When you calculate the amount of time the average American worker will spend at work during their lifetime, it will equal approximately 90,000 hours or 10 years. That’s 10 years of work, night and day, with no breaks, holidays, or weekends off. Because employees will invest so much time at work, it’s important to have a quality work environment.
That’s where you and this guide come in. Below, we share essential tips to improve your workplace environment so that your employees will feel happy about coming to work and content at the end of the work day.
Let’s get started.
The Benefits of Improving Your Workplace
Both you and your employees will gain a ton of benefits when you consciously begin improving your workplace.
One of the first benefits you’ll gain is a more positive atmosphere. When an employee feels valued by their employer, that employee is more likely to have fun at work and interact positively with their co-workers. As a result, your organization will experience less turnover, reduced absenteeism, and greater productivity.Another positive benefit to investing in your workplace culture is that you can increase revenue. Here's how: Click To Tweet
Another positive benefit to investing in your workplace culture is that you can increase revenue. Happy employees not only impact each other and make for a more positive workplace altogether but your happy employees will also positively impact your customers. Customers can automatically detect when an employee is satisfied with their job. This can subconsciously impact the customer’s impression of your organization. Happy employees equal happy customers.
Now let’s look at some of the ways you can make your employees happy by building a better working environment.
1. Give Them the Why
The first step to building a better work environment is to give your employees a sense of purpose. No one wants to feel like their work isn’t important. People want to have an impact on others, even if it’s a small one.
A lot of our workdays are spent on the small details of the task at hand. However, when you zoom out, you can see the big picture of how your work impacts others. It’s important to share this vision with your employees so that they see how their job impacts your organization and your customers. This can give them a much-needed sense of purpose and can directly improve their experience in your organization.
Employees who feel like they are making a difference come to work with a sense of motivation. That motivation is palpable and can influence others in your organization.
2. Make Onboarding a Priority
Onboarding is an important part of introducing a new hire to your processes and your organization at large. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to onboard.
Many organizations rush this step because they’re eager for the new hire to get started. But if you rush this step, you run the risk of negatively impacting your workplace environment. That’s because you’re introducing new hires to the work floor who aren’t confident in their understanding of your processes. Their lack of confidence can turn into a negative sentiment about your organization. Ultimately, this can lead to employee churn.
To reduce employee turnover, make sure that your onboarding program is thorough. Give your new hire a list of what you expect from them. Don’t forget to share what they can expect from you.
Also, implement a mentorship program. With a mentorship program in place, your new hire will have a point person that can provide much-needed guidance and assistance. This can help the new hire get more comfortable in their position. After the formal training ends, your new hire can continue to meet with their mentor via one on one meetings.
3. Make Communication a Top Priority
Communication plays a big role in the workplace. A workplace without proper communication is ultimately ineffective.
There are a lot of ways that communication can fail in a workplace environment. One of the most common communication failures occurs when management doesn’t share enough information with employees. In this scenario, employees often feel like they are the last to know. They may lack confidence in their job. They may lose trust in their managers. And they may begin to gossip with each other about the state of the organization. None of these options are ideal.
Be transparent in your interactions with your employees. Make sure that they know what’s happening and that they have enough information to do their job well.
Also, recognize that not every employee communicates in the same way. Some employees prefer to communicate directly and others indirectly. Ensure that your managers understand the different communication preferences that exist within their individual teams and are able to effectively communicate with their team members.
4. Make Your Office Comfortable
Many organizations have opted to downsize their offices and adopted a hybrid working arrangement where some employees come into the office some of the time. But whether you’re operating a full-time or hybrid office, it’s important that the employees who do show up to work in a physical office feel comfortable with their surroundings.
Ensure that your workplace is stocked with all of the essentials that your employees need to do their job effectively. Also, provide amenities that make it fun and attractive to come into the office. Provide plenty of comfortable seating, and include natural elements, like plants, that purify the air and beautify the space.
Invest in quality furniture that supports your employees during their working hours. Ergonomic chairs, desks, and keyboards are a great start for a more user-friendly office. Also consider lighting, especially naturally lighting, as another important way to improve your workplace environment for your employees.
5. Encourage Work-Life Balance
Encouraging your employees to balance work with the rest of their lives definitely improves your workplace environment. Which is better: Happy, well-rested, and bright-eyed employees who have taken full advantage of their paid time off or are stressed out but never-missed-a-day employees who are barely phoning it in?
Obviously, the first option is better. Although our culture tends to celebrate workaholism, it’s not only healthier but also more productive to take time off regularly.
And even beyond individual time off, consider offering company-wide time off. This can ensure that the undercover workaholics who feel too guilty to take a day off individually are still able to recharge.
6. Invest in Your Employees’ Mental Health
Burnout is a monster that lurks in the shadows. If you’re not careful, this monster can snatch even your best workers one by one.
One of the best things you can do for your workplace environment is to invest in your employees’ mental wellness. Start by choosing health insurance policies that include mental health and wellness options.
Also, train your managers to be sensitive to your employees’ needs. Your managers should actively ask employees how they’re doing both on the job and personally and be a listening ear if your employees want to share. These days, a huge chunk of the workforce also serves as caregivers. Whether they’re taking care of aging parents, ill spouses, or young children, today’s worker has a lot on their plate. This can affect their mental health and their performance in the workplace.
By truly listening to your employees and offering both sympathy and workplace accommodations in terms of scheduling, you can prevent your employees from succumbing to burnout or ultimately quitting.
We spend years of our lives at work, so our work environment matters. It can impact our mental and physical health. Use the above tips to improve your workplace conditions for both you and your employees. The more you invest in your workplace environment, the more engaged, productive, and fulfilled your employees will be.
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