Seven secrets to Creating a Great Workplace
Every manager worries about their employees at one time or another. From sick time to work time, the bottom line of the business is to maintain a great environment so everyone can do their best. Without a comfortable environment where employees feel they can do their job, you will find that turnover will rear its ugly head more and more often. So what can you do as a manager to create a great workplace environment? There are a few secrets that you can easily use to make your workplace a great one for everyone.
Secret #1: Show Them You Care
By showing a little bit of appreciation for your employees and their accomplishments, you show them that they are valuable to both you and your business. Now this doesn’t mean that you need to send someone to Tahiti every week (although if you are, I’m volunteering for the trial trip), what it means is that you can do simple things to show that you’re proud of them. Cater in lunch every now and then, even if it’s just some pizzas from the local pizza place, or grab donuts for the crew when you’re on your way to work. Everyone loves a free lunch, even if they worked for it. You can also do little things such as an Employee of the Month or Quarter, and fun things like “Neatest Desk” awards, and so on. Just don’t go overboard or it might look like you are trying too hard.
Secret #2: Communication is Key
Everyone in the world knows that if you cannot communicate with your employees, you might as well just close up shop. But believe it or not, many employers fail miserably when it comes to talking with their employees and clam up when it comes to important issues that everyone should be aware of. As an employee, wouldn’t you rather hear news (good or bad) from your management instead of office gossip? Sure you would. Staff meetings are an excellent way to keep your employees in the loop and ensure that they feel important in the business and not just a “worker”.
Secret #3: Educate Your Staff
Offering continuing educational opportunities to employees is a great way to invest in their future as well as let them know that you care. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy. Maybe even just an online class for something related to your field, their job, or some other area that will help them grow in the company. By providing these opportunities, you invest in your business and they get extra perks to help them be better at their jobs.
Secret #4: Opportunity Knocks For All
This one goes right along with #3, and it is offering opportunities for people to advance in your business. If your employees don’t feel that there is anywhere to go inside your company, some will get bored of working the same job forever and start to look elsewhere. If they know, however, that there is always room to grow, better positions to achieve, then they will be more motivated to work toward that. When you offer educational opportunities to your employees, make sure that you list that the class is a good step toward a promotion, a key part of a certain position, or something similar so that they know it’s not just a class.
Secret #5: Your Employees Have Personal Lives
This area is one that can be very hard for some employers, as they think about their business 24 hours a day. But your employees do not. Instead, they have personal lives outside of your business. Remember that and don’t expect them to be working 24 hours, 7 days a week, including holidays. This is the fastest road to burnout for an employee and one that a manager or business owner cannot afford to take. Allow your employees their time off to unwind and unplug from your business and their job. By having time to recharge their batteries, they will come back to work refreshed and motivated to get after it. Don’t expect them to eat, sleep, and breathe their job. Even if it is something you do, it’s extremely unfair to assume they will as well.
Secret #6: No Negative Nancy’s Please
Every company has one, that negative person that constantly sees the bad side of everything. But this does not mean that it needs to be the boss. If employees are constantly hearing the doom and gloom from a co-worker that they know is just a negative person, that is one thing. You don’t want them seeing you as that negative person or it will show in their performance and in your business. If workers feel that their ship is sinking, where is the motivation to work and make the business grow? It flies right out the window, and they start to follow it to another job. Don’t let yourself become the Negative Nancy in your business. Stay positive, no matter what, and keep any negative things to yourself.
Secret #7: Socialize With Everyone, Not Just Your Secretary
Everyone loves office parties. It’s a time when you get to hang out with those at work without worrying about work. Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, birthdays, and so on are all good reasons to get the gang together to have some fun. You can do this at the office and just take some time out toward the end of the day to goof off, or you can find a great place close by to enjoy some time away with everyone. Everyone loves to gather around a jukebox and just visit with each other. Don’t let these opportunities slip away from you to enjoy your employees as actual people outside of work. It can be a great way to get to know them all better.
Secrets, Secrets, Secrets
Sure, that might sound like a lot, but there are even more things that you can do to ensure your employees know that they are appreciated, know that their voices are heard in the business. Keep an open mind and an eye out on other business owners to see what they are doing. You don’t have to do things extremely elaborate, but you do want to do a few things to keep employees happy in their jobs.