When establishing a new company, it’s vital that the employees you recruit are both comfortable and productive in their working environment.
Sadly, for some business owners, the task of building a workplace that’s ripe for productivity is easier said than done, and some workers can struggle to hit their stride for a range of reasons in a new job.
Luckily, there are a few measures that employers can take to help to create a productive environment for staff within a business – many of which are highly cost-effective. So let’s take a look at six approaches that entrepreneurs can take to ensure that their office-based working environments are as productive as possible for employees:
1. Uphold a healthy working environment
Healthy employees will certainly be better performers than unhealthy ones. While it can be hard to uphold a healthy lifestyle for your workers outside of the office, there are some actions you can take to keep your staff healthy in the workplace.
A total number of companies providing corporate wellness services/products in the US from 2007 to 2021. Image: Statista)
Another way of ensuring that your staff stay healthy is through checking that their posture is correct at their desks. While this may sound a little excessive, poor postures can lead to back problems if they go long enough without correction. More slouching may ultimately result in backaches and pains that form an unwanted distraction.
2. Create clear company values
Employees feel more positive towards a company when they understand and share its core values. Be sure to establish a clear set of organisational values that are well-communicated to staff.
Creating a recognisable mission statement helps to ensure employees that they’re part of a living, breathing organisation, as opposed to a faceless corporation. If you’re undergoing a commitment to environmental friendliness or driving social change, be sure to incorporate it into your internal branding as well as externally.
Build incentives towards these company values that help employees to feel an individual and personal responsibility to upholding them on behalf of the company. Doing so will not only help to foster positive attitudes within the workplace but will also make staff feel more positive towards the company and thus more likely to stay motivated.
3. Promote inclusivity
Happy employees need to feel valued and looked after regardless of their background, gender, age or sexuality. It’s imperative that all staff understand that they have equal opportunities to progress up the company ladder, and the same levels of access to all employee perks and rewards.
Be sure to make it clear that your business supports inclusivity, and is clear that a diverse workplace is a positive asset to the company. Furthermore, it’s important that all employees feel that they have a voice and a stake in a business. Arranging activity days and setting up suggestion boxes helps everybody to feel involved as well as gaining the courage to speak up and confidently make suggestions or offer input on how they believe the company can improve.
4. Encourage collaboration
Boosting collaboration opportunities, in general, will work wonders in creating a confidential environment where workers are happy to share their thoughts and advice on a range of company processes.
We’ve already covered the notion of installing suggestion boxes, but added tactics like coffee mornings, team getaways and company events are excellent for establishing widespread confidence in even the most introverted of employees.
By encouraging collaboration, your company can be more open to the prospect of fresh viewpoints among employees and faster levels of communication.
If one member of staff is having difficulty with a task, they’ll be much more willing to share their issue with a colleague that they’re in constant communication with as opposed to one they rarely speak to.
Furthermore, it’s important to create a code of conduct that’s ready to spring into action when the more negative aspects of working life can rise to the fore. Be sure to build a comprehensive complaint procedure for instances of workplace bullying to ensure that working life remains a wholly positive experience for everybody within your startup.
5. Reward employees for reaching their goals
One of the most effective ways of ensuring that employees have a positive work ethic is through a strong rewards system for when they reach their goals.
Monitor the average output of each department of your business, and create achievable goals for your staff. Whether those goals are reaching a certain number of sales for a month, or writing a pre-determined amount of words, or winning over fresh clients depends on your business. For each employee that reaches their monthly target, offer a reward that will underline their value to the company and encourage them to continue to perform at a high level.
Rewards don’t necessarily need cost the business money to buy, and they could hold significance in the workplace – some offices run an ‘employee of the month’ model that simply recognises the best and most-improved staff on a regular basis.
The biggest perk of setting staff goals comes from helping to establish the level of productivity the company is aiming to achieve in a non-intrusive way for workers. When goals are reinforced by businesses, it helps employees to feel valued – creating, in turn, a positive work ethic.
6. Establish company-to-employee communication
While it can be tempting for a business to offer a more translucent view of the company to its employees, it’s important to keep as clear as possible in order to establish a level of trust across all levels of a business.
Share performance figures with staff at team meetings, and be clear as to whether the company is meeting its budgets. Clear communication between companies and their employees will help them to form stronger bonds with the business, and better understand the significance of their performance.
Avoid lying to employees about processes and internal procedures. Doing so can create a level of mistrust and scepticism that could manifest within the workplace – leading to lower motivation and a drop in productivity.