Creating a healthy workplace is key to harnessing your employees’ productivity, keeping them happy and motivated to do their best possible work. A recent study carried out by Wrike confirmed the importance of having a chirpy workforce. They surveyed 4,000 workers across the UK, France, Germany and the US. Results showed that four in 10 took a pay cut in favour of a job that made them happier, with most elated employees claiming to be “very productive” at work.
So, what can you do to ensure all your employees are bundles of joy? Raring to go and consistently doing their best work. There is no clear-cut answer, although there does seem to be a consensus around certain factors. These are offering flexible working, providing your workforce with meaningful work and maintaining a supportive