You probably started your business to get away from the trials of being an employee, right? Even if this isn’t the case, you’ll find that a lot of entrepreneurs kicked their venture off because they were sick of being a subordinate. For a lot of people, a happy workplace seems like a pipe dream. However, there are many things you can do to create a happy, productive office. If you never had a workplace that made you feel welcome and valued, then this could be your chance to give it to others! Here are a few tips for creating a happier workplace.
The first order of business should be making sure your employees are treated fairly. This may sound obvious, but a lot of business owners still fail to do it. Make sure the wages you’re paying are competitive, for starters. This is one of the most common reasons for people leaving their jobs. Money makes the world go round, and if your staff feel like they’re not getting what they’re due, they won’t to stick around for long! You also need to make sure you’re giving your employees the right amount of leave. There are certain laws outlining the minimum amount of leave staff need to be entitled to. However, you’ll probably want to give them a little extra to keep job satisfaction up. Bereavement leave isn’t actually a legal obligation, but is something of a given in modern business. You need to keep an eye out for any unfair treatment in the workplace. This can range from a manager singling out someone to a full-blown harassment case. Look for early signs, and don’t waste any time stamping it out.
The next thing you should focus on to make a happier working environment is the people you’re employing. Obviously, you need the appropriate qualifications and experience for certain roles. However, if you make a point of hiring happier people, you’ll see the positive effects in every last corner of your business. A more impressive CV might promise good things for your business, true. However, never completely ignore personality during interviews. This will only create an uncomfortable workplace. It’s no secret that people try to get their best side across during interviews. Still, you should try to be as perceptive as possible. A candidate who looks incredible on paper might end up being the worst possible choice for your business! Pay attention to the character of your candidates, and ask yourself whether you’d be happy to work with the person for hours on end.
My second tip is to start being more community-orientated in running your business. This will not only improve employee morale, but can also help make the entire company run more smoothly. You’ve probably got a mountain of work to get through, but fostering this community spirit starts with you. Visit the different departments of your business, make casual conversation, and try to introduce people to one another. For a lot of professionals, simply stopping and saying “hi” is something that can be easily forgotten. As you make these personal visits, you’ll start to get a feel for who the happiest and friendliest employees are. Choose one or two of these from each department, and talk to them about your plan to build a tighter working community. As your staff and departments become closer, the overall mood at your workplace will improve too.
Let’s face it, a lot of people don’t like the job they have. For many, work itself is an unfortunate necessity; a method of paying the bills. Even though your business is your life, I’m sure you find yourself groaning at certain aspects of your work. To relieve this in your workplace, make sure to organise occasional breaks from the usual routine. If you can afford the resources and downtime, surprise your workforce with some kind of treat. An afternoon movie on the company’s projector, or perhaps a lunch out with the whole workforce, will make for a nice change in routine. It will also make some of your stressed-out staff feel valued and appreciated. Team building exercises can be extremely dull, but there are some companies which incorporate it into a whole day out. Even if you can’t pay for something this big, occasional treats for the employees will do wonders for in-office relationships.
My next tip may come as a surprise. Encourage your employees to think about themselves more. By this, I mean take an interest in their individual career goals, and work to help them towards that next milestone. If you can pull this off, your whole workforce will start coming to work with a better attitude. If you get people thinking about their future, and where they want to end up in the long run, their current job won’t seem as much of a chore. Every time they come into work, they won’t just see it as another day. They’ll be striving towards a long-term goal, and seeing their job as another important stepping stone. In this mind set, the sluggish pace of the clock, and the stresses of office politics fade into the background. Don’t make this a short-term gimmick though. Once you’ve got people working towards their futures, it may take some work to maintain that positive attitude. Obviously you won’t have the time to personally mentor everyone at your company. However, there are still helpful things you and your management can do. One of the big ones is congratulating your employees on good work. I know that it’s expected of them, but a simple compliment can instantly pump up someone’s pride in their work. Address things which need to be improved, but make sure you have the time for encouragement too.
Take these steps, and I’m sure you’ll begin to sense a more positive atmosphere at your company. The happiness of your employees is central to a huge amount of factors in your business. That may sound hard to believe now. However, after you make the right changes its value will become clear.