Work is not something most people choose to do. Instead, it’s something they have to do in order to make money. For most people in the workforce, going to work is something they don’t look forward to doing every day.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Most of us spend a third of our lives at work, so shouldn’t it be a place we enjoy? As a manager or business owner, there is a lot you can do to create the kind of atmosphere that causes your employees to look forward to coming to work, at least most days.
Ask for Their Input
Work can be a difficult place for some employees to spend time because they feel like they don’t have any control over their workload or their day. The less control people feel like they have, the more dissatisfaction they will feel at their desk.
Create a warmer, more supportive work environment by asking for employee input regularly. For example, CultureIQ makes it easy by sending surveys to employees to determine their level of happiness in an effort to create a better workplace culture.
It might also mean asking for input from customer-facing employees on how to make the customer experience better, or asking what kinds of incentives would help increase productivity.
Just make sure you take their input to heart. The only thing worse than not being asked your opinion is being asked, but then nothing is done about it!
Help Them Find Extra Minutes
Everyone’s day is busy. Chances are, many, if not all, of your employees, feel crunched for time. If you can alleviate some of that pressure by freeing up a little extra time, your employees won’t dread coming to work.
A few examples for helping your employees find a few extra minutes in their day include:
- Reduce internal meetings
- Help employees delegate some of their tasks to others
- Provide a private place for employees to take phone calls to reduce distractions
- Keep items in the office organized to save time searching
Be More Flexible
Knowing when you go into work, where you sit, and when you leave can be comforting to some, but it can be a huge challenge for others. From scheduling doctor’s appointments to parents who want to go to important school functions, adhering to a certain schedule can make life stressful. Alleviate some of that stress by offering flexibility in the workplace.
Flexibility can look many different ways. For example, you may allow employees who take off a little early one day to make up the time by staying a bit later another day. You might allow some employees to work at home a few days a week, or you may consider allowing employees to condense the workweek so they can take Friday off. Do what works for your business and your employees.
Provide Opportunities to Grow
It’s more difficult than ever to retain good employees. That’s partly because employees are looking for new experiences and new challenges. If you can provide those new challenges in your workplace, you can increase their career satisfaction and reduce the likelihood that they’ll look for another job.
There are many ways to support professional development in the workplace. A few ideas include:
- Provide actionable feedback in real-time
- Provide mentoring and coaching opportunities
- Help employees develop soft skills
- Offer optional training programs
- Subsidize classes through a community college
- Pay for employees to attend conferences and workshops
Have Some Fun
There’s a lot of work to be done, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t take a back seat every once in a while. Sometimes, everyone in the office needs to have a little fun!
For some companies, that means having Nerf wars and pool tables, but if that’s a bit too distracting for your office, consider something a little different.
Try making your office more fun by adopting an office dog and letting interested employees take turns caring for him. Decorate for the holidays, get everyone together for a communal lunch, or simply make sure there’s always enough snacks to go around.
Special events can be a lot of fun too! Consider hiring a carnival to set up in the yard or schedule a day of unforgettable office Olympics.
Your office doesn’t have to be a place employees dread. Everyone can still get plenty of work done and actually enjoy coming to work, especially if you give one or more of the ideas on this list a try.