HUNTERSVILLE – The attitudes of employees reflect on every aspect of a business, including customer satisfaction, overall work force moral and a business’s bottom line.

We reached out to counselors who deal with job coaching and employee satisfaction for advice on how employers can maintain a positive work environment.

Elisabeth Hardin is a therapist with Seasons Center for Counseling in Huntersville. She has more than 13 years’ experience in the mental health field, including working with both adults and children in outpatient and inpatient settings, as well as a psychiatric emergency room.

“I think the key to satisfied employees lies in communication,” Hardin said. “Employers must clearly communicate job roles and what they expect from their employees. Ambiguity in expectations causes frustration for both employer and employee.”

Employees must also receive validation that their opinions are heard.

“Acknowledgement and consideration of employee suggestions and concerns keeps workers engaged and gives them the pride and satisfaction of knowing they are an active and important part of an organization,” Hardin said.

Hardin said the small token of gratitude may seem insignificant, but can go a long way.

“Picking up lunch for the office occasionally or providing employees with a small gift on their birthdays,” Hardin said. “Even if it is protocol, will make employees feel appreciated.”

April Flowers-Chambers is a licensed professional counselor with Seasons Center for Counseling.

Flowers-Chambers said setting up “routinely scheduled meetings with direct supervisors that involve the mutual exchange of feedback, focusing heavily on the positives, will provide employees with empowerment and clarity in their job roles and expectations.

It is imperative in these meetings that the employees are held accountable and valued for providing honest feedback to their supervisors, or they will quickly turn to routinely scheduled job performance meetings. This may then become stressful for the employee.”

Performing open brainstorm meetings with employees about making decisions that affect the company is a win-win for both the company and employees.

“This is a great way to help employees feel a part of the team as well as get ideas for progressing the company,” Flowers-Chambers said.

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