Former Chairperson and CEO of Xerox Corporation Anne M. Mulcahy once said, “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”
As a young professional, I have been blessed with a great career, working for a company who truly values its people. From my own personal experience and through hearing tales from friends and colleagues, I’ve learned a lot about how the support a company offers to its employees leads to productivity in the workplace.
Below is a list of ten things every company should consider introducing to its employees to garner a happier, healthier and more productive workforce:
Show a genuine concern for people’s health and happiness.
It’s scientifically proven that healthier and happier employees are more productive at work and are more focused, goal-oriented individuals. Encourage employees to be more active, and even consider holding office-wide competitions to reward those who meet certain health or lifestyle goals.
Provide employees the resources they need to learn something new or become more efficient at their jobs.
One of the best ways to invest time or money in your employees is to help them become better at their jobs. Maybe there’s a certain training seminar your sales team has been looking into, or maybe your communications department wants to learn more about social media. There are plenty of organizations that offer classes or seminars from which your team could really benefit, and sometimes these small investments are what your team needs to really drive them to the next level.
Incentivize people with rewards that actually inspire them.
Ever wonder why no one gets jazzed up about your quarterly sales competition? What prize(s) are you offering to the winners? Not to burst your bubble, but lunch with the CEO isn’t exactly the most enticing offer to some individuals. A gift certificate for dinner and a movie for two? A paid half-day off? Now those are incentives people can get really excited about.
Encourage employee gatherings and activities outside of work.
Many business leaders and executives believe that once the clock hits 5 p.m., their employees are moving full speed ahead towards that front door. It seems that we spend so much time together during the workday that no one would ever consider spending more time together outside the office with their coworkers. On the contrary, when employees are given an opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves as a group, they can really benefit from it. Consider closing the office an hour early to do a team-building activity. We went rock climbing – and we even got one of the boss ladies up on a rock wall! Now that’s something to smile about ☺
Get people involved and encourage collaboration.
BBR has a long history of hosting Friday afternoon “beer-thirties.” The story goes that at 4:30 p.m. every Friday afternoon, all the great minds of BBR come together around a few cold brews to relax. It’s a great time to catch up on what we’re working on and to brainstorm upcoming projects. To outsiders, this may seem like party time, but to us, it’s a way to collaborate and get involved in those things we haven’t had a chance to see or hear about yet.
Foster positive relationships, and encourage compliments and public attaboys.
This one is pretty straight-forward. Everyone appreciates being recognized for a job well done. When that recognition is done publicly, it means even more. Encourage employees to give each other public shout outs and pats on the back. The energy really is contagious.
Set a good example.
As a business owner or leader, it’s important to set a positive example for your employees. If you always come in late, take a 2-hour lunch break, leave work early, go on numerous long vacations throughout the year, and trash talk your clients, your employees are likely to believe they should do the same. By setting a good example with a strong work ethic, you’re showing your employees it’s just as important to work hard as a bottom tier employee as it is when you’re a top tier C-level executive.
Treat everyone equally.
This one should go without saying, and it applies to everything in life, not just the workplace. Treat the janitor and receptionist the same way you treat the CEO – with respect.
Give employees an outlet to share honest feedback and concerns.
One way to foster a great working relationship with employees is to allow them the freedom and confidentiality to voice their feelings without fear of judgment or punishment. People want to be heard, and they want to know that you care. By providing your employees a private way to share their thoughts, you’re showing them that you truly care about their feelings and want them to be happy and successful. And remember, once you give them the outlet to express their thoughts, be sure to follow up and find a way to solve any issues they’re facing.
Practice an open door policy.
One issue that companies sometimes face (especially larger companies with multi-tier management structures) is a disconnect between the worker bees and the queen of the hive. By showing your employees that you’re available to them, you become more human in their eyes. This helps combat the intimidation that can arise between employees and their superiors.
There are lots of great ways to effectively market your brand or promote specific products or services with an end goal of increasing revenue, but sometimes leaders need to take a step back and look internally to determine how to take their company to the next level.