Happy workers are productive workers. So the more you can do to create a positive, supportive environment in your workplace, the more productive and profitable your office will be.
Here are six fast, simple things you can do to make your office more positive:
1. Encourage Communication
The trend in businesses today is towards transparency. Successful businesses find ways to promote communication between all workers, not just one-way communications from the top down. That’s the old school model that is outdated.
Today’s employees want to feel as if their opinion matters and that their superiors genuinely care what they have to say. Successful business leaders pay close attention to what the people on their front lines are saying. After all, they are the ones with the best first-hand operational knowledge about how their business works or doesn’t work in some cases.
Require managers to have an open-door policy with their employees. Physically open up offices so that there are clearer sight lines and fewer obstacles. And create more communal places where people can get together to share ideas and opinions.
2. Give Line-Level Employees More Power
Bureaucracies aren’t happy places. The lowest level workers who deal with the public are often the least powerful or have little or no decision-making abilities. Everything must be passed up the chain of command to a decision maker. Then the whole process reverses itself, a process that takes time and drains the joy out of any business.
A better plan is to give front-line employees the power to make some decisions on their own. This makes them feel as if they are more valued members of the organization. And it creates happier, more fulfilling workplaces.
3. Reward and Recognize Employees
People prefer to feel recognized as individuals, especially at work. It costs very little or even nothing at all to recognize workers through such programs as “Employee of the Month” or other recognition programs.
Rewarding employees is also important, especially when it’s tied to something that benefits the business, such as developing a new time-saving or money-making shortcut or building new relationships with the customer.
Even something as simple as positive reinforcement – for example, a pat on the back or recognition of a job well done – can be a very powerful motivating tool. Little actions add up to big returns when it comes to making a workplace a more positive environment.
4. Encourage Teamwork
People not only prefer to work as a team, they generally are more productive as well. Research shows that most people are most efficient when they are contributing to the overall good of an organization, rather than working on their own.
Teamwork should be encouraged both in and outside the workplace. When people who work together also socialize together or participate in fun, athletic events such as charity softball or road races, it creates a type of synergy in which the output of the team is bigger than the effort of each individual. Another way to think about synergy is: 2 + 2 = 5!
When people work as part of a team, they get to see themselves as a successful work that struggles together toward a common goal, rather than just a bunch of individual people competing for the same pool of rewards.
5. Give People the Tools They Need to Succeed
One of the easiest ways to demoralize a workforce is to give them poor tools. A computer system that is always crashing, phones that don’t work, or a crumbling physical office infrastructure is a surefire way to make your workforce feel unhappy about working there.
Investing in your organization’s success by investing in the tools your team needs to succeed. Don’t put up barriers to success by denying people such basic things as Internet access, a proper desk, and chair, or even an employee break room.
Having a positive working environment is essential to creating a positive attitude in your workforce. When people have what they need to do a good job, it has an enormous positive influence on their attitude and productivity.
This includes such things as keep the air conditioning and heating at a comfortable temperature, hiring a cleaning service to keep the office neat and tidy, and having windows that offer an inspiring view.
6. Provide Clear Goals and the Guidance to Achieve Them
Most people want to do a good job when they go to work. The biggest obstacle that prevents them from being positive is being unaware of how to do their job or not knowing what your expectations.
The key to having a positive work environment is clearly defining goals and showing people the path to achieving them. Once people know what you want and what you expect of them, they generally will be more than happy to deliver the results you want.
7. Tracking Employees
It’s very difficult to track the time and attendance of employees accurately with old-fashioned time clock technology. Even if you suspect that an employee is stealing time from the company, it is almost impossible to prove it with older technology. By using biometric time systems, tracking punctuality and attendance is very easy and accurate.
In addition to keeping track of the times that employees are clocking in and out, biometric time systems can also be used to keep track of where employees are at any given time. For example, if you have certain areas of your company where an employee must use their fingerprint to get into that area, you will easily know when they have left one area and entered another.