In today’s job market, employees have more choices of where they can work and what they will tolerate when it comes to the workplace culture. Exceptional employees are hard to come by, and in order to hold on to your most valuable employees, you should provide them with a workplace environment that inspires creativity, motivates them to deliver their best work, and makes them feel comfortable while they are at work. Here are some considerations to make when trying to build a work culture that works.
Empowering Your Employees
One of the most important things you can do, that will benefit your business and the morale of your employees, is to empower them to come up with ideas and be an active member of the business. Encourage employees at all levels to become leaders instead of just having them do the task at hand, and you will begin to see your employees taking more pride in the company.
Allow your employees to take ownership of their projects, to whatever degree is feasible in your particular business. Be sure to keep an eye out so you can identify which employees excel at particular jobs and what jobs they enjoy most. If you have employees that gravitate toward specific jobs because they enjoy the particular task, allow them to be the leader or subject matter expert for the task.
When employees feel empowered, they will take pride in their jobs and will produce a better work product. They will strive to make the business succeed and your company will benefit as a result.
Create a Positive Work Environment
Have you ever wondered why so many applicants fight hard to work at companies like Facebook, Google, Zillow, T-Mobile, Boston Consulting Group, or Fidelity Investments? Not only are employees at these companies paid well, but these companies work hard to promote a positive work environment for their employees.
When employees are happy, they tend to stay at their jobs for the long-haul because they understand what it is like to work at a job where they are stressed out, overwhelmed, and unhappy. When a business is solely focused on the bottom line, morale suffers, and talented employees will start looking for better opportunities.
Beat out the job market competition and provide employees without out-of-the-box perks and activities that promote a positive work environment. Simple gestures like decked out employee lounges, departmental competitions that offer rewards for a job well done, and concessions go a long way in making the workday more enjoyable. Employees often spend more time at the office than they do at home, so it is in every employer’s best interest to make going to work as fun as possible.
Discourage Workplace Drama
There is nothing like workplace drama to drain the energy within the workplace and bring down morale. Workplace drama often leads to loss of productivity when employees are angry with one another, and can lead to serious Human Resources related issues, including expensive lawsuits.
Discourage workplace drama at all levels by actively monitoring what is going on in the workplace. Managers and executives can’t afford to turn a blind eye and pretend that problems do not exist. When workplace drama arises, be proactive and solve the issue at hand. Managers have the responsibility to talk to employees when disagreements simmer in the workplace and work through the issues so that employees can get back to focusing on doing their work. It is also a good idea to maintain an open door policy at your company to ensure that employees feel comfortable going to management and Human Resources when they encounter a problem with others at work.
Listen to Employees
Employees are the “boots on the ground” at every business and often come up with amazing ideas that can help your company move forward to the next level. Employees often see things and opportunities that the higher ups miss because they are the ones dealing with the particular situation day in and day out. Be sure to listen to your employees and take their thoughts and ideas seriously.
One of the biggest frustrations that employees face while they are at work is feeling that their thoughts and feelings drift off into the abyss of a black hole somewhere, never to be brought up or thought of again. Be a good listener and take your employees seriously when they share ideas that can benefit the company.
Implement Health and Wellness Programs
Good health and wellness benefits everyone. Strive to keep stress out of the workplace as much as possible. When employees are under a great deal of stress, their physical and mental health will suffer in the long run and this will lead to illness and other medical issues. Stress also leads to burn out, which will eventually translate to employees calling in sick just to get away from the office and potentially employees looking for work elsewhere.
While there are projects that must get done and deadlines that must be met, focus on keeping stress levels down at your workplace by providing employees with comfortable work spaces, providing them with rewards and incentives for doing a good job, and initiating workplace health programs. Does your company offer an onsite gym or yoga studio? Perhaps an outdoor patio for lunches and breaks? Or even a comfortable communal lounging area for meetings and socializing opportunities? Think about implementing spaces that allow employees to step away from their desks and rest their minds for a while.
Encourage your employees to get regular healthcare exams and physicals by providing them with an affordable healthcare plan. Many times, people refrain from going to the doctor when they should because they can’t afford to go. While a good healthcare plan may be costly, having healthy employees is priceless.
Working is a necessary part of life for many people, and there are things you can do as the employer to make the culture of your workplace one in which employees enjoy going to work each day and being around those who they work with. Every business has goals to achieve and a bottom line to take care of, and when employees enjoy their jobs, the fundamental goals of the company will benefit as a result. Promote a culture of positive energy in your business and enjoy the growth and success that comes with it.