees can inadvertently be left feeling unhappy and unacknowledged.
Connection is slightly different to engagement and communication, in that connection is about feeling part of the team in terms of value and validity.
Employee well-being is something which pro-active companies make the effort to invest in. This investment might include team-building and reward days, discounted gym memberships, and recreational areas in the office. Demonstrating to employees that their health and well-being is worth investing in is something which genuinely reflects how much they are valued.
Of course, any investment such as this has a cost which some companies might consider to be high, but implementing this type of employee investment as a way of offsetting the cost of re-hiring and training staff (particularly where there is a regular, high turnover of staff) can be a turning point for staff loyalty and retention.
On the whole, strategies to promote or improve employee engagement and levels of happiness need to be written into company policy and backed up with regular action on a genuine basis, not as lip-service or as one off gestures to off-set rumbles and niggles.
Finally, all of these considerations help to address that work-place stress, but what about those real-life issues which are wider than work but affect employees, such as bereavement and divorce? Offering access to services to address issues outside of the workplace reflects recognition that life can be difficult at times, and can go a long way towards helping relieve employee stress in ways which they will appreciate and remember as coming at a time when they need it the most. This builds positive working relationships and helps maintain presence and positivity both at work and towards work, a situation which makes the workplace a happier place to be for everyone.
Last year, Luke Guy ran us through why our email open rates are nosediving, and what we can do about it. He also gave us solid tips on how to write great emails to begin with. We’re re-running this post today so you can nail your email list right from the start 2015. You won’t regret it!
This is a guest contribution from Luke Guy, blogger and graphic designer.
It’s amazing how blogs have exploded within the last 10 years – take ProBlogger for instance. Blogs like these can provide a good living for the owner if the traffic remains strong and healthy. But how do these blogs retain the traffic and keep a steady flow? There are many ways, but I want to discuss with you a vitally important one: your email list.
Usually more email subscribers would mean more traffic. Right? Well, not anymore.
Bloggers are facing diving open rates today like never before. Small bloggers and the celebrity bloggers alike suffer.
Let me give you 8 Reasons Why Your Email Open Rate Is Nosediving.
1. You have lots of images within the email.
When it comes to email open rates, fashion is not how you make waves. Simpler is better in this case. HTML is good, but text based emails are even better. I know we’re tempted to be flashy, but if no one is seeing it, what’s the point? Your email is going to be seen more when images aren’t within them. They flag filters many times, and can annoy the reader also. It’s best to simply state your message and get to the point quickly.
2. Way too long!
In the blog world an article of 200-1000 words is considered an informative post (View Darren’s Post On Word Count). Reading one of these could take 5-7 minutes to read, and 15 minutes to fully understand.
In email this is simply not so. Why? You’re simply updating them with short exclusive information, and persuading them to spend a minute on this unexpected message from you. Think of your email newsletter as a bite-size sample of your blog. Let every bite be extremely pleasant and leave them wanting more. Where do they get more? Your blog.
In order to do this, your email must be short, sweet, and fulfilling in bite-size. 150-450 word count would be best when writing. You’re sharing exclusive content, updating, and telling them about your new blog post kind-of-thing.
3. Links Everywhere.
When all they see is outlined sentences everywhere, landing somewhere in the unknown, the word SPAMMY is the first thoughts of most readers. They get the idea that all you’re trying to do is send them to a place they don’t want to go, to spend money they don’t want to spend. Put only one link in your article, and give them many good reasons why they should click on that link. Not one reason to click on 10 links, that’s not as effective. So choose your link wisely, and this also will prevent your email from getting vacuumed by the email filters.
4. Your agenda appears to be making money.
When they see your email appear, what should they expect? If it’s another course, eBook, or program in which they must buy, there’s a good chance you’re going to get turned off eventually. A good rule of thumb is to give your reader 10x more. Instead, offer freebies just so they will warm up to you. If you need some freebie ideas, go here: 6 Freebies That Will Spike Engagement In Your Blog
I know we’re all trying to come up with ways in which to make money, but it’s better to have our customers coming to us with their money, not the other way around with us chasing them and their wallet. When they understand that you’re for them and wanting to help more than to make a buck, they will come.
5. Your email is only a result from an RSS blast.
Your emails should be exclusive content, not an email blaster from your RSS feed. Many will disagree with me on this, because they don’t want another article to write. I understand their pain, but what’s the point of offering this option of RSS if they’re not going to read it? With Google’s Gmail Algorithm, RSS is a turn off and a good chance it will never make it to their inbox.
How will they find out about by my new blog post then? you might be asking.
Give them many reasons within that email why they should read that article and give them a link to it. The reason shouldn’t be because it’s new. It should be because it’s helpful and can be found almost no where else. You’re just pointing them back to it so they won’t miss this amazing content.
6. Not full of helpful information.
You thought that tips, helpful information, and how-tos were only for blogs? Not so, it will apply to your email rate as well. Except you have only a few seconds to persuade them to read it, a few more seconds to finish reading it, and finally to click on whatever link you may have for them (that was the point of the email right?).
The only thing is with email, shorter is better. Why? When trying to catch the eye, you have only a few seconds to persuade them to read it and consume your information. As for a blog post, most were searching for the solution you have to offer and were willing to spend the time to solve their problem. So make it short but powerful since your message was unexpected!
7. They don’t feel a personal connection with you.
If all you do is sell, command, and write like you’re talking to the wall, they’re not feeling what you write. To avoid this, write as if they’re your friend. Instead of writing to your readers, write to your reader specifically. Pretend that you’re writing to one of your readers, and let them feel that one-on-one connection. It’s about winning their trust, which is key to any business.
8. You’re boring.
If you’re doing all of the above, it’s time to face it. It’s time for a recharge. Sometimes to make our tips more helpful, and our writing voice more inspirational, we need to read more and be inspired. Like an athlete, we must eat more than we burn. If not, we don’t have much to offer.
Go out in your niche and explore again. It could be the simple fact that you are burned out and need to refill with more helpful information.
So basically you’re defeating two things here, the email filter and the reputation of scammers. It’s so easy to be flagged as a scammer these days and you must work extra hard to appear the very opposite. These tips will make that happen, and will also get your emails to bypass the filters.
You’re going to see great results from this if applied correctly. I’ve learned by not selling, you kind of are. When they know you’re in business, and all you do is help, curiosity takes over them. When they see your free tips work tremendously, what will your paid versions do?
Thanks for reading and I wish you higher email rates!
Did I miss something? Leave a comment below and let’s see what you have to offer to the Problogger community.