Providing a healthy work environment isn’t just the latest fad created by major corporations such as Google and Facebook. Why is this so important?
Countless studies have been conducted over the years regarding the impact of the work environment on those who occupy it and that spending your days in a healthy, positive workplace can do wonders not only for the individual worker’s health, but also for their productivity.
Jeffrey Pfeffer, in his book: The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First, defines a toxic workplace as “a place where people come to work so they can make enough money so they can leave it.”
Fact: happy workers equals better productivity. Simple as that. So, as an effective leader, organize your business to nurture your team members and light the way to expand the productivity of each person on your team.
- Set out a clear and fair staff policy that applies to everyone. If a manager consistently misses deadlines you should take it as seriously as you would with a junior employee.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Have an open-door policy so that team members feel that they have easy access to you whenever needed. Keep them in the loop by sending out a weekly newsletter.
- Be flexible. 1 in 4 employees experience high levels of conflict between work and family life. Thanks to technology it is possible to plan a strategy. Give it a trial period.
- Allow individuals to personalize their workstations. By allowing even the slightest customisation, you also cement in the person’s mind that the space is “theirs” and that their job is secure, thereby reducing anxiety.
- Say “thank you”
- Offer rewards, incentives and benefits. Employees respond well to bonusses and other financial incentives. However, perks such as half days or social activities could also do the trick. Workplace amenities – like a gym, cafeteria or day care centre – are good incentives for employees to stay focused on their projects.
- Pay for additional education. You will create loyalty by adding skill to your workforce. It’s a Win-win situation!
- Promote wellness. Offer on-site flu vaccinations. Encourage exercise by partnering with your local gym for employee discount. Provide healthier snacks and fresh fruit in the lunchroom. Also, be mindful of mental health; have an employee assistance program for employees with excess stress or depression symptoms.
- Have some fun. Organize a social event once a month, encourage happy hour on Fridays, or issue a gourmet picnic basket to a well-deserved team.
Employees are the best asset of every organisation. When you create the right environment, achieving results through others becomes much easier.