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It’s been empirically proven that a happy employee is more productive than the average, ‘satisfied’ employee. Along with increased productivity levels, a happy workplace can result in higher profits for the company, fewer sick days used by employees, and an open door policy that's actually implemented based on mutual respect between the management and the workers. To avoid a negative work culture and to enforce a positive professional environment, there are certain key guidelines an entrepreneur or CEO should follow.
Provide For Work-Life Flexibility And Balance
Work-life balance is an important achievement for any full-time employee who is hoping to find that perfect medium between a satisfying personal life and a successful professional career. However, for an employee to make an honest attempt at this coveted balance without burning bridges with their co-workers and management, the big boss needs to be on board with this need for professional and personal harmony.
When aiming to create a positive work environment, it is essential to show your employees that you aren’t just supportive of them inside the office, but that you care about their well-being outside of the office as well. For parents, being present in the home and spending time as a family is a crucial component of their daily, or weekly, routine. It’s also imperative that your employees take care of themselves and that this need of theirs is taken into consideration - whether this consists of time with their friends and family, working out, or attending counseling or doctor’s appointments. The ability to show that you’re flexible in times of utmost necessity will prove to your employees that you see them as people, and not just as another number on your payroll.
Exercise Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement goes a long way, longer than most entrepreneurs or CEOs realise. Praising, rewarding, or acknowledging when your employee has accomplished something will only perpetuate their desire to perform well and feel confident when it comes to their daily goals and responsibilities. Giving recognition doesn’t fall short with accomplishments that only benefit the company, and should extend to the employees. Validation from the employer only adds to to the employee’s state of fulfillment and happiness within their workplace.
Install Perks That Aren’t A Pay Raise
A pay raise is nothing to scoff at, and it shouldn’t be overlooked as a method of positive reinforcement. It is, however, not the only perk an employee can enjoy. There are other, and more inventive, ways to pep-up and empower the people who put in long hours for you. These include food and gift cards, childcare programs, unlimited vacation days, or administering wellness activities that will improve your employees’ ‘outside of the office’ routine.
Throwing more money at a person, especially one who values a career over pay stubs can backfire in more ways than one. By eliminating an automatic payout, which can sometimes result in excessive pressure felt by the worker, offering a fun or meaningful perk can take the edge off, and can add some excitement to their day.
Abstain From Micro-Management
It can be difficult to prevent micro-management when you’ve built your own company from the ground up and feel the need to cater to or orchestrate every minor task or detail of operation. This level of dedication is more than justifiable - it’s expected. However, employing a new cohort of professionals means that you’re passing the torch, or at least a small piece of it, to those whom you’re choosing to trust anew.
Abstain from micro-management and build this foundation of trust, and your employees will not only feel a sense of purpose, but will also quickly take pride in their duty towards their work. After successfully learning to avoid micro-managing, as an entrepreneur or CEO, you’ll want to keep every commitment you make to your employees, and establish a method of communication that will be effective. As a result, the habit of micro-management will dissipate altogether. Employees who feel trusted and supported, without being hovered over, are statistically more relaxed and confident in the job they do.
Invest In The Employee's’ Personal and Professional Growth
Do you remember when you chose to branch out on your own? Was it because you wanted to be your own boss? Or was it because you wanted to create a continuous path of growth and excellence that only you could control? The average employee, especially one who signs a contract on an entry-level position, also yearns for growth and development. Investing time, energy, and training into your employees’ personal and professional growth won’t just benefit them; it will also benefit the company in the long run, as you experience a decreased turnover rate. The ideal scenario would obviously be to implement individual development programs for each employee, ensuring a raise or promotion after ‘x’ amount of time in your company.
However, this remains an impractical method, and in large companies, there will be employees that fall through the cracks. Instead, get creative and offer learning seminars, subsidized education options, or a crowdsourced library that will unite your employees as a community that works together. The more you display the amount of effort you’re placing into your employees’ professional growth, with learning materials or diverse opportunities, the more motivated they feel, and less like they’re just going through the motions of a job.
Celebrate Wins With Fun Days
There’s no better way to create a happy workplace than to host a fun day now and then. These are especially handy when there’s a reason to celebrate as a team, but of course, since people are instinctively social, a weekly happy hour or off-site event is sure to induce company bonding and stress-release. If you’re into combining work and play, assuming you’ve established a foundation of trust with your employees, a casual Friday or mid-day office activity could be fun too.
On fun and activity days that are meant to celebrate a milestone or achievement, it’s particularly necessary to emphasize each individual’s contribution. An individual’s or team’s achievement should be acknowledged by everyone at the workplace. One cohesive unit, that acts joyous and collective, is sure to create a happy work environment that can be enjoyed by all employees, regardless of superiority or position.
Promoting fun, wellness, and positivity will present employees with the incentive to not only pursue a high level of productivity but to also find their workplace as a source of fulfillment and happiness. Always take into account that while the usual fun day or sponsored lecture is guaranteed to put a smile on any employee's face, it doesn’t hurt to think outside of the box and surprise them with fresh, fun ideas. Office raffles, theme days, or establishing a scheduled ritual that’s unique to a workplace will set you apart as both a boss and a management leader.
Office culture in today’s industries is actively thriving, as companies introduce and market themselves as ‘weird’ or a ‘dysfunctional family’. The only way to achieve these labels successfully, and in a positive light, is to set your company apart from competitors while putting your employees on cloud nine and keeping them there. Be the happy workplace that doesn’t insist on checking their workers’ unique personalities at the door, ignores the need for a work-life balance, and allows their employees to remain on a stagnant career path.