Creating a healthy office environment has less to do with things like getting rid of overhead fluorescent lighting and more to do with helping workers feel generally happier while they are at work.
Experts agree that workplace happiness stems from a sense of camaraderie, a sense of stability and safety and from feeling useful and needed. As the boss, you have the power to give all these things to your staffers.
Here are some ideas to turn your office into one big happy family.
Get Cooking on Better Unity
As the following article, “Take these out to the ballgame!” looks at, getting the office gang together for an outing is easier than you think. Given that just about everyone loves good food, why not use it to bring office folks together?
Organize an office baseball game to be held, not on a weekend day, but on a regular workday.
Don’t think you’re giving your employees something fun to do and then ask them to give up one of their weekend days. They’ll appreciate your gesture 10 times more if they see you’re giving up something by letting them close the office early and spend the day fielding baseballs instead of customer phone calls.
Let the foodies in your office shine by asking volunteers to make and bring food to share in a picnic environment after the game.
Hold the game on grounds with outdoor grills so employees and invited family members can also grill hot dogs, Bratwurst, and hamburgers if they want. Make a day of it and watch the smiles light up your employees’ faces.
As for the office, hire a temp for the day to answer the phones and take messages.
Office birthdays are commonly celebrated with 15 minutes of celebratory cake eating and chit-chat.
But office milestones can and should be celebrated as well. Both employee and company related milestones should be recognized.
Why not start a tradition of a free office buffet at work whenever someone beats their quote for the month or when your company sales hit a certain mark?
This helps give positive reinforcement to employees who are working hard, helps to inspire others to do so, and instills employee loyalty by allowing everyone to participate in celebrating company achievements.
Show interest in personal lives
Your employees have personal lives outside your office environment.
While you need to respect their privacy, it’s healthy to show a passing interest in the personal things that are important to your employees.
If your employee displays a new photo of a family member, it’s appropriate to comment on it in a respectful manner instead of ignoring it. If your employee’s child is graduating, it’s nice to acknowledge it and ask if they might like to leave early to be sure to get to the ceremony on time.
Your employees are people as well as workers.
When you treat them as such, they will respond with loyalty, dedication and hard work.
About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.