Your employees are the lifeblood of your company. What they collectively do eight to nine hours a day while at work will predominantly dictate your business’ future trajectory as well as how fast it gets there.
By Dennis Hung
Providing them with a conducive work environment can ensure that they use their work hours in a productive and effective manner. But how does one create an effective work environment without undesirably raising costs? Here are five tips that can help you achieve just that:
Remove the Bad Vibes
Employees who are always getting in trouble with their coworkers create unnecessary stress and tension without the workplace, which prevents others from carrying out their job proficiently. Make sure to handle these employees, giving them enough warning to adjust their attitude, and, if necessary, cutting them loose so they can no longer incite conflict. To prevent this from happening in the future, refine your hiring process so that it keeps out people who are not a good cultural fit. Technical proficiency should not be the sole factor that determines whether a candidate is qualified or not; rather, it should be a mix of technical skills and personality.
Give Them Space
Give your employees space to do their work. A cluttered work environment where desks are laden with paperwork and cubicles are just a few inches apart can make it challenging for employees to get any work done without tidying up their area. Lack of personal space can also start conflict between coworkers and stress them out even more than they should be. Either lease a bigger office or be smart with how you allocate space for furniture and equipment i.e. using wall-mounted shelves to save ground floor space and storing data electronically so you don’t need to keep the bulky file cabinets.
A work environment that is clean and visually appealing can have a great impact in your workforce’s performance and mood. Adequate lighting, particularly from natural sources, can improve the mood and energy of your employees, which ultimately sharpen their focus and performance. Unfortunately, according to a report by Pots Planters and More, almost 50 percent of office employees state that their workplace has inadequate to no natural lighting at all. Aside from lighting, you can also increase the comforts of your workplace by investing in more comfortable chairs, more ergonomic computer keyboards, and proper ventilation and AC. People cannot perform at their optimal levels if indoor temperatures are too humid or too cold.
Harness the power of technology to streamline interdepartmental communications, improve cash flow management, and eliminate any bottlenecks that is restricting your business from scaling. Technologies, like vacation tracking software and team collaboration tools, cost money and involve a learning curve, which is why a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners are avoiding the transition to modern technologies. Keep in mind, however, that these costs are dwarfed by the potential gains reaped from business software, and that you can always offset the learning curve to a third-party organization or contractor.
No tool is perhaps more effective at boosting employee performance than incentives. Rewards and bonuses, when used correctly, can boost workforce morale and enliven everyone’s spirits. That being said, be sure to only offer performance-related incentives. Positive reinforcement is a powerful strategy, but it can also act as a double-edged sword against you, drying up your coffers with minimal results to show for. Employees see incentives not just for its cash value, but also as validation that they’ve done something right.
An effective work environment for employees is one that is not only rewarding, but also safe. As a sixth and final tip, make sure to turn your office into an accident-free area. Nobody wants to work in a place that is frequented by accidents and injuries, nor will anyone stay with you if your workplace is riddled with safety hazards and accidents waiting to happen.
Dennis Hung is a writer of all things business. He’s an expert in sales planning, strategy, pricing, and product Marketing. He has extensive knowledge in organic-only SEO, social media marketing, lead generation, and management consulting. As well he has administrative experience training in call centers and personal sales teams.