Whether you work in a corporate environment with thousands of employees or you are the CEO of a small startup, all managers have the job of keeping their employees happy and raising their productivity level. How can managers fulfil this part of their job?
When employees are happy at work and morale is high, the company benefits from a more productive, better motivated workforce. Studies have shown than when people are happy in their jobs, they tend to be better at collaborating to achieve common goals and more likely to be innovative. What can you do to promote happiness and increase productivity at the office? Here are a few ways you can start to see results.
Use frequent small rewards
Employees like to be acknowledged for a great job or for the end of a successful project. And studies have shown that the frequency of rewards is more important than the size of any single reward. This is good news because it means that you don’t have to break your budget to let your employees know that you appreciate them.
Additionally, people tend to value new life experiences. Plan something unexpected, such as a cooking class or wine tasting for your team, or reward an employee with a weekend getaway to a place they haven’t been. Experience based rewards will be appreciated and remembered longer than any one-time monetary bonus.
Shake things up
Our brains are wired to adapt to routines, which means that employees can become bored and complacent if they don’t have variety and challenge in the workplace. Survey employees about their interests within the company and let them explore new skills and try new things.
Do something unexpectedly positive for your team, such as taking everyone out to lunch occasionally or hosting a movie or pub night. People adjust to anything that becomes routine, but they automatically pay closer attention to something surprising.
Create a comfortable workplace environment
If you have control over the design of your office space, work with an office design professional to choose ergonomic furniture and an arrangement that contributes to your worker’s productivity.
Air conditioning can also improve workplace productivity. A hot working environment makes people feel sluggish and drowsy, and fluctuating temperatures can decrease concentration. Keeping the temperature between 20° and 21°C is optimum for keeping employees happy and alert.
You might also incorporate music into some areas of the office, especially the break room or cafeteria. Music is a good way to subconsciously energize and lift your employees’ moods. And studies show that classical music helps people relax and can boost their concentration.
Managers know that focusing on the negative and always looking at what’s broken is bad for morale. But when things are stressful it can be tough to keep a positive emphasis. Take a short moment at team meetings to acknowledge what is going right and to express your gratitude for the hard work of your team.
Ask team members to share their own achievements and recognize the efforts of exceptional contributions from others. A little acknowledgement can go a long way towards a happier, more productive team environment.
Working to boost morale and increase employee productivity is an on-going challenge. There is no way to guarantee a problem free workplace, and every company sometimes has bad news they must pass along to employees.
But in general if you offer your employees a positive, comfortable work environment and work that challenges their skills and rewards their hard work, you’ll have a team that will want to work hard and make you look good.