8 steps to improve your work environment
12th Dec 2017
Improving your work environment and culture can be both beneficial for the employer and employee. If you think about it, it makes sense. The happier an employee is, the more of an advocate they become and in turn increase productivity.
Personnel Today (2017) found that 45% of UK businesses have a wellbeing strategy in place, Employees who feel they are being looked after are more likely to work harder. Improving your work environment can not only improve productivity but help to encourage a healthy life balance.
Here are some tips you can should consider when improving your culture:
Although you may not implement every suggestion employees make. It’s important to listen to what they want, it’s a sign of respect. The act of listening to employees allows you to understand the kind of culture your company currently has or what they wish it to be.
Remember, your business may not be able to function with employees so it’s important that employees have a voice. They need to know they are valued in your business. Not sure how to effectively listen?
Creating initiatives such as dress down Friday or time off in lieu can be a real motivation to your team. It’s a gift from employer to employee and represents the type of culture you wish to create.
Having an hour for lunch every day or adding a ping pong table to the work room may cost you in the short-term, but there will be a rise in motivation to increase productivity.
Don’t underestimate a motivated employee. When you treat your employees correctly they will return.
Flexible working options can sound daunting for some business owners, but it doesn’t need to be a drastic change. Accumulate suggestions from your employees, if you allowed everyone to leave an hour early, which day would they prefer?
As studies have proven in Sweden, a 6-hour day on an 8-hour salary led to higher levels of happiness, sick days reduced by 50% and increased energy at work and at home. It may feel crazy to pay two extra hours but with these verified results demonstrate it’s definitely an investment! Providing the flexibility for child care arrangements, appointments and care for relatives is a great start for increasing employee morale, reducing employee absenteeism.
Flexible working could mean remote working options. Offering an associate model (we offer this model at Corvus!) could mean you work from home a number of days and work in the office other days. It’s more flexible for child care and other reasons such as you’re more productive with fewer rules and restrictions.
Living an hour away from your office can cause you difficulty, this is another reason you may want a remote living option.
Respect is so important for employees to feel enjoyment in what they do. There are many ways people show disrespect such as micro-managed, ruled by fear and treated like a child. Since employees can spend upwards of +35hours a week in their workplaces, it’s clear that employees deserve to be treated fairly. Firstly, it’s important to ask how an employee likes to be managed, try and tailor your current management scheme around their needs. It could mean a happier and productive employee.
Ruling by fear and treating employees like children, these sounds like horrendous work conditions, does your company have a high employee turnover? Well, this could be the problem. You’re costing the company more money by not improving the work environment. Your employees have been through screening processes and interviews, you know they can manage their workloads, their clients and their targets. If these important activities are not being completed, this is when you need to intervene.
Did you know that 131 million sick days are taken in the UK annually?
Grey-Thompson states that sitting at a desk for eight hours a day can increase the risk of premature death by up to 60%. That is a scary figure! It is recommended to build office spaces to encourage movement. This could be anything from walking to and from the printer to an exercise ball in the office.
It is important to maintain activity to improve maintain a healthy body to prolong life expectation. Some suggestions could include free gym passes and gym equipment in a work scheme to motivate workers. Other suggestions could be providing a day a month of a team-building exercise. – If this is something you opt to do, it’s important to assess all team members level of health and ensure the activity is acceptable for all.
Everyone knows the importance of a healthy diet, we’ve all heard we need to eat our 5 a day. But who actually does it, except for gym buffs? In an office environment, it’s very easy to get trapped into an unhealthy snacking regime. Things to consider in the office environment, adding a fruit basket or healthy snacks.
This is readily available fruit which is free to encourage healthy eating. A small cost to the company could mean healthier staff and less sick days. The difficulty with workers eating lunches is they often eat too much and make poor food choices. Introducing a comfortable environment to eat and socialise with team members can encourage a more movement and sensible amounts of food.
Mental health problems can cause loss of production, increased recruitment costs and increased absences. The ACAS even claims that mental health problems cost employers £30million a year. (That’s a lot of money!)
There is a range of things employers can do to improve work environment to maintain a healthy mind to ensure employees can de-stress. Suggestions for improvements by providing outside space, chillout rooms, plants, team building exercises and relaxation classes. It is important to promote wellbeing to your staff and show support for staff with mental health problems. This can make a significant difference in decreasing the stigma with mental health and show a supporting culture in work.
Essentially, all points mentioned above are interconnected. Many of these tips have been proven to create a more productive team and improve the work culture. Which mean making your company more money! Some points may seem like a long-term investment but that’s what your staff are, you’re reducing recruitment costs every day they stay with your company. If you’re seeking a recruitment company to help find the perfect staff for your culture, why not contact us on 028 9091 8529 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.