Creating a strong company with flourishing employees who are happy and productive can sometimes seem like an impossible juggling act. There are, however, a lot of things you can do to develop a workplace environment that is conducive to productivity, collaboration, and innovation. By removing negative influences from a work environment, putting your employees’ health and happiness first, and making sure that managers within your company are onboard with the changes, you can tackle the issues head-on and facilitate a lasting positive effect.
1. Communicate more effectively
Creating an open dialogue between team members and their managers is crucial to a healthy workplace environment. When managers aren’t willing to seriously consider the feedback they receive from their team, employees will quickly get frustrated. If your employees feel as though their opinions are being ignored, they will talk about the issue amongst themselves and an overall feeling of dissatisfaction will begin to emerge. Facilitate healthy, two-way communication between employees, managers, and department heads and make sure that your managers understand the importance of encouraging team members to reach out with their thoughts and opinions.
On the same note, recognizing your employees for a job well done is another effective and underrated method to improve productivity throughout your company. How should you reward your employees? There are quite a few proven ways that you can increase productivity by recognizing your employees. It’s up to you to decide if you want to create a formal employee recognition program or if you want to incorporate employee recognition more organically into the structure of your organization. Either way, making sure that your team feels appreciated for the work they do is a big part of keeping them satisfied and productive.
2. Protect the experience of your female employees
Is the work environment at your company damaging to the health of the women who work there? Sexism in the workplace may be more subtle than it was a few decades ago, but it certainly still exists. Make sure that the women who support your organization and help drive it forward feel comfortable and valued. Fear of getting looked over due to gender discrimination leaves many women scrambling to overcompensate, exhausting themselves in the process. On a darker note, somewhere around 38% of women have been sexually harassed in their place of work. That’s more than one in three. Have a policy in place for handling sexual harassment and be sure that your employees know that it’s well-enforced.
3. Promote the health of your employees
Support your employees’ health by providing water, fruit, and healthy snacks in the office. You’re accomplishing two major things with this mutually beneficial move. First, you’re exhibiting that you appreciate your employees and care about their comfort and health. Second, you’re physically making it easier for them to make healthier choices during the workday. Healthy employees are far more productive than people who feel sluggish and exhausted from eating badly and not drinking enough water.
4. Let toxic employees go
Get rid of the bad apples sooner than later. Low-performing employees damage productivity through their own inaction, but they can actually have a far-reaching negative effect as well. When your team sees a lazy worker who is getting away with not doing his job day after day, they will become resentful toward you for keeping the slacker around. It’s common for an unproductive employee to damage the morale of other workers because rest of the team will have to pick up the slack. This can lead to valuable members of your team becoming disengaged, or even leaving the company altogether.
5. Make the office more comfortable
You don’t necessarily need to spend a ton of money to create a beautiful office space that boosts productivity. Buy some low-maintenance plants to place throughout the office, let as much natural light in as possible, and make sure that the area is well-ventilated. Having an office space that is clean and attractive boosts morale and improves focus. Consider taking this idea to another level by investing in ergonomic office furniture to rid your office of back and neck problems. Allow your team more of a connection with their workspace by swapping out standard-issue desk setups and allowing employees a budget to design a workspace instead.