Your employees work for you on the basis that they’ll get paid. However, something that a lot of business owners seem to neglect is the wellbeing of their staff. Happy staff turn your business from a screeching factory to a well-oiled machine. Everything works smoothly—there’s less chance for things to go bad and the atmosphere in your office will be much friendlier.
It’s important that you don’t neglect setting up your office to become an enjoyable place to work in. We’ve all had situations where we’re employed by a boss that doesn’t seem to care much about his or her staff. Perhaps the chairs are wonky, the computers are slow or there’s never any tea or coffee in the staff kitchen despite all your pleas to order some.
To give you some advice, here are some tips that’ll help you stay connected with your employees so that your business runs smoothly and without any hiccups.
Communicate with Them
Communication is one of the most important aspects of keeping a business running. If your product or service goes through several steps before it reaches the customer, then you need to make sure that your staff are communicating properly to get the product into the buyer’s hand as quickly and as efficiently as possible. No one likes delays when it comes to processing orders or dealing with customer support. The only way to speed it up is to have a team that can talk to each other and work as a single unit.
It’s also important that you communicate with employees by understanding their issues, their concerns and any disputes they have. An employee wants to feel like their contribution to the team has an impact on the success of the business. In some ways, knowing that you did a good job and getting a pat on the back from your colleagues and boss is far more rewarding than a paycheck.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
For a week or just a couple of days, move out of your office and join your staff on the office floor. Assign yourself a computer just like theirs, sit on the same chairs and use the same equipment. You’ll be surprised at how many flaws you can pick up in how your office is set up if you put yourself in your employee’s shoes.
It’s also a statement to your staff that you care about their well-being. If they see their boss working alongside them it’ll be a motivational boost and you can also keep an eye on troublemakers or lazy staff. It’s an eye-opening experience and you’re sure to find plenty of problems that you can improve on. Alternatively, you might just discover that your staff were lying about their discomforts and you’ll be able to tell who you should be firing.
Health and Safety Training
While there aren’t many accident-prone areas in an office, this is extremely important for outdoor businesses, anything with active machinery and businesses that deal with customers on a face-to-face basis. Health and safety can include proper office etiquette, learning to use machinery so that people don’t suffer injuries and of course, safe driving in the case of a transport-related business.
Your employees might dislike health and safety training in the office, but it’s invaluable to them when you take them to a construction site or something equally as dangerous. Always plan team-building exercises too and get your staff working together to promote cooperation. There are also health and safety training courses that cover a wide variety of different subjects.
If the chairs are broken, replace them. If the air conditioning is broken, fix it before summer arrives. If the computers are slow, consider upgrading them.
There’s a fine line between “productive upgrades” and “luxury upgrades”. Depending on how much money you’re willing to spend on improving the quality of life for your staff, you need to distinguish between what has to be replaced and what could be improved.
Things like broken chairs or keyboards with missing buttons are inexcusable. Always replace them but don’t use it as an excuse to let your employees upgrade to fashionable furniture or extra comforts. Test the chairs and keyboards yourself or ask a specialist or a trusted friend so you know if you should be replacing their office equipment or not.
If you do plan to spend an extra amount of cash on luxuries, then don’t get carried away and make sure they will ultimately improve the productivity in your office.