The secret behind any successful company is a happy, hard-working, and efficient staff. Unless you run a company that employs artificial intelligence, keeping humans happy is no easy task. Workplace environments can easily turn cut-throat and nasty, two adjectives we try to steer clear from in the office.
Instead, you want to create an environment that is both positive and productive. Not only should your employees have empathy for their colleagues, but you should have a great understanding of what their needs and values are. If your hiring process is standardized and concise, most of your employees should have similar values.
However, this is easier said than done. Every office has its own set of internal politics. Even Google, with its quirky office, napping pods, and its own volleyball court, is sure to have some issues from time to time.
However, this isn’t to say that creating a positive and collaborative work environment isn’t possible. All you need is a little bit of inspiration and a lot of determination…
Conduct an Anonymous Survey
Finding the weak points of your work environment is the easiest way to guarantee effective changes. A stress-free way to learn more about your office culture is by conducting a short survey. If you want honest answers, it’s best to keep the survey completely anonymous.
Measuring employee engagement will also show that you care about your staff and that you want to create a positive environment for them to thrive in. Ask your employees which parts of the organization can be improved and whether they feel happy coming into work every day. Once you have your answers you can improve certain aspects of your office culture.
Create Collaborative Spaces
If you want your staff to engage in collaborative conversations and help each other with projects, you should create a space in which they can do so. The worst offices are oversaturated with small individual cubicles and minimal collaboration spaces.
Make sure to have a few conference tables for teams to gather around and discuss the plan of action. Similarly, you can create common snack and coffee areas for your employees to lounge in. Try to make the office space as open and fluid as you possibly can. Plenty of natural light and greenery can also help lift the mood in the office.
Organize Team Building Workshops
Team building refers to a range of activities that can be used to enhance social relations between individuals. Companies are especially fond of this technique as a way of strengthening bonds between colleagues and encouraging teamwork in the office. This can help boost productivity levels in the office and increase efficiency amongst members of staff.
Team building can be done in many different ways. You can organize a monthly workshop in the office, or you can even take the team out for an external activity. The activity can even be as simple as two truths and a lie!
Whatever helps break the ice and allows individuals to get to know each other in a different way will be good team building. Some offices like challenging their teams to compete in an escape room. Similarly, having your office plays sports together can foster better relations amongst members of staff.
Offer Nutritious Brain-Friendly Food
Another fun way to make the office a more positive environment is by bringing in some nutritious food for staff to enjoy. This doesn’t have to be a daily occurrence, however, a weekly fruit basket for staff to pick on during the day can be great for team morale.
A lot of offices bring in food for their employees to enjoy but this tends to be high in sugars and carbs. Instead of providing staff with countless amounts of cake and calories, try to find some healthy and brain-friendly food instead. Don’t bring in donuts and chocolate cake, bring in some fruit and banana bread instead.
Allow for Flexible Work Hours
The coronavirus pandemic has taught us that working from home is a viable alternative that doesn’t detract from productivity levels. Allowing for flexible work hours is a great way to give your employees a greater level of freedom and trust.
This can also help them relieve stress in their day-to-day life. If a single mother is working for you and has to go pick up the kids every day at 4:00 p.m., there’s no harm in letting her start and finish an hour earlier.
Facilitate Opportunities for Learning
Ideally, you want your best employees to stay with you forever. However, they will only do this if they feel happy in the company and like they have the opportunity to grow. As an employer, you can help teach them new skills and develop their existing ones by facilitating learning opportunities.
You don’t need to hire external people to come and train your staff. You can simply ask employees to hold weekly seminars and teach the rest of the staff some new skills. For example, if you have a PPC specialist, ask them to take an hour out of their schedule to teach staff the basics.
Host Company Events
Finally, everyone loves a great party, staff included. Hosting company events can make them feel like they are part of a team and it gives employees something to look forward to. The most obvious events include a Christmas party or summer fete. However, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.
You could organize a sports tournament with your office and even get competing offices on board. If your company is a large corporation with branches in different states, why not consider organizing a networking event so that everyone can meet each other in person?
Hopefully, these tips have given you some inspiration on how you can make your own environment a happier and more positive place. Employees should look forward to coming to work every day, not dread it. Try to create a greater community feel and see how productivity levels rise.