Business is more than simply a collection of profit & loss reports, production facilities, websites, and other esoteric concepts. Companies are made up of human beings who have real feelings, emotions, and ideas about their jobs, their workplace, their co-workers, and their value within an organization.
When a workplace is not as productive as it could be – when employees are dissatisfied or unhappy, unmotivated, or feel trapped with little opportunity for advancement or even anything to look forward to – the negative impact on an organization can be profound.
Productivity can suffer. Customer service can falter. And profits will fall. It doesn’t have to be like this; you can improve workplace productivity.
The risk of doing nothing
Business owners today have a real motivation for keeping their employees happy. Jobs are much more transient than ever before; the possibility of your workers quitting to join a better and more progressive organization is very real.
Like it or not, keeping your workers happy is essential for maximizing your profits, minimizing your costs, and keeping your business operating smoothly. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to keep most workers happy and productive – and your company profitable.
Here are five fast, simple, and easy changes you can implement to turn around an unhappy workplace:
1. More employee reward and recognition programs
Whether they admit it or not, most workers want somebody to tell them they are doing a good job once in a while. A pat on the back, an “attaboy,” or even a simple “Thanks for a job well done” from a supervisor go a long way toward reversing negative employee attitudes.
Supervisors and managers need to be held to a higher standard when it comes to implementing employee recognition and rewards. Too often, management takes an “us vs them” approach to line-level labor. These kinds of divisions can quickly escalate if they aren’t addressed early on by ownership.
2. Loosen up a little
Most workers feel more comfortable if management isn’t so uptight all the time. If appropriate, declare one day per month a “casual dress” day where workers can opt not to wear their standard uniform or business attire. Or tap into enthusiasm for a local sports team by allowing workers to wear their jerseys before the big game.
3. Hold free-form pre-work meetings
The brief time just before an employee goes to work is the best time to hold short yet informative pre-shift meetings between direct-report supervisors and their team. But these shouldn’t be just for reading reports or listening to complaints (although both are important for different reasons).
Supervisors and managers should make an effort to humanize both themselves and the organization. These meetings should be kept upbeat and positive. Employees should look forward to them rather than dread them. And upper management should regularly participate to break down the divisions within the organization.
4. Encourage workers to relax
Studies have shown that employees who are more physically active and fit will not only perform better in their jobs, but have a more positive attitude about their workplace.
Encourage regular stretching, light exercise, and even simple yoga moves as part of the regular workday. This can be offered during lunch breaks and other non-working periods and should be completely voluntarily. You may be surprised by how many people choose to join these activities.
Encourage your workers to continue to pursue their physical fitness outside of work by negotiating a discount with an area fitness center, or even installing an exercise room right on the business’s premises where employees can work out at their leisure.
Not only will it improve their physical agility, but it can clear their mind, help them relax, and cause them to be happier in their work.
5. Automate time and attendance software
One of the easiest ways to anger an employee is to mess with their money or work schedule. Unfortunately, most managers and supervisors are only human, so mistakes are inevitable. Paperwork can get lost, time off requests forgotten, shift switches denied, and other scheduling problems occur that can quickly torpedo employee morale.
One easy way to get around this is to automate the organization’s time and attendance system so that it generates fair, honest work schedules, creates standardization that is fair for everybody, and removes the human frailty from the system.
Businesses are realizing how much the human side of their organization matters, and how important employee morale is to workplace productivity. Organizations like Google and Facebook have made dramatic moves to create fun workplaces – moves that most companies could never afford. Yet, it doesn’t have to break the bank to have high morale at work; implement the basic steps to a happier workplace and momentum will propel you forward.
Make sure the ways you measure your employees’ success are translating into your organization’s success. See Are Your Metrics and Incentives Rewarding Complexity or Simplification?Comments