Woodworkers work best in a wood shop, mechanics work best in a garage, and artists work best in a studio. How will your employees work best? Well, it all depends on what it is they do. Everyone fulfills a different role around the workplace. You need to set a stage for everyone to perform at their best, and this can seem somewhat complicated. You’ll have to make a lot of compromises, but if you make them the right way, everyone can end up equally happy.
Do Something With Your Feedback
Taking feedback is almost useless unless you actually intend to apply that feedback. If you create an aura of openness and honesty that doesn’t leave room for fear of judgement, your employees will more than likely tell you what it is they need to make their workplace run a little smoother. Maybe they need more training to be able to master the difficult tasks they face, or maybe they feel socially disconnected from their higher ups. Always acknowledge their concerns and show them that you’re willing to take steps to address them.
Create a Culture They Love to Be a Part Of
Passion is one of the biggest motivators, and if you don’t give your employees something to be passionate about, they’re going to lack that motivation. Do your best to reinforce your company culture. You can’t expect them to be inspired by something that’s easy to forget about and rarely discussed. By holding frequent team building activities and shaping your meetings to be inclusive, you’re allowing everyone to do more than observe your culture – you’re providing them with a platform to actively participate.
Let Their Creativity Shine
The workspace of your employees is much more theirs than it is yours. They’re spending 40 (or more) hours a week in an area, and they should be able to have a say in the way it looks. Encourage them to embellish the area with their own creativity. Do you have an employee with a garden who loves to create his or her own floral arrangements? Allow this employee to bring them in. Employees who paint can provide the office with artwork, and employees who love to cook can bring in dishes for a potluck lunch. This will help them bring the things they love into the workplace.
Make it Comfortable
Things get crowded faster than you may realize. People need to be able to spread out a little bit not only to work, but to breathe. If everything is congested, everyone’s jobs get a little bit harder. Make sure you haven’t outgrown your current space. It may be time to check out Gumtree or another real estate website for a larger office, and when you do, select one that’s bigger than what you require. It’ll give you a little more room to grow before things start to get crowded again.
Change Things Up Once in a While
The office doesn’t need to be the only workplace. Have you ever considered allowing your employees to work remotely, either together or by themselves? Letting your employees get a much needed change of scenery once in a while may even help prevent burnout, which is one of the largest productivity killers. Hold meetings outside when the weather is nice, and have team building exercises at unorthodox venues such as museums. Just like everyone needs to get out of the house once in a while, they also need to be able to get out of the workplace.
You’d be surprised to learn how much happier your employees may be once their workplace starts working for them, rather than keeping the arrangement exclusively the other way around. If you aspire to innovate, embrace changes and start thinking outside of the box.
Guest Contributor: Kate Cardenas
As part of the team at Uphours.com, Amber enjoys writing about small business and women entrepreneurs. When not working, you can find her online chatting with her friends or reading industry blogs.