Are you looking for a few pointers for improving office culture? Are your employees happy at their jobs? Stress and and a high-paced work environment can take its toll on your associates.
With all the stress of the modern career these days, not to mention the added work load and extra hours the average employee is expected to work, it is not hard to understand that the stress has negatively taken its toll. Statistically speaking, they’re less likely to be happy today than they were 20 years ago. In 1986, the Conference Board, a leading research group, conducted its first survey of job satisfaction. At the time, just over 61 percent of respondents claimed to like their jobs. While far from perfect, that number is impressive compared to the most recent Conference Board poll that finds only 47 percent of people are happy at work.
Thankfully, this statistic is far from universal. There are many companies that go the extra mile to provide a pleasant office environment for their employees. So you ask, how might I add a little more enjoyment to our workplace? Below are four tips you can take from the best performers and implement their strategies into your own workplace.
A Few Quick Tips for Improving Office Culture
1. Create Incentive
Creating incentive can be as future-focused as a cash reward system for exceeding performance expectations, or as simple as awarding the top closer of the day with an extra-long lunch break tomorrow. Giving employees any kind of privilege or compensation for going above and beyond is easy to implement and it can create an atmosphere of friendly competition that encourages everyone to bring their A-game every day.
2. Develop a Culture of Leadership
Good leaders make good teams. A company that invests in quality leadership and gives employees a clear path to leadership roles is a company that has a guarantee of excellence in teamwork. It’s worthwhile to develop programs that track what makes managers successful in your company and how to teach tomorrow’s managers those skills. And a good leader takes responsibility for him/herself. Our team building events are based on having every participant see how their actions and attitude effect the level of communication in the group. Along with leadership comes individual responsibility and that’s where the real change can occur.
3. Promote Self-Improvement
A study conducted at the University of North Texas in 2008 found that people who feel that their needs for achievement are being met are less likely to leave their current employer. It also finds a close link between that sense of achievement and the presence of effective training within the company. A company can benefit greatly by making sure everyone feels confident about the tasks they do and giving everyone the opportunity to learn new skills that can lead to greater responsibility. At a local restaurant that I frequent the current manager came up the ranks starting as a busboy. His efforts to learn and grow were clearly met with equal levels of responsibility.
4. Perks Work
At a lot of today’s most innovative offices, company perks get a lot of love from employees. Everything from gift cards to gym membership stipends and Foosball tables count as office perks. Most importantly, a perk needs to be different than an incentive. Instead of being a reward for good performance, a perk is just a treat an employee gets for being a part of the team. While doing freelance production work in NYC, one of the companies I worked for catered in lunch for the entire group every day. One day it was BBQ, another day it was panini’s. It was definitely always good and a great way to make that company more than “just another job.”
The unifying concept behind all of these workplace-improving ideas is to do more than just the basics. Each one is about adding something to the culture of the office and giving something of value to employees. By investing in the happiness and ambition of your employees, you create an environment of loyalty and satisfaction that pays off for everyone in the long run.