When you are striving to have a successful business you need to be just as concerned about your employees as you are about revenue. Creating a positive workplace will increase productivity and improve the experience for your customers.
The workplace environment begins with the layout and objects within your business. You should periodically assess components of the physical environment to determine if they are conducive to the type of workplace you want. Periodically ask your employees if there are improvements you can make or maintain a suggestion box to collect information anonymously. Small problems, such as the lack of natural lighting or uncomfortable workplace furniture can make the environment miserable for your employees. Additionally, concerns with lighting or ergonomics can lead to lower productivity and more instances of minor ailments, such as headaches and musculoskeletal strain.
When possible, avoiding the traditional office or cubicle can improve the workplace environment. The physical boundaries created by walls can decrease communication between employees and can add to workplace stress. If changing the office layout is not an option, encourage employees to walk around and interact between their assigned duties or on breaks. Occasionally, have employees deliver messages in person--rather than through email--or hand out printed documents--instead of sending attachments. Incorporating some traditional methods of communication is an easy, but effective way to overcome physical barriers in your business.
Identify Engagement Issues
Employee engagement is an important and critical component of a good workplace environment. Not only do engaged employees promote better business-customer relationships, but engaged employees can affect the image of your business. When customers interact with employees who believe in the company's mission and have a vested interest in the success of your business, they will likely have a positive experience.
Consider implementing surveys, through a place like Scarlett Employee Surveys, to identify problems within your business. Although many businesses choose to have a yearly survey, it also helps to have surveys quarterly, since you may have changes in staff. This will help you identify problems quicker. Your surveys should be designed to address overall problems with engagement and be easy to analyze by department or team. It does little to help your business if you see overall engagement is high, but neglect to see a specific department scores abnormally low.
Not only can you determine overall problems, but you can possibly identify the source of the problem. For example, if there is a trend that disengaged employees feel they are not fully utilized or have no room to grow, it may be time to consider which opportunities exist in your business. Perhaps the overall environment of your business would improve if employees were reorganized to fill different roles or you made tangible opportunities for your employees to secure better positions within the business.
Try Team Building
No matter the type of business you have, employees working together in a healthy and productive manner will improve your business and boost morale. Consider implementing team building exercises to help employees become familiar with each other, especially if they work in different areas of your business. Team building exercises can range from activities that are fun or silly, to activities that are necessary for your business.
For example, if it is difficult to set aside time during the workday for team building activities, you may want your employees to work together on a project, such as creating next month's newsletter or deciding the appropriate items to order for the store. Although this task may be outside of their standard workplace duties, each employee can learn more about the strengths of the people around them and your employees may learn new skills in the process.
Many factors will influence the workplace environment of your business. By addressing the most common and influential concerns, you can help improve productivity and the morale of your employees.