5 ways to improve your workplaceTopic: How to:
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says most of us spend one-third of our adult lives at work. That should be a good enough incentive for employers to strive to create an enjoyable workplace for themselves and their staff.
Here are our tips on what could make your workplace better:
1. Encourage a healthy lifestyle
According to research conducted by Medibank Private on the health of the Australian workforce, 40 percent of Australian workers do minimal exercise, 46 percent live on high-fat diets, 62 percent are overweight and, consequently, employees with poor overall health status take up to nine times more sick leave than their healthy colleagues. This is why smart businesses are prioritising promoting health.
Google is one company that prides itself on promoting employee health. Their Netherlands office boasts an indoor bike lane, and their Boston office a rock-climbing wall. For smaller companies looking for a more low-key way to promote health, it can be as simple as investing in bike storage, exercise programs or having shower facilities. Or just replacing the office cookie jar with a fruit plate.
2. Create a productive and stimulating environment
The environment in which people operate directly influences their level of productivity. Make sure there is lots of natural light. It has shown to boost productivity and improve the sleeping patterns of workers. Provide comfortable chairs that allow employees to be relaxed while maintaining good posture. Colour is also important. A colourful wall or art display is not just visually appealing, it’s helpful for stimulating creative thinking.
3. Emphasise social interaction
This is so important for employee retention. People are happier at work if they form friendships with colleagues. A great way to emphasise the importance of social interaction among workers is to plan events. This can be anything from Friday afternoon drinks and shared meals, to team building holidays—if this is financially possible. Another way to promote social interaction is to utilise technology, implementing social tools like Yammer or creating a Google+ private community for you and your team is also effective.
4. Promote innovation
Nothing ever gets better by staying the same. Employees are a valuable resource for creating change, but they have to feel comfortable doing so. Holding regular brainstorming sessions is a great way to encourage creativity, teamwork and idea sharing. Offer unique rewards and benefits for those who embark on creative projects. Give praise when it’s due for successful endeavours, but also accept that progress requires experimentation, which can sometimes lead to failure. Embrace failure and learn what you can from it in order to move forward, make sure everyone understands that it doesn’t mean stop trying new things.
5. Invest heavily in human resources
The employee-employer relationship is in a transition stage in many industries. From the traditional method of extracting value from employees for business purposes, smart businesses are now instilling value into them. Focus on growing talent internally. Sponsor employees for courses and programs to build their skills, it’s an investment that will pay itself back. As Richard Branson says, “train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
And finally, seek out feedback about what you can do better for your employees. It will show you care about staff and may bring some valuable thoughts to surface.Do you have any great ideas about how to make a workplace better? Let us know by leaving a comment below!