There are no two ways about it- your employees are the backbone of your business. Making sure your employees are happy at work can increase the chances of good colleague relationships and higher productivity levels. However, it isn’t always easy to keep everyone happy. So, if you need a few tips on keeping spirits up, read on.
Start with you
When it comes to creating a happy workplace and workforce, it all starts with you. If you want your employees to enjoy their work, you need to lead by example. If you’re a boss who is always cracking the whip, your employees may feel awkward about relaxing around you.
If you don’t leave any room for suggestions, ideas or innovation, your employees may find another workplace that does. Having an all-work, no-play attitude can lead your employees to feel like caged birds in the workplace. That could result in you losing some of your best workers.
Clue them in
If your employees are constantly hearing whispers but they’re never actually in on what’s happening in the business, they may start to feel under-appreciated. Sharing as much as you can with your employees will make them feel like they’re part of something bigger.
It makes each and every person feel like they’re on the same team and fighting for the same goals. There may be some things that you don’t want to share with your employees but try to keep them as informed as possible.
Life is becoming more flexible because it has to. More people are telecommuting to work, more men are becoming stay at home dads and the hours of nine to five are already disappearing. With that said, you need to be as flexible as possible with your workers- as long as the work gets done.
You may need to deal with sickness, injury at work and even employees getting advice from Ogletree Deakins on employment law. The more understanding you are, the more your employees will want to stay and work for you.
Your employees will always need your input. They may even approach you to ask questions or find out what your suggestions would be. However, that doesn’t give you leeway to micromanage every task sent their way. Your job is to inspire your employees to create compelling work. If you’re sticking your nose into other people’s roles constantly, you’ll make it more of a chore than a pleasure.
One on one
Just because you’re holding a weekly staff meeting, it doesn’t mean you’re seeing what your employees can really offer. There may be some employees who are happy to carry on as they are but others will want a challenge. If this challenge isn’t met, it’s easy for employees to become bored and unhappy.
The only way to identify what your employees need from their work is to have one on one meetings. Let your employees know it’s just an informal chat to see how they’re getting on and what could make their roles more enjoyable.
Improve the work space
Having the right environment is essential for productivity. The wrong type of lighting may give workers headaches, the wrong temperatures can make it difficult to concentrate and uncomfortable furniture can lead to back pain. Setting your office up so employees are as comfortable limits the number of distractions your employees have.
Invest in ergonomic office chairs, keep the lighting soft and make sure you have suitable heating and air systems. It’s also important to let employees decorate their own spaces with inspirational quotes, family pictures or anything that could improve the speed they work at.
Keep an open mind
As a business owner, you’ve seen a lot and have suitable experience to be running the show. However, that doesn’t mean you know everything. Your employees are as close to your customers and clients- if not closer-as you are. So, it’s not surprising that some employees will want to make suggestions. Not all of these suggestions will be useful but it’s important that your employees know you’re willing to listen to them. Being approachable will make your employees feel like they’re valued.
Although you may find it easy to get on with everyone in the workforce, there may be certain people who just rub each other up the wrong way. Having a broken link in your workforce can lead to problems. Arranging team building exercises is a great way to get your staff to know each other on a more personal level.
They may find that they identify with each other in ways they would have never imagined. People often bond over things that aren’t related to work, so getting to know the person behind the job is vital for building a strong team.
Give a gentle nudge
You may good at identifying the strengths in your employees, but that doesn’t always mean they can see those strengths in themselves. There may be people in your workforce that require a gentle nudge before they realise they’re capable of achieving more. Some people avoid challenges like the plague because they’re afraid of failure. Be sure to let your employees know that making mistakes is okay, as long as they’re willing to give it a go.
Make time for people
Running a business is time-consuming. You may have lost a few hours before you even look up from your computer screen. It can be difficult to find time for anything else, but your employees need to know you’re available to them.
If they peer in your office and see your head down staring at your screen eight hours a day, they may not feel they can come to you with anything. Make sure you look up and around the office throughout the day and take a walk-through, so people have the chance to catch your attention of they need to.
You’ll never be able to keep everyone happy, but doing your best for your employees will always result in the best productivity levels.