Motivating employees to do their best work is far from a simple task. Even the most adept leaders can struggle with meeting their workers’ needs. However, there are a lot of awesome strategies you can use to create a more engaging work environment to boost employee morale and see excellent output.
A study by The University of Warwick found that happy employees are 12 percent more productive. Keep in mind, your employees spent a good deal of their waking lives at work. The office is like a home away from home. Here are four ways you can make your workplace a more enjoyable atmosphere that motivates workers to do their best.
1. Implement flexible hours and ability to work remote.
Work-life balance has become a very important part of people’s everyday lives. When people feel like they are married to their job, they will inevitably begin thinking about making a change so they can spend more time with loved ones.
For instance, the average commute time in the United States 25.4 minutes. That is roughly 101 hours per year of sitting in traffic. Combine that with undesirable driving and parking conditions, and that is a decent chunk of someone’s life.
As technology advances, the ability to work from home is becoming much more ideal for some employees. This is a small luxury for workers that costs the employer nothing.
“The option to work from home is good for everyone," says Tanner Rankin, CEO of Source Approach. "As long is the system is treated with respect and performance standards are being met, working remote is a great way for employees to ensure they are experience more of life’s precious moments.”
2. Consider making your office pet-friendly.
Pets can make lives more enjoyable in a number of ways. In fact, an experiment done at Central Michigan University found that having dogs in the workplace can increase trust among employees and act as social catalysts. Also, most people do not want to leave their animals at home by themselves all day. As a lot of owners have learned, a lonely, bored pet can get destructive.
Etsy is well known for implementing a dog-friendly office. They strongly believe that letting their employees bring their dogs to work does a lot to keep spirits up while creating a sense of community. “They make people smile almost universally, and I think they allow anxiety to diffuse when they suddenly skitter by,” said Sarah Starpoli, employee manager of Etsy.
There’s no denying that pets can play a huge role in relieving stress. As long as pets can adhere to certain guidelines and behave, a pet-friendly office can do wonders to ease the tension.
3. Deck out the game room.
Having a game room at work is great way for employees to take a break and re-energize. Some experts are convinced that amenities such as ping-pong tables and video games can improve both morale and productivity. Having fun with fellow employees at work can raise commitment values, increase happiness and allow workers to bond outside the everyday stress their jobs entail.
When you’re designing an awesome game room for your office, pick games that need to be played with two or more people. Spending casual time together is essential in creating a good company culture that requires communication and collaboration. Additionally, it gives employees a better reason to stand up and move around. Everyone knows the dangers that come with a desk job -- back strain, headaches, etc. Games that require physical activity to offset the sedentary workday can help inspire creativity and prevent burnout.
Google has a famously relaxed company culture. They strongly encourage an 80/20 rule that allows workers to spend 80 percent of their days doing their primary job, and 20 percent for play and personal creativity.
Play has a big role in the evolution of humankind. The workplace should take this into consideration and promote an environment where employees don’t have to think of their jobs as just eight or more hours of sitting at a desk.
4. Celebrate often.
Letting your employees know that you appreciate them and they are valued can do a lot to boost morale and inspire top-notch work. This can be celebrating a birthday or a simply a good week.
Although this might seem obvious, small gestures that say “thank you” can go a long way. “Generally speaking, when workers know their hard work is being recognized, they are more likely to continue striving to do their best," said Ryan Jones, CEO of VIP Tickets Canada. "Even recognizing the small victories can help maintain focus on what the team is working for. It is a chance to sit back and reflect on what is being done right.”
In addition, celebrations outside of the day-to-day work environment can help bring employees closer together and improve internal communication.
Everyone likes to be recognized. Creating an innovative program that celebrates your employees can be a game changer for inspiring stellar work performances.