Keeping workers happy is an important part of any business, because happy workers are the ones most likely to stick around, work hard, and generally grow your company on an ongoing basis. However, one of the things that might be holding back your efforts on this front is your workplace environment, both in terms of its tenor and even its physical makeup.
With that in mind, enacting even a few small changes could help people feel like they're going to be happier in their jobs for years to come, reducing turnover and increasing productivity. The following are just a few examples of these critical changes:
1) Have more non-work spaces
When people feel as though everywhere they turn in their workplace is a work space - whether it's the factory floor or the back office - they may feel like there's no escape from the day-to-day stresses of the job, according to Service Futures. Something as simple as creating a new break area - indoors or outside - where workers can unwind for a few minutes if they need to can be a big morale booster.
2) Let in the natural light
All too often, workplaces of all types rely on artificial lighting in every corner of their facilities, Service Futures advised. However, doing a little more to open the blinds or even add windows that let in natural light is scientifically proven to make people feel better and reduce some of the issues with working at an office, such as eye strain and headaches.
3) Provide healthy snacks
Many workplaces give employees the simple perk of having a few snacks and beverages lying around, according to Inc. That's often good for morale, but having candy or salty snacks, as well as soda or energy drinks, probably isn't the best idea for workers' physical health. Instead, buying things like trail mix, fresh fruit, iced tea and so on will typically be better for all involved.
4) Focus on team-building
Your employees may not always be happy at work when they feel particularly connected to their coworkers or the other people in the office, Inc., added. Setting aside time during the work day on occasion for team-building exercises will more than pay for itself in terms of increased productivity from employees who better understand how to work together and pull for each other.
5) Reward hard work
Want people to work harder overall? Give them a reason, according to Entrepreneur. If workers see little difference in their compensation whether they really burn the midnight oil or if they come in exactly from 9 to 5, why would they do the former? Giving the hardest or most productive workers a financial reward could provide that extra carrot to bolster engagement.
6) Encourage feedback and communication
One of the things that will make people feel more valued at work is if they feel they have avenues to take their concerns as they arise, Entrepreneur said. Something as simple as a suggestion box, or an open-door policy with their manager, could help them feel like they're being heard.
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