Great if you’re a gardener…what if you’re not?

This month the City & Guilds Career Happiness Index 2012 identified that horticulturists are the happiest workers in the UK, with nine out of ten such tradespeople enjoying their employment.

Banking, IT and HR professionals were worryingly less enthusiastic about their roles, with doubts being expressed as to career progression and the worthwhile nature of their positions.

Being able to work in the fresh air is undoubtedly one of the biggest perks for gardeners, but it is important to consider the other factors contributing to their job satisfaction. The 2,200-strong survey painted a picture that the British workforce seeks flexibility, reasonable control over daily duties and the opportunity to use valuable skills.

So before your employees all rush out to buy a pair of green gloves and secateurs, think about what small changes you could implement in your own workplace to heighten their engagement and morale. For instance:

  • Consider flexible working patterns to improve employees’ work-life balance
  • Conduct appraisals to show you care about your workforce, appreciate ideas and feedback, and take action to bring about positive change
  • Devise tailored learning and development plans for staff to build upon their skills and knowledge, and for the organisation to illustrate possible career progression
  • Hold internal job swap sessions to promote knowledge transfer, build relationships and heighten the level of empathy in your team
  • Identify key skills, competencies and qualities amongst the workforce and make best use of these. Not only will this aid succession planning within your business, but employees will feel they make a valid contribution to the organisation. It may even allow you to think outside the box too, for instance if one individual is a strong communicator and passionate about change, they may make the perfect candidate to spearhead a new charity initiative that would heighten your company’s CSR credentials
  • Implement reward schemes that go beyond simply financial bonuses, to show staff that hard work is recognised and appreciated
  • Empower staff to take on more responsibility for their daily workload, even down to the HR tasks and elements of their employment that they can manage themselves such as holiday requests.

A number of managers will already have thought about these ideas, but the potentially time consuming nature of such changes can deter many organisations from improving their processes, procedures and culture. As a trusted partner in the field of HR and payroll management though, the Cascade team is here to help.

Our proactive, award-winning software supports clients through periods of change, removes the administrative burden associated with many of these tasks and strengthens meaningful relationships amongst the workforce. Much more than a static database, our intuitive system – regarded by clients as a valuable management tool – highlights trends, promotes stronger communication and achieves tangible job satisfaction, organisational development and bottom-line benefits.

We all want to grow, as individuals in our roles, as team members and as organisational entities. Now is the time to talk to the people who can help make that happen.

By Lee Harding

Project Manager – Cascade

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