Creating a Better Work Environment for Your Employees
A pleasant work environment isn’t coddling your employees, it’s creating a an environment that fosters growth, creativity and efficiency.
The average American spends more than 8 hours a day at work. That’s more time than they spend sleeping or with their families, which is why it’s important to create a pleasant work environment for your employees. There are a few steps you can take to achieve this, both on a personal level and in terms of improving the physical environment. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Making Sure Employees are Comfortable
Nothing is worse than spending 8 hours up to your desk or workstation and being uncomfortable the whole time. Whether it’s because your chair is poorly adjusted or you have to lean over to type, a small annoyance can soon lead to pain and discomfort. It’s important to learn to prevent RSI, especially in those who are doing the same tasks over and over, otherwise you may end up with employees taking sick time.
Make sure workstations can be adjusted to suit different heights and body sizes and that computer equipment is ergonomic. You should also focus on things like lighting and heat, ensuring both are at the right levels for the work being done.
Communication is Important
Communication is key to a harmonious workplace, both between management and all levels of workers.
You can improve communication in the workplace in many ways:
- Taking time to listen to your employees
- Asking managers to have regular 1:1s with their team members to discuss progress and concerns
- Having a way to anonymously report concerns such as an online suggestion box
- Holding team-building events so people get to know each other
- Encouraging an open and honest environment
A workplace with good communication where people feel heard is likely to be a lot happier and it can help avoid disagreements between colleagues.
Perks Can Boost Employee Happiness
Offering perks can also be a good way to boost happiness and make people more productive. This is especially the case with bonuses that are linked to performance, which can help employees feel more engaged and given them motivation to develop their career.
The kinds of perks you offer will depend on your industry and the type of workplace. They could include employee discounts, free lunches, snacks or anything else you think employees will enjoy. These extras don’t have to be expensive, but they can create a pleasant work environment.
Cluttered Offices Create Cluttered Minds
Workplaces need to feel open and uncluttered, otherwise there are just too many distractions and it’s hard to think. You can make even small spaces feel larger by doing some decluttering and ensuring everything has its place. It’s worth renting some storage units to keep files and items you don’t use very often securely locked away. This frees up space in your workplace, so that people can move around freely and the space feels larger.
Another way you can quickly reduce clutter is to go paper-free. It’s good for the environment and has never been easier, thanks to specialist software that allows for digital signatures and the cloud where you can store digital documents.
Offer Training and Development
Employees want to know that they are valued and respected, and you can do this by offering training and development. Nobody wants to feel like they’ll be stuck in the same job forever and offering opportunities to upskill and train will show employees that you are serious about their future with the company. A good example is offering a global relocation package that can be arranged by a company such as ARC Relocation on your behalf. Such opportunities have several upsides for your employees like career advancement, improving their quality of life and a chance to expand their network. It’s good for your bottom line too; companies who offer extensive training generate higher income per employee, so you’re likely to see a return on an investment in training.
Hiring and Firing is a Necessary Part of Your Job
A good workplace starts with finding the right people. You can increase your chances of this by:
- Thinking hard about the kind of personality that would fit the job and the team
- Pre-screening people to get to know them in advance
- Taking up references before you hire someone and asking for honest feedback
- Asking relevant interview questions, not just generic ones
It’s also important to let people go if they are causing issues or aren’t productive. Laws vary about firing employees across the USA, and it’s important to check you aren’t sacking someone for illegal reasons. While dismissing people is unpleasant and a difficult decision, it can be better to go through that than end up with a toxic work environment.
Create Opportunities for Bonding
Enforced activities at work are annoying, but there’s nothing wrong with planning a few events so that people can spend time together outside of work.
Many offices have Friday drinks, lunches and other low-key get-togethers, which can be a nice way to relax and chat with colleagues. Planning nights out is good too, as long as people don’t feel obliged to go.
Team-building events are good if they are held during the day so that employees are paid to attend. They allow different teams to mingle and it means employees can meet other workers who they perhaps would not normally work with. Try to keep things fun and low-pressure.
Ask Employees What Want They
There’s one excellent way to create a better work environment and that’s to ask employees what they want. Consider running regular employee satisfaction surveys, so you can see which areas you’re doing well in and where your company needs work. Employees like being able to give anonymous feedback and have their say and an annual survey is a good excuse to do so.
You could also consider running regular employee forums, where a cross-section of employees speak to a senior manager and give their feedback.
It’s not always easy to create a happy, harmonious workplace, but there are ways you can create an environment that’s as pleasant as possible. With excellent communication, lots of perks and a nice office to work in, employees are much more likely to be happy. Satisfied employees have long been shown to be more productive and loyal to the company. Both things work in your favor as they can help increase output and profits.