It’s not easy keeping a smile on your face in today’s business environment. Employers are faced with laying off employees, cutting benefits, workplace perks like bottled water and birthday parties. Managers and employees alike are focused on survival. Enjoyment seems to have taken a back seat.
It’s easy to let the good times roll when business is booming. But when times are tough, it’s more important than ever to create a positive work environment.
According to a recent article in the Chicago Sun Times, even in a lackluster economy, there are numerous inexpensive ways to improve morale of your staff. Here are several tips from the experts at Winning Workplaces about how managers can improve the workplace for their employees.
- Survey your employees. Successful employee retention and promotion begins with assessment. Get their feedback on existing programs and on what they think they need. Even more important, use an employee retention survey to find out two important things: (1) what makes good employees consider leaving the company; and (2) what makes them want to stay.
- Schedule regular employee meetings to keep lines of communication open. Use these to inform employees of company progress, and encourage them to share ideas on improving business practices. Better-informed workers stay focused on business priorities, understand when times get tough and provide valuable information.
- Consider a flexible work schedule, which costs little or nothing to establish, and takes little effort to run. Flex time can go a long way toward helping employees balance their lives and increase their productivity on the job.
- Start a “volunteer day” to heighten teamwork among employees. Employers might encourage employees to volunteer, as a group, for a day at a local charitable organization. The event helps employees learn to work together as a team and demonstrates their company’s commitment to improving the quality of life in the community.
- Recognize employees to acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions they make to your business. From a simple “thank-you” to a small gift, a good boss knows how to show employees that their work is appreciated and that they are valued, which boosts morale.
- Inaugurate employee development programs. With workplace technology changing at a fast pace, affordable computer and other business skills training are available online to help your employees keep up.
- Most importantly, recognize that the key elements of winning workplaces include a focus on work/life benefits, flexibility and supportiveness, employee involvement, open communications, respect, trust, and fairness.
Copyright ©2005-2017 Joel Garfinkle, All Rights Reserved.
Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., and the author of 7 books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. He has worked with many of the world's leading companies, including Google, Deloitte, Amazon, Ritz-Carlton, Gap, Cisco, Oracle, and many more. Visit Joel online at Garfinkle Executive Coaching. Subscribe to his Fulfillment@Work Newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, 40 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!
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