While you, as an employer, have no influence over your workers’ private lives, you can do a lot to make their days at the office easier and more comfortable, which really should be of the utmost importance to you. After all, a happy employee is a productive employee.
It’s good to start with something that can be adjusted to everyone’s needs – the workplace environment. It’s crucial for people to feel good in the place where they are supposed to be productive for several consecutive hours, especially if they come to the office every day.
As such, it’s advisable for every manager or business owner to start by simply talking to their staff. Gather honest feedback, ask about their frustrations and ideas; then, develop some solutions and ask people again before implementing the changes.
You can redesign the office, make sure it has the proper lighting, the right colors, and some greenery. After that, you may rethink the company culture, considering its diversity and openness, as well as promoting wellness and work-life balance.
Below, you will find more tips to increase employee satisfaction by improving the workplace environment – you will quickly see it is worth all the effort.
Talk to Your Employees
This is the very first step in creating a happier workplace. Without knowing how your staff feels about their environment, you can’t make it better.
Gather feedback from both your employees and the management team. Whether you want to develop a better culture or just improve the office’s design and decor, an honest conversation is a perfect place to start.
Ask your employees about their workstation, the temperature, the light and sound, the equipment, and tools. Find out about their frustrations and what could be done to improve them. It may even be something as small as a new copy or fax machine. Do you want to see how long does it take to send a fax with your current machine? If it’s an old-fashioned one, it is probably a daunting and frustrating task to send one simple document, but it can easily be replaced with a more modern machine or even an app that allows faxing with your computer or phone.
At the same time, talk to your management team about challenges keeping your business from achieving its full potential. Gather their opinions about productivity and growth opportunities. Collaborate on improved solutions.
Redesign the Office
Once you know what your staff thinks about the office, it’s time for some changes. There are several ways in which you can make your workplace more comfortable and pleasant. First, find out whether your employees can adjust their desks to their needs. Make sure they have all the necessary equipment, such as computer monitors, lamps, headphones, and other devices.
If possible, allow some flexibility in workstations. If you have enough space, let people do what’s most convenient for them – perhaps one person likes sitting by the window while another is at their most productive in the shadowy corner. If you need to purchase some equipment, consider something like ergonomic chairs. A properly designed chair can make a big difference in your workers’ comfort and satisfaction. If possible, go for the adjustable ones.
And don’t forget about the surroundings and esthetics. Make sure the office is properly lit, with a comfortable color scheme, and some greenery. And while you’re at it, organize and clean up. We all know how clutter can become distracting once it gets out of control.
Promote Wellness Among Employees
A healthy office can also lead to a more productive workplace. Try promoting a healthy lifestyle among your employees as part of your company policy.
Decide on the things that are within your control – for example, provide healthy food options and drinking water in abundance. Of course, there are many ways in which you can do this, but the best way would be to go organic – after all, you’re doing your business a favor when you ban artificial preservatives, colorants, flavors, and other chemicals. Your employees will thank you for that.
Other benefits might include gym memberships, yoga classes, or meditation sessions.
Offer Flexibility to Support Work-Life Balance
If your employees are working long hours and weekends, they’re probably not happy. It’s not a healthy situation for anyone involved, especially if you want to keep your business running smoothly. Try providing some incentive for a better work-life balance. Make sure your employees don’t feel as if they’re in a rat race, constantly chasing the promotion and compensation that never arrives.
A simple, inexpensive way to achieve a better balance is to offer flexible working hours and a possibility to work remotely (if their work responsibilities allow that) from time to time. This way, you’d let your employees determine the rhythm of their work instead of making it stressful and unpredictable.
Promote Diversity, Openness, and Inclusion
In order to give your employees a proper environment, it’s also important to make sure everyone feels equally welcome. This means promoting an open and diverse culture where every person is valued. Make sure your work environment is comfortable for all gender identities, sexual orientations, races, religions, and beliefs. Embracing diversity is a great way to encourage collaboration between people from different backgrounds who have unique perspectives.
To create an inclusive workplace, you also need to pay attention to accessibility; consider the needs of people with physical, vision, or hearing impairments, and make sure the building is accessible for people with mobility issues. Make sure your staff knows they can talk to you about anything or talk with each other without feeling pressured or embarrassed. You should also eliminate any bias in hiring and promote diversity in all aspects.
You, as an employer, have a lot of power when it comes to improving your employees’ satisfaction – all you need to do is ask and listen, then discuss, offer solutions, and implement them.
Caring for your employees pays off. Do your best to create a pleasant and comfortable working environment, offer flexible scheduling, and promote good health and wellness habits. Your business benefits from happier, healthier, and more productive employees, while they appreciate your efforts to make their lives easier.
When you take care of your employees, they take care of you and your business. They will be happier, more productive, and deliver high-quality work – and that’s what it’s all about.