To many people, work can be a total chore. They think of it as something that they have to put up with to do the things they’d much rather be doing. As a business owner, this can be a real source of worry and frustration. For one thing, it can affect productivity. It hardly takes a genius to figure out that miserable employees aren’t going to be anywhere near as productive as their more fulfilled counterparts. The days of keeping your employees working hard through fear and harsh deadlines went out of date with the likes of Scrooge. The other, much more personal side of it is that your employees are people. A good employer needs to recognize that their employees are individuals and need to be treated as such. Employees who are happy to be at work will produce higher quality work and will take more pride in doing so. The effect that this can have on the overall success of a business cannot be overstated. It seeps into every other aspect of your company. The key to creating this kind of business is to make sure that you’re providing a positive and supportive environment. Here are just a few ways that you can make your business somewhere that your employees want to be.
The workplace is for everyone
The worst thing that you can do as a business owner is to create an environment where certain employees feel uncomfortable, or worse, unsafe. Make sure that you’re acutely aware of any toxic workplace behavior going on. You need to have a zero tolerance policy on any harassment or abuse that may potentially happen. If an employee comes to you with an issue, then you need to be sure that you’re listening to their problem and communicating with them effectively. Make sure that they know that you’ll do everything in your power to support them. The other side of it is making sure that the premises itself are a safe and comfortable environment for everyone. There are a number of solutions to this. The most obvious one is to ensure that the workplace is as physically accommodating as possible. But you should always make sure that your employees are comfortable and happy to be in the workplace itself.
The worst thing you can do as an employer is to treat your customers like children. If you’ve hired them, then there’s a pretty good chance that they’ve proven themselves at least capable of doing their job. That alone should be enough to allow you to put your trust in them. Don’t be the kind of boss who stares over their shoulders and micromanages everything that they do. Of course, you should always make sure that you’re available to help them with any concerns that they raise. But if they are working well then trust that they don’t need constant cajoling or supervision. Make sure that your policies treat your employees with the correct amount of respect. Placing trust in them not to take advantage is imperative for creating a positive atmosphere. You should be setting high expectations for your employees, of course. But you should also have faith that they can rise to those expectations. Otherwise, they’re going to feel smothered and unappreciated, which is bad for both them and for you.
Foster employee communication
Of course, you don’t want your employees to be discussing their weekend plans when they’re supposed to be working. But, in the same vein as the trust you put in them, you should be making sure that they can communicate. Human beings are not meant to spend their time in total isolation. Doing so can discourage them from working to the best of their ability and make them dread coming into work each day. The best thing that you can do for your employees is to foster healthy communication between them. Open plan offices do this brilliantly. But you should think about going one step beyond that as well. Are their separate departments in your workplace that might not always interact? Try to find ways to help create healthy communication between them, particularly face to face. It’s one thing to send someone an email every day. But it’s something else entirely to speak to them face to face on a regular basis. An office filled with people who can communicate openly is a stronger, more productive office as a whole.
Remember, businesses are made of people. Without giving them the respect and support that they need then your entire business is doomed to fail. Take care of your employees, and they’ll take care of you.