Your workplace is the biggest perk — or the biggest detractor — of your business for potential employees. It’s the reason why people choose to give it their all or leave unexpectedly without notice.
Business owners can decide which category they want their work environment to fall into in the minds of employees. Even though it takes more intention, investing in creating a fulfilling, supportive workplace sets off a domino effect of positive change.
Plus, it’s a lot easier than you think!
With a little finagling, you can make the work environment so awesome that every other business is jealous of your thriving employees. These five steps will point you in the right direction:
1. Be Transparent and Authentic
When bosses are open and honest with their team members, it creates an environment built on trust and mutual respect. Workers know they can turn to their manager with challenges and successes alike, creating a positive working relationship.
Likewise, when bosses are authentic, adhering to the values of the company and the standards upheld by staff, they build a thoughtful company. Everyone embodies the civility of the workplace rather than getting tangled up in workplace drama.
To create an amazing work environment, set positive expectations with staff during weekly meetings and one-on-one conversations. Always give each person the full story rather than withholding information, especially during times of transition. Be clear with negative feedback as well. You don’t have to wait for an issue to balloon into a bigger problem — instead, communicate openly as soon as you see a problem.
2. Make Room for Play
Play is essential to productivity and creativity. For business owners, it’s the key to creating a work environment that both attracts top talent and keeps people happy on the job.
Researcher Stuart Brown describes play as “goofing off.” Unlike other activities, there’s no set purpose for the activity beyond the intrinsic joy of the experience. It’s easy to lose track of time playing because you’re so immersed in the experience.
Think about incorporating fun activities into your business’ routine. Instead of dictating what fun looks like, talk to your team. Get some feedback about what they would enjoy doing. Sometimes, it can be as simple as an unstructured break or as well-planned as a fun holiday party.
According to HR Magazine, the effect of play on performance is exponential. Employees participating in playful activities are 24% less likely to take sick days, 22% more likely to feel creative, and 12% more committed to their organisation.
3. Accept Individuality
Some workplaces try to stamp out their employees’ differences to create a uniform experience. Although that may seem like a good idea, it can actually damper everyone’s interactions — including customers’.
Instead, let employee be themselves. Rob Goffee, a former professor at London Business School, and Gareth Jones believe that this approach is the key to Waitrose’s success across Britain.
As a Waitrose executive shared, “Great retail businesses depend on characters who do things a bit differently. Over the years we have had lots of them. We must be careful to cherish them and make sure our systems don’t squeeze them out.”
So next time your employee describes an unusual hobby or wants to do something differently, give them a chance. In the best environments, workers are the same people they are in their jobs as they are outside of it — that dynamic creates a shared harmony that translates into every aspect of the company.
4. Create Meaningful Work
We all want to feel like there’s a reason behind what we do. There’s nothing worse than arbitrary work that seems meaningless. As a business owner, the stronger you can make the connection between day-to-day tasks and their positive impact in the world, the better.
If you run a small restaurant, talk to employees about how vital it is for customers to have spaces to celebrate, share with each other, and experience different cultures. Next, think about creating a mission statement that emphasizes your company’s highest contributions.
By tying a dishwasher’s work to the noble and long-standing importance of feeding people, you invoke a very different attitude from employees. If you want to take meaning to the next level, collaborate with a non-profit initiative that supports your mission as a company.
The Turkish restaurant Shish is a wonderful example. On Christmas, they served the elderly and the homeless in their London neighborhood for free as part of a “No One Eats Alone” campaign. The results were a renewed sense of meaning — and a lot of press, which more than made up for the cost of serving their neighbors.
5. Offer Development Opportunities
When employees know that they’re learning valuable skills and growing their career, they’re much happier at work. On the other hand, workers that show up solely to pay the bills aren’t passionate (or dedicated) to their jobs.
The first step in offering development opportunities is learning about the ambitions of your employees. Unfortunately, recent statistics show that 44.8% of UK workers feel uncomfortable discussing their career goals with managers. Try to bring up the topic in informal conversations and offer workshops that help employees to identify their personal strengths and long-term aims.
From there, you can set up more formal meetings with each worker to talk about how you can help them grow. Even the smallest resources help, such as giving a worker a stipend for a class or offering them an opportunity to implement a passion project at work.
By creating opportunities for workers to grow at your company, you make it more likely that they’ll want to stay — and that other people will want to join your business!
Each of these five ideas is a proven way to increase engagement and dedication at work. Implementing these suggestions as often as possible means that, soon, competitors are going to be mesmerized by the performance, productivity, and contentment of your staff too.How To Create A Work Environment Other Businesses Are Jealous Of Nick Lucs