Worry Less about Employee Retention, Focus More on Employee Happiness

Do you know how long Jane Doe will work for your company? Are you worried about how long John Doe will be a part of your team? Employee retention can weigh heavily on a business owner and is one of many facets of a highly functioning business.

When considering long term success there are many avenues to consider instead of employee retention but it all boils down to what makes your employees the happiest. Making employees happy can lead to benefits for your bottom line as well: the companies on the list of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work for in 2014, showed a 22.2 percent increase in revenue. A study out of the University of Warwick showed that employees when happy had a 12 percent increase in productivity. Employee happiness spreads into the company’s culture and helps everyone to succeed.

Tips for Increasing Employee Happiness

  • Don’t require a life sentence. Avoid talking to your employees as if you expect them to stay with the company forever. This can create bitterness. Rather than make your employees feel indebted to you, this strategy can backfire and cause them to look for a new job.
  • It’s not all about the paycheck. Employees are motivated by money but this is not the only motivating factor. Do not underestimate the power of an encouraging word or compassion in a time of hardship.
  • Get feedback from employees. Encourage a work culture in which employees can speak up about their grievances without fear of retribution. It is impossible to make employees happy unless you know what is causing their unhappiness. If suggestions are difficult to come by you should implement a survey of your employees. Kept in an anonymous way, your employees will feel good about speaking up and it will lead you to new solutions.
  • Use communication whenever necessary. Employees should be informed about when a new work policy is going to affect them. When you announce policy changes or work hours ahead of time, employees will appreciate when you are being forthright.
  • Work-life balance is necessary. Your employees need to take time off. It is unhealthy for someone’s existence to be encompassed entirely by their working life. Employees have family, friends and themselves to take care of. If employees are not taking care of themselves this can lead to burnout and even more missed time.
  • Use trust. Trusting your employees is necessary. When your employees need to take a sick day, believe them. If they are reliable give them a chance to earn your trust. When you stop micromanaging every action by every employee this will gain you valuable time.
  • Ask your employees about their goals. This will help you gain knowledge about what they want to achieve during their time working for you. This will allow you to place your employees where they are most comfortable. If your employees are comfortable with their tasks, they are more likely to be happy and productive.
  • Support your employees. Thinking back on your own working life, it is likely that you remember the times that you had a mentor at work. Having someone to turn to who sees your promise and knows how to support you will make all the difference. Work with your employees to achieve their goals and see how your employees will appreciate you.

Willy’s Trucking embodies the culture of employee happiness. We understand that it is feeling supported and not controlled that leads to a happy and successful employee. Take it from the words of Willy’s Trucking owner Bernard Dyck, “People can join our mission and be a part of what we are doing here. They should never feel controlled. It’s not about us, it’s about the employee and their life”.

Q&A with Willy Schmidt: How One Idea Powers his Company Forward

What do you think of when the word “strong leader” comes to mind? Maybe you think of a leader as being a forceful person who finds it easy to make tough decisions or you picture a person who can stand in front of a room and confidently command orders. But do you picture somebody who is an extraordinary listener? Someone who values your opinion? Willy Schmidt pictures just that and a recent initiative himself and his partner, Bernard, developed is proof that Willy means serious business about his capability to be the leader in listening.

Willy and Bernard sent out a company-wide message. The request was clear. All they wanted was one idea that could help the company in some way.

I have asked Willy a few questions about this initiative and what it meant to his company, Willy’s Trucking Services.  Below is the conversation:

 

What gave you this idea..to ask for an idea?

“During meetings, I would notice I wanted to listen to what people had to say just as much as I wanted to do the talking. It made me realize there was an opportunity there to make everyone feel like they had a voice. Offering a reward company-wide for a great idea from a team member made sense and as soon as we put that on the table, we realized we had also picked up on the needs of the drivers; one being that they weren’t really being heard. ”

When all of the submissions came in, did you instantly see the one that you thought was a winner or were there many winning ideas to choose from?

