Experts have been arguing for decades that the only way to have a productive company is to have a healthy working environment.
But what does that actually mean in practice?
How can employers reach out and make their employee’s lives better?
It turns out that employers have a lot more control over their employee’s happiness and productivity than they might think.
Often, even the least productive people in your team can dramatically improve their work, so long as the office environment is conducive to work.
Many companies discovered back in the 1980s that certain practices simply don’t work. Things like punishing employees by taking money out of their wage packets for mistakes they make is a big no-no, no matter how reasonable it might seem from the perspective of the company.
Other things, like contacting members of your team on a Sunday afternoon, is also an excellent way to devastate morale and destroy a positive business environment.
The problem is that many small businesses still haven’t caught up with bleeding-edge companies when it comes to employee management.
While companies like Google and Facebook give their employees weekends and sabbaticals, as well as offices which could be described as “fun,” most run-of-the-mill companies take a conservative approach based on the 19th-century working model.
Workers work in gray cubicles with little stimulation and have to put up with being contacted during anti-social hours while they’d rather be recovering from a hectic week at work.
So what can your business do to make its working environment a little less sick?
Many employers think that pay is the most important thing in a worker’s life and the reason they turn up to work with a spring in their step. But with most jobs paying such low wages, this is unlikely.
Unless your employees are working in a commission- or bonus-based business, the main thing they’ll value is trust, honesty, and fairness.
According to a study reported by Forbes, fairness and trust are a priority for more than 90 percent of workers.
They want employees to keep their promises, make commitments that they’ll keep, keep employees updated and communicate how they want certain problems to be overcome.
Building trust can be rapid, so long as you own up to your mistakes, either at an individual or a managerial level and take the appropriate action.
Employee health is a major concern for many businesses. A lot of the time, employees can’t be trusted to look after their own health.
In fact, work itself can lead people to engage in the very behaviors that make them sick. So what can companies do to keep employees healthy, even though they can’t control what they eat or how much exercise they take once they get home from the office?
According to Lauren Lastowska, the manager of a firm that helps companies get their employees more active, companies need to promote preventive care.
Not only should they offer free vaccinations for things like the flu, but they should also help curb unhealthy food in the canteen.
Is your business environment suffering? Share your thoughts below.