Have you ever worked for that ‘difficult to get along with’ boss? Or have you ever been in a workplace that took plenty but gave nothing back? Life is short, working hours are long, if employees are unhappy they will find a new place to work. We would and should all choose to work and thrive in a place that makes us feel happy, healthy and supported.
Make everyone feel like they belong
Create a supportive community, welcome your carefully chosen newbies and nurture them. The start is the precursor to what follows. Happy people are far more likely to be positive, creative, and productive. We don’t need evidence, it’s obvious, but in case you need to put a case to the decision makers who may not be able to see it, have a look here.
How to Create a Happy Workplace
Communication – Keep the dialogue open, a workplace rumour-mill can be far more detrimental than any truths you openly discuss. Listen to everyone in the workplace, solutions are as likely to come from the person on the shop floor as the ‘shirt and tie’ behind the desk, they know what works and what doesn’t.
Honesty – Be open and transparent, good relationships are based on trust. People will mess up, mistakes are learning opportunities, they need to know they can be open without fear of recrimination but knowing they’ll have the chance to learn how to get it right in the future.
Awards – Employee of the week/month, recognition awards, achievement awards – None of this has to be costly, or monetary based. Dangle a carrot in front of the donkey to move it forward, smack it on the backside and you get an unhappy, stubborn donkey. Noticing achievements costs nothing, but reaps rewards aplenty.
Motivation – Encourage others to do well, share common goals, know what you are striving for, the small goals as well as the large ones. Rewards for achievement or simply recognition and acknowledgement, just don’t let it be ignored. There is nothing wrong with healthy competition, it can be a powerful motivator especially if the focus is on the achievement and not any perceived failure.
Physical Wellness -Provide easy to take opportunities to look after physical health. Make drinking water available (preferable from a tap not a bottle), allow breaks, get plenty of fresh air. First, listen to staff throughout the organisation to find out what they are interested in. Encourage participation and you will benefit from a fitter, happier, stronger workforce and a drastically reduced sikness rate. Businesses like Innerfit focus on workplace wellbeing by providing highly regarded lunch-time workouts, wellness talks, one-to-one sessions and pop-up sessions. Consider providing that for your workplace.
Supportive Relationships – Human relationships are not perfect, it’s OK to gel better with some people than others. Everybody has some good in them, highlight that and keep focus on good characteristics. It’s worth mentioning here, positive recruitment is key, employ people who are suited to the role, as well as the team.
Mental wellness – Look out for each other, make time and take time to ask how colleagues are doing, remove the stigma and encourage people to speak up before a problem grows too large. Life can throw curve balls at any of us, acknowledge that and provide support when needed. According to Forbes, a recent survey revealed that the largest source of workplace stress is cited as ‘the boss’. The study also revealed that workplace stress has increased by almost 20% in the last 30 years. Provide mentors and make sure every employee is able to speak to someone in confidence. Don’t be that boss that causes stress.
Play to your strengths – Don’t allow people to struggle in jobs they are not suited to. If possible, train them or move them into positions that match their skill set, they will feel happier and perform better. Encourage peer learning, share examples of good and bad practice and be prepared to learn from them.
Community – Not just the workplace community, but the community around you. Be seen to be actively engaged, take an interest and participate in community events. Here are a few ideas to start you off. The feel-good factor for the team is a side-effect, this is on top of profile raising and developing a fan base of supporters for the business.
Environment – Create environment champions – People with knowledge, training and decision making power. Look at the environmental impact your workplace is having and reduce, reuse, recycle. Many small and large changes are easy to implement, some are less easy but possible with effort. We all know by now, but knowing and doing are separate things. Individuals and businesses have a moral duty to care for the planet. Imagine how good you’ll all feel knowing you are doing good, not causing harm. Here are a few ideas to be going along with.
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