By Kayla Matthews
Businesses experience ups and downs throughout the years as a result of many different factors. Profits might decrease because of a sinking economy or clients may prefer to take their business elsewhere because newer businesses opened up nearby.
Sometimes a business fails to exceed quarterly or yearly expectations because of the work environment. When employees aren’t happy to clock in every day or don’t enjoy the 40 or more hours they spend there each week, the business will suffer from decreased productivity.
Prevent this from happening by reading about how to cultivate a happy work environment. A few adjustments to the current work culture could make all the difference between your business succeeding or failing this year.
Balance Work and Home Life
Most people don’t choose a career because they want to work long hours and rarely spend time outside of the office. Even employees who do what they love will still want to leave work at work when they clock out every night. When there’s no clear boundary between the two, it’s difficult for employees to manage their stress and appreciate the opportunities their job offers.
Make it clear to employees that management intends to help them balance their work and home life. Strategies such as cutting down on unnecessary meetings or enforcing quiet hours where meeting rooms open up for phone calls helps everyone focus and get more work done.
At the end of the day, employees will feel happier knowing they accomplished everything they needed to and get to mentally unplug at home. They’ll appreciate their job and management more, leading to more productivity and a positive work environment.
Create Workplace Perks
At a certain point, working hard isn’t as rewarding as it once was. Employees who give their all every day will experience burnout and produce lower quality work at slower speeds. Their low energy may also spread to other employees who could feel the same way.
Encourage your employees and thank them for their hard work by creating workplace perks that go beyond a small yearly raise. Raises are nice, but they rarely make a significant change in an employee’s financial life.
Instead, check out perk ideas that everyone will love. A few easy ones to start with include:
- Increased Paid Time Off (PTO)
- Free snacks or drinks
- Memberships at a local gym
- Monthly work-from-home opportunities
It may be useful to send an office survey listing potential perks and asking people to vote for their favorites. The accurate survey results will guide management to the most motivating perks without a trial and error process.
Reinforce Work With Positivity
There may be no better feeling than a rewarding show of thanks after hard work. It’s more personal than a nod in the hallway after weeks or months of dedication. Management should reinforce hard work with positivity, which will result in more customer satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction is the same thing as customer happiness. When customers feel that they’ve been treated right, their happiness is what brings them back in the future. Without happy customers, no business can succeed for very long. The happier customers become, the stronger the business is.
An effective way to ensure customer happiness is to create a happy work environment. Employees who love where they work and what they do will spread their happiness to the customers they interact with. That’s why many businesses know customer happiness is necessary to achieve projected success.
After implementing tips like showing gratitude to employees instead of saying it, their happiness will be felt by customers who come back for more of that positivity. Host a workplace lunch, order a special award or meal for the hardworking employees or create special perks just for the best performers to see this result in your workspace.
Provide Professional Growth Opportunities
No one enjoys working a dead-end job. People always look for new opportunities to grow and dream about what their future holds. Even if your business is small or just starting out, you can still provide professional growth opportunities through things like online training or simply rotating job responsibilities. As your employees grow, they’ll become more invested in what they do and where they work, resulting in a happier work environment.
Communicate With Employees
Every workplace is different, so communicate with your employees frequently to learn what they’re dissatisfied with or where the office could improve. They may be more interested in more training opportunities or need encouragement after they’ve completed a project. Work with them to improve the work environment and achieve happier employees and customers at the same time.
About the Author: Kayla Matthews writes about communication and workplace productivity on her blog, Productivity Theory. Her work has also appeared on Talent Culture, MakeUseOf, The Muse and Fast Company.