Are your employees happy to work for you? If the answer is “no” or “I’m not sure,” let’s take a look at what makes a positive and productive working environment. It’s no secret that the happiest employees are the ones that love their jobs. They feel motivated to come to work, and they don’t perceive their daily tasks as a burden. A positive working environment boosts productivity and reduces absenteeism and turnover rates.
As an ambitious leader, you want to hire and retain the best talent. For that to happen, you need to create the kind of workplace culture where people feel respected and appreciated. You want them to have a sense of pride working for your company. But how?
It’s not that easy. Small companies, in particular, struggle with this aspect. You could tell them to be more positive, and they’ll probably fake a smile and make friendly conversation, but that doesn’t mean you’ve reached your goal. If they’re not happy with their jobs, you can be sure that they’ll be looking for better opportunities elsewhere. You’ll need to combine different strategies, and in this article, we will show you how to do that.
Let’s start with the physical environment. You first want to make sure you’re looking after the safety of your employees. They shouldn’t have to worry about sitting underneath a cracked ceiling or tripping over unsecured cables. This is not just dangerous, but it leads them to believe that you don’t care about them enough to make an effort.
Next step is cleanliness. If your office is not cleaned properly, it’s bad for morale, and it also makes it easier for germs to spread, resulting in employees getting sick and taking time off work. One of the benefits of hiring commercial cleaners is that you can take care of cleaning tasks without disrupting your employees during working hours.
After safety and cleanliness, you should think about air quality. Make sure that your company’s air conditioning and heating systems are regularly checked, and the filters get are clean because poor air quality has a negative impact on concentration and energy levels.
Then there’s lighting. You should have as much natural light as possible since getting enough natural light during the day helps you sleep better at night, which in turn improves your ability to focus and think creatively. There’s a reason why your employees fight over who can get a desk by the window. The colour temperature of your office lighting is also important. Cooler light makes people more productive, so you’ll want to have it in the main workspace. Warmer light makes people feel more relaxed, so you’ll want to use it for the break rooms and cafeteria.
Last but not least, let’s discuss the layout. Although open-plan, collaborative spaces are very popular right now because they encourage communication and reduce stress, you’ll want to give your employees a range of options. Not everyone will be able to work well in this type of layout, so it’s better to mix open-plan with more private spaces.
After covering the basics of an adequate office space, you can go the extra mile and offer your employees some facilities aimed at improving their wellbeing. We all know about the healthy body – healthy mind connection, but most of us can’t find the time to get the recommended amount of exercise. You could equip your offices with a gym. If that’s outside your budget, you can offer them discounts at a nearby gym or hire someone to teach yoga classes a couple of times per week.
Same with food. Maybe you can’t afford to build a fully equipped cafeteria, but you can offer them discounts and healthy snacks. Even small initiatives like these can go a long way because you’re showing your employees that you see them as more than instruments of production. You value them as human beings, and you care about their wellbeing.
Even if you do your best to offer your employees a positive working environment and healthy work-life balance, it’s still possible that some will struggle with mental health issues. We all have personal problems, and sometimes the emotions those problems cause will seep into the workplace.
You don’t want to make your employees feel like they should keep this a secret out of fear of losing their jobs. Quite the contrary, you want to create a supportive environment where they feel safe to discuss their problems and ask for help if they need it. This doesn’t mean that you have to sit with them and hold their hand while they tell you about their marital problems. Employees Assistance Programs (EAP) can help your staff deal with personal issues that might have a negative impact on their wellbeing and work performance by giving them access to services such as online mental health support.
Show Your Appreciation
One of the most common complaints among employees is that they don’t feel appreciated. Although they receive a paycheck for the work that they do, you still need to show them that you acknowledge and appreciate their efforts and dedication.
You can show your appreciation by telling them they did a good job or that they made a difference on a particular project. It’s especially helpful if you give them more detailed feedback on things they did well. This makes them feel valued, and they’ll be more motivated to rise to the occasion in the future.
You can also show your appreciation through more tangible rewards, such as bonuses and promotions. By creating a culture of recognition, you instil confidence, trust and loyalty among your employees. You’re showing them that they can develop professionally while working for your company and since they know they will be rewarded for their efforts, you don’t risk losing them to other companies that might contact them and offer better salary packages.
Give Your Employees the Opportunity to Learn and Grow
Research conducted by LinkedIn showed that more than 90% of employees prefer to work for a company that provides opportunities for training and career development. Just as you have aspirations for your company, your employees also have professional goals. Limited growth opportunities will push talented individuals to change jobs, and you might lose them to your competitors.
Providing them with access to programs that will help them develop their professional skill will help with retention rates, and will result in better-trained staff that can handle more complex tasks which means you can scale your business faster.