It goes without saying, the productivity and success of any business are wholly reliant on its workforce. If employees are happy in their working environment, they will remain focused on their individual tasks, as well as share in the communal ethos driving their organization forward.
For those with the responsibility of managing employees, it is of the utmost importance that a spirit of positivity is maintained. The equation really is this simple.
Happy workers don’t just get on with the job, they are motivated to strive to better their performance, and they inspire colleagues to do the same.
Unhappy workers will be far less productive. Worse still, their negative influence is likely to have a detrimental impact on their team members.
For any HR department, there is an obvious goal to ensure the default frame of mind for their workforce is positive.
Here are four ways to guarantee a happy, optimistic and productive workforce.
1. Hire upbeat team players
The task of cultivating a positive culture in the workplace begins at the entry point. When potential new starts are presenting for an interview, as well as studying any impressive list of achievements and qualifications, and glowing references, you need to try and make an assessment of their character.
This isn’t going to be that easy within the interview’s time constraints, but we all know how readily we can get a good or bad impression upon being introduced to someone on the basis of their sense of humor (or lack of it), and the degree of enthusiasm they portray.
Use your questions to tease out pertinent details, especially how they feel about teamwork, or being asked to go the extra mile. If someone is portraying negative qualities and has a record of leaving jobs (which they gloss over with ‘personality clashes’) then don’t even consider hiring them.
2. Ensure the office environment is comfortable
No one should dread coming to their place of work because the strip light over their desk is always flickering and it hurts their eyes, or there’s a loose floor tile they keep tripping over, or the blinds are broken by one window so they can’t see outside.
Maintaining a comfortable environment is an absolute necessity if employees are to be kept motivated. If their organization doesn’t take the opportunity to do regular checks on this, the impression will be that the management doesn’t prioritize employee well-being. If this ethos persists, demotivation will set in.
Not only is a safe and healthy environment fundamental, it is not even an aspect that is going to place any strain on budgets. The cost of a replacement strip light would be trivial compared to the potential loss incurred by the team of disgruntled workers struggling to carry on with their projects until it is fixed.
3. Improve communication
A workplace activity that is essential to promote is strong communication. This is another attribute that can be highlighted at the interview stage, as employees who are prepared to give and take constructive criticism, and show initiative during tasks are a key component of your company.
As managers, you should always convey the impression your door is always open. While their need to be clear demarcation areas defining responsibilities, you should strive to create an atmosphere that is less grade-conscious.
Encourage staff at all levels to greet each other on first name terms. Get to know a bit about their personal lives – a word of encouragement from a manager to an employee whose wife is expecting a child would be warmly welcomed.
4. Get out of the work routine
Within the office, there are different ways to ensure your workforce are kept in a positive frame of mind. While some companies will lock-down all social media, the rules can be relaxed when employees are actually clocked-out on lunch breaks.
The Internet opens up a world of harmless distractions, and it doesn’t matter whether they want to consult the World Cup results, their favorite Australia dating site or YouTube clips, they will be sitting at their desk, headphones plugged in, with a smile on their face. The moment they clock back in at work they can return to spreadsheets and memos with catchy melodies lingering in their mind.
As managers, you should also be thinking about ways to engage your employees once they step away from their computer screens.
The office away days are an excellent way for employees of different grades to mix socially, performing tasks which are a blend of essential team-building skills and outright fun. And don’t think of excuses to avoid social events like birthday celebrations or Christmas parties.
Joining in the communal relaxation will help to engender a positive atmosphere for your return to the office.
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