Some employers falsely assume that looking at their employees like they are no more than numbers helps their management abilities and thus increases productivity. However, a recent study found that a happy employees tend to be 12 percent more productive, while those unhappy ones sometimes let their productivity drop by a staggering 10 percent. How is that for numbers?
Additionally, there is an interesting saying that most people don’t leave their jobs, but their managers. Now imagine one of your star employees, a person you sent on seminars, conventions and put most of your hopes in, poached because they felt like you didn’t appreciate them as much as they deserve.
Luckily, both of these things can be avoided by doing just two things. Making sure your workplace is a pleasant environment to work in and finding ways to personally show appreciation to every valuable member of your team. Here are few tips on how to get there.
Ok first things first, most guides advise against fraternizing with your employees and they are right 99 percent of the time. This would sometimes be the cause of stories that you are biased towards some members of your team, which is bound to cause a no small amount of jealousy and even in-office animosity. Needless to say, this is the last thing you need. Furthermore, it would be outright strange and discouraging if you were friendly and assertive one day, then cold and professional the next. In order for your employees to trust you (and trust is the foundation of any relationship) you need to be consistent. Just keep in mind one more thing, professional doesn’t necessarily mean cold or authoritarian.
Money is Not Everything
Let us be perfectly clear about one thing – your employees are for the most part in there for the paycheck, but this is not the only thing they care about. Sometimes, those ambitious ones will be more concerned with their prospects of vertical movement within the company structure and you need to make this possible. Sure, in smaller companies there may not be enough room for such a thing, but then in order to boost moral you will have to make some. In rare cases, this even means making some lateral movements that subjectively feel like a hierarchical step up.
In some cases, your employees won’t be looking for a material endorsement, but only your affirmation that they are indeed doing a good job. Sometimes, this doesn’t have to be more than a verbal expression of gratitude, but there are definitely some better ways to pull this off. For example, you can write them a thank you note and follow it up with a free lunch, gift card or a fruit basket. On the other hand, you could also commend them in front of the entire office, but be advised that such a thing could potentially backfire. This is basically for the same reason why ‘employee of the month’ tradition should be abolished- it makes it appear like you are putting certain employees on a pedestal, while neglecting others.
Be Their Safety Net
No, the customer is not always right and by keeping up with this outdated business stigma, you will only estrange your employees from their management. Of course, everyone makes mistakes, but when your employees are unjustly accused, it is your duty to step up in their defense even if that means losing a client. This way, you can rest assured your employees know they can always rely on you, which is bound to make them more comfortable in the workplace. Moreover, this ensures that when there is a serious problem, they don’t hesitate to inform you about it. This last part is a problem that the most authoritarian of bosses sometimes face.
Keep the Place Neat
Finally, we need to discuss the issue of the office and the way in which its state could positively influence the mood and work morale of your employees. First of all, having proper workstations is an absolute must. However, keeping your office neat is another thing to keep an eye out for. You see, there are numerous studies showing that people function better in neat than in messy environment. This is why, you should either get someone to clean your premises full-time or simply outsource this task to the chosen amongst the most competent of commercial cleaning companies in your area.
Invest in a Breakroom
Another investment that could benefit your business is making an incredible breakroom, which means something like equipping it with a pinball machine or a Ping-Pong table. Imagine a scenario where you were to invest in a new piece of hardware. Everyone would be convinced that you are doing that only to boost your productivity and therefore your profits. On the other hand, when you decide to invest in a breakroom, you are sending a clear signal to your employees that this is something you are doing for them exclusively. One more thing, in case where not all of your employees take break at the same time, this will prevent those on a break from distracting those who are still working
As you can see, most of these tips are completely inexpensive and simple to introduce and uphold. However, if you are still reluctant to consider them, perhaps it is a time you started looking at them as an investment. Just keep that stat of 12 percent increased productivity (that we mentioned in the introduction) in mind. This is what you get for undertaking all these steps successfully. Not to mention the personal satisfaction of becoming someone’s favorite boss, without even breaking a sweat. It simply doesn’t get any better.
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