Looking through the submissions, Bernard and I got the ideas down to a top 10 and then from there, we cut it in half. Then we decided on the winning idea; it was such a good idea and so simple that no one is even thinking about it, yet it’s so powerful.

So, who is the winner??

Our driver, Tim, submitted an idea that said: “Take a moment”. To us, “take a moment” could mean all kinds of things. It can be used by our drivers on the road, by our marketing team, by operations and management- the list goes on. It is so simple yet is meaningful in all sorts of ways.

All of the trucks have that decal on the doors now, right on the outside of the door, by the door handle. They all see that quote when they are going in and out of the trucks. We even have it on the side of our BBQ trailer! You also have to think, because it’s on the outside of the trucks, it’s not just us benefitting from this either. Sitting in traffic someone else could look over to our truck and see this quote. They could think to themselves as well “Hmm, take a moment”. It’s not just for us.

That’s fantastic. Would you recommend this method to other business owners and entrepreneurs? 

By all means, I would recommend this…The drivers are the people out there and they have the most time to think on the road. Reach out to your team and let them know you’re listening.

Tim H

 

What do you think about Willy and Bernard’s idea? What are more ways to grab genius ideas from your staff members? Share with us below!

 

Author: Melodie Mills

 

 

 

More Reasons to Drive into Digital

        In a recent survey by PwC, only 28 percent of the transportation industry can claim a high level of digitization today. Fortunately, embracing innovation has always been at the forefront of Willy’s Trucking Service. This is why we are pleased to announce that we will be implementing a new computer software system, Transport Management Software, or TMW. The TMW shipment management system will enable us to greatly improve the visibility of key data that helps to deliver our customers’ freight with greater efficiency and reliability. The advantages of digitization are many, including:

  • More Efficient

The new system has the capability to supply superb performance in the amount of energy that we use when printing and performing other office functions. The new system contributes to a more productive and environmentally friendly office overall.

  • More Productive

Our old systems had a tendency to be unproductive. There were unacceptable levels of redundancy in tasks and connectivity. The time delay between data entry and actually printing the documents that are needed prior to the freight leaving our dock was a deterrent to productivity. The new system does not suffer from this disadvantage.This will improve overall productivity in the movement of freight.

  • More Secure

The new systems will allow computers to benefit from additional protection by making sure that they have the latest defensive solutions that will help limit the threat posed by hackers and malicious software.

  • More Speed

The new system will allow customers faster access to the information required relating to their shipment, billing and invoicing. Greater overview of a shipment’s progress through the freight system is something many customers have been asking for.

  • More Environmentally Responsible

The new system will allow us to become as paperless as possible through electronic manifests, BOL’s and digital signature capture for POD’s greatly reducing our impact on the environment.

As we work through any potential integration issues and become accustomed to the new system we would like to thank all of our customers, vendors and employees for their patience and cooperation as we work to provide improved service.

 

Best Practices for Successful Freight Delivery

Best Practices for Successful Freight Delivery

Choosing the right Company to ship your freight with should always be about the quality of service you expect. The fact that we have been in business for 10 years tells you we have had a lot of practice in shipping and receiving and once your order is placed with us, you know it is going to be in good hands. Here are a few simple things you can do to assist us in making sure your shipment arrives on time, in the correct location and in the best condition.

Ensuring your freight gets to you.

  • Calling in your order early in the day -This is very helpful for us to arrange for a pickup. One customer scrambling to get in a shipment last minute can possibly result in multiple other shipments being delayed.

 

  • Collecting specific information- Collecting detailed shipment information really covers a lot of things. It helps us decide the type of equipment needed, when it’s going to be ready for pickup, and who we need to talk to at the shipping office. Knowing who to call if and when we need to confirm details about shipments also helps us be more efficient.

 

  • Knowing your expectations- If you need a shipment delivered by 6:00 AM, it’s helpful for us to know that. Take the time to share the detailed information so we can meet and exceed the expectations.

A good percentage of service failures are the result of missing information and details that could have ensured perfect delivery. Even though it takes a few minutes to answer the same questions every time you call, having your shipment delivered to the right destination at the right time with the right equipment is totally worth it!