Following an intense year for the stock market, leaders are considering new ways to invest their money to boost their businesses. What many don’t realize is that the most effective investments they can make don’t involve the S&P 500 or funding a seed-round for a startup.
The best investment you can make in 2023? Your team members. While the return may not be immediately measurable, the long-term effects can make marked improvements in employee morale, client satisfaction, product performance, and, of course, revenue.
Here are five of the smartest investments you can make for your company this year.
1. Invest in Employee Well-being
Employee satisfaction is incredibly important to the success of your company. When team members are happy, well-treated, and feel respected, the return on your investment can be exponential and your employee turnover rates can plummet. Additionally, recruiting is easier when you have a reputation for encouraging your team members to take care of themselves, and providing the tools to help them do so.
Employee well-being can span a number of programs, from top-tier mental health coverage on your healthcare plans to employee recognition and rewards.
The return on employee satisfaction is noticeable. A University of Warwick study found that happy workers were 12% more productive than their unhappy counterparts. Those same happy coworkers are also less likely to take sick days.
2. Foster Inter-Employee Relationships
When team members have a connection with their coworkers, they tend to be more engaged and dedicated to the company. Positive relationships are essential when you rely on teamwork and collaboration to produce a successful product or service.
Investing in these inter-employee relationships doesn’t need to be a major expenditure. Even for remote teams, it can be as simple as a virtual happy hour to get to know your team members or dedicating a few minutes at the start of your morning SCRUM call to chat freely.
There are also apps dedicated to this task. For example, Donut is a plug-in for Slack that randomly connects team members for quick “water-cooler chats” with people they might never have crossed paths with at the company.
3. Invest in Your Leadership Skills
As a leader, you are the person everyone in your company looks up to for inspiration and leadership. When you improve yourself, whether through additional education, physical improvements, or any other way, you are providing a roadmap for others to attain success.
This non-financial investment in your company can still return dividends. One way is by positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry. You can do this by writing articles as an expert for trade magazines or major business websites, or by speaking at conferences.
4. Offer Training and Encourage Continuing Education
One of the most costly, recurring expenses a company can face is hiring new employees. New hires can cost anywhere from six to nine months (or more) of the lost employee’s wage, so it’s a wise choice to do what you can to retain your existing team members.
By investing in your employees, you can reduce turnover and encourage team member growth from within. According to a report by LinkedIn, an incredible 93% of employees would stay longer if the company invested in their careers. There’s no excuse for a company not to.
Consider upskilling existing team members. Learning and development training initiatives include improving soft skills, like leadership, time management, and communication, or hard skills like coding or project management training.
5. Focus on Employee Development
By providing employees with a roadmap for their development, you’re making one of the smartest, non-financial investments in the future of your company. What does their future look like at your company? Is there upward mobility, or a timeline for expecting a promotion, if deserved?
Detailing what is required to grow within their role, team, and company is key to having a satisfied team member who will be productive and contribute to the company culture.
A Final Note on Non-Financial Investing
A non-financial investment in your organization does not mean you’re not spending any money — it is just an alternative way of making a true impact on the health of your company. Making these investments in your employees, yourself, and the company can reap the rewards for years to come.