One of the best and most efficient way to promote employee well-being is to have a pleasant workplace. This makes your employees happier and healthier and will surely boost productivity, which is good for your business. How can you quickly improve employee well-being in your workplace today without spending a lot of money?
When you are considering how you can improve employee well-being, there are many things to keep in mind. For example, you can think about the physical layout of your office and the individual workspaces. You can look at opportunities that your employees have for social interaction. You can also explore what collaboration technologies you have available in the office.
These are just a few things you should be considering. Now, here are five creative approaches you can take today to improve the general employee well-being in the office:
1. Treat Employees Like People, Not Numbers
Employees do not feel appreciated when they are all treated like cogs in a machine. It may seem reasonable to expect everyone to follow the same rules and strategies, but these are real people with real needs, and not all those needs are the same. One employee might work better when listening to music, one employee might feel uncomfortable with a lot of email communication and prefer phone or face-to-race, another employee might feel pressured if they are micromanaged.
Just like every manager has their own management style, every employee has their own work style. As long as someone is being productive and contributing, why should they be hassled to fit into silly regulations? Honor everyone's personal style and encourage open discussion of workplace rules and standards.
2. Encourage Time and Space to Relax
Another way to improve employee well-being is to provide ways your employees can relax and recharge. Sometimes people get into the habit of working all day at top speed and then going home and collapsing, finally relaxing only at the end of the day. If you allow people to relax during small breaks throughout the day, they will actually be productive in the long run.
Also, employees will not be so eager to rush home at the end of the day if they are provided with opportunities to chill out during the workday. Obviously, you do not want people relaxing all day long, but it's been proven that people do work more effectively if they work in short spurts at a time and then take breaks.
How can you encourage employees to relax from time to time? It's challenging because people don't want to be perceived as slackers. You could provide a quiet break room with low lighting, separate from the break room where people eat and socialize. You could bring in massage therapists on a regular basis, or offer short periods of meditation and contemplation for small groups of employees together. Talk to your employees and ask for ideas - what would help them to recharge through the workday and return to work with a fresh burst of energy and enthusiasm?
3. Cut Down on Noise Pollution
Have you noticed how quickly an office space becomes noisy, even if it's a small office? People really do need quiet to work effectively. If someone is always trying to block out the noise of their coworkers chattering on the phone, socializing, opening and closing doors, and such things, they will quickly become stressed without even realizing why.
You want to help your workers be able focus by giving them a calm environment with very little ambient noise. How can you reduce the noise level in your office? Here are a few practical ideas to cut down on noise in the office:
- Put fabric carpets on the floors
- Add some padded furniture
- Install soundproof windows
- Close the door to conference rooms when they are in use
- Provide employees with noise-cancellation headphones
4. Honor Employee Privacy
Nobody likes to feel they are in the public eye all the time. Give your employees a chance to feel private and they will be much happier. They will work with more focus and be able to pay closer attention to their priorities without being distracted.
One way of giving your workers the privacy they deserve is to enclose the workspaces with screens or dividers. These do not have to be ugly cubicles; why not use pretty fabric curtains or Japanese screens? There is no rule that a workplace has to be ugly.
The point is to give people privacy not to make them feel isolated. Strike a balance between privacy and community. People should still be able to interact, just not feel spied on or watched.
5. Invite Collaboration Among Employees
Even if everyone has separate jobs they are responsible for, people enjoy collaborating and it is a very good way to improve well-being in the workplace. Encourage your employees to collaborate with others on projects. People should feel comfortable asking for help or input.
Foster an environment of cooperation rather than competitiveness. Offer a space in the office where employees might be encouraged to share working ideas. Invite people to discuss their ideas in meetings without feeling like they are wasting time or being judged.
Investing in employee well-being is a smart idea for every workplace. It is not a waste of time, nor is it a bad idea financially. In fact, you will improve productivity in the workplace. You will also increase retention of employees, because people will be happier and will not be eager to look for another job.
Before you can improve the employee well-being in your office, you need to know where you are starting. You should first determine the existing level of employee well-being and see how people are feeling about it. To do this, you could invite survey responses or some other way of getting anonymous input so people will be honest. Improving employee well-being should be something that happens not once and is then forgotten, but is part of the ongoing internal business planning. This will improve your profits in the long-run and make for a pleasant workplace for everyone.