Most entrepreneurs begin their business ventures alone, but few can say that it stayed that way for very long. With so much to do and so many hats to wear, trying to run a business all on your own is practically impossible. Even the biggest business owners out there had help, although the media may not portray it that way. For this reason, there will come a time when you need to start hiring employees and building a permanent team. However, for this team to be of use, they need to work well. With that in mind, here are fifteen ways to build a happy and productive workforce.
1. Hire the right people
Building the best workforce possible, of course, begins with the hiring process. After all, no amount of work in the world is going to create a useful team if you hired the wrong people for the job. For this reason, you should take your time with the task and properly vet each and every candidate. You should make sure that they have the right experience and speak with their references. However, it’s just as important that you also consider their personalities too.
2. Give them the tools
Even with the right skills and experience, no one can walk into a new job and know exactly what they should do. With that in mind, you need to make sure that you take the time to train your new hires properly. You should also show them around the office and introduce them to the most important people. Once they get to work, it’s crucial that you give them the tools they need to do their jobs, whether it be a pen or new computer. If you don’t, they’ll struggle, resulting in stress.
3. Don’t delegate tedious tasks
Employees are there to make your life a little easier and handle the jobs you don’t have the time or skills for. Many business owners assume that this means you can delegate whatever work you want to your staff, but that isn’t necessarily true. Tasks you don’t want to do, like those especially tedious and repetitive, will also bore your employees, leading to a loss of productivity. To avoid this, but still get the work done, you could try automating or outsourcing it instead.
4. Keep the office clean
Clutter, mess, and dirt are all subtle sources of psychological stress, which will ultimately distract and frustrate your employees, negatively impacting the productivity of the entire office. Because of this, you need to make sure that your office remains as clean as it can be. You should ask employees to clean up their own messes, of course, but it may also be worth it to hire a cleaning service. This way, you don’t have to use your own time to vacuum and polish.
5. Foster a healthy culture
The sickness of a single employee can quickly spread through the ranks, making almost everyone in your office sick and unable to work. This could result in downtime that your business won’t cope with. To keep your team feeling their best, you should do what you can to foster a healthy culture. You could set regular breaks, provide a gym in the building, and offer medical insurance as a benefit. You could also stock the office kitchen with water and healthy snacks.
6. Encourage work-life balance
Although you want your employees to work hard, they shouldn’t be working to the point of exhaustion. This will lead to burnout, which will leave them unable to work at all. To prevent this, you should encourage a healthy work-life balance, by offering flexible schedules that allow your staff to choose hours that suit them best. If employees wanted to, you could also allow them to work from home and telecommute. Many studies have shown that this improves productivity.
7. Keep track of targets
With so many other things to do, watching over your employees may not be at the top of your to-do list. However, without doing this, you’ll have no idea which employees are meeting their targets and which consistently aren’t. Because of this, you should use CRM to track your pipeline and monitor employee progress. This way, once you see that a team member is falling behind, you can bring up their progress with them and work together to improve it.
8. Reward the hard work
For the employees that are hitting their targets, it’s vital that you show them your appreciation. After all, if they believe that you don’t care about them or the work that they do, then they won’t work as hard, leading to a dip in productivity. A simple “thank you” is often more than most managers and business owners give their staff, but, if you really want to make an impact, then you should offer rewards too. Make sure to tailor these to individuals so that they’re appreciated.
9. Allow unlimited time off
Ideally, your employees should be capable and intelligent adults, which means they’re more than able to make sensible decisions. Because of this, you may want to allow them to take time off whenever they choose, without making them jump through hoops or give a detailed explanation. This will make your company stand out, as few others allow their staff so much freedom. That being said, you should ensure you always have enough employees to handle the workload.
10. Offer 0ther amazing benefits
Along with this time off, and the medical insurance mentioned earlier, there is a range of other benefits that you could offer to your staff. These include staff discounts, deals with other companies in the local area, paid overtime, and so much more. These perks will, of course, help to attract new employees to your company, but they will also keep your current staff happy. This will ensure that they remain productive, as they’ll want to help you, as you do them.
11. Care about personal lives
Your main focus should be on the work your employees produce, but, when it’s appropriate, you should make a point of asking about their personal lives too. This shows that you care about your staff as people, rather than just workers. When employees tell you something important, like their wedding anniversary or birthday, you should make a note of it and remember to give them a card and small gift. This isn’t a huge gesture, but it will mean the world that you made an effort.
12. Don’t outlaw office romances
Romance between co-workers is banned in many workplaces all over the world. This is often to avoid favouritism or accusations of it, as well as the negative environment that would be produced if there were a breakup. However, trying to hide a relationship from management, or, worse so, having to move jobs because of a relationship, is so much more damaging. You have to try to prevent favouritism, of course, but you don’t need to ban relationships entirely to do this.
13. Give something back together
Spending time with your employees outside the workplace is a great way to bond and cultivate genuine friendships with one another. While there are lots of things that you could all do together, like meals out or teamwork activities, giving back to the community is one of the most rewarding. Whether you’re picking up litter or planning a fundraiser, this time together will be both fun and meaningful. To ensure you pick the right cause, ask every member of your team for suggestions.
14. Limit the unnecessary interruptions
There’s nothing more frustrating than being constantly interrupted while you’re working, especially when these interruptions are meaningless. It completely ruins your concentration and makes it difficult to focus again. For this reason, you should take note of the disruptions your employees face each day and find ways to reduce them. For example, you could offer quiet rooms for silent work and cut down on the number of staff meetings the team need to attend each week.
15. Hear all employee concerns
There is a lot that you can do to keep your employees happy and boost productivity, but you won’t be able to come up with every single idea on your own. With that in mind, you should give employees ways to voice their concerns with you and offer suggestions of ways the company could change and improve. Some will be happy to chat with you in your office, but others may prefer more indirect communication, like a suggestions box.
Building a happy and productive workforce isn’t always easy, but it’s far from impossible and completely necessary. After all, without your employees, you wouldn’t be able to do half of what you do now, leading to downtime and eventually closure. Hopefully, with the advice above, you have some idea of how to start building this happy and productive team you need so much. Things won’t completely change overnight, of course, but once you start to introduce these changes and improvements, the difference will quickly become clear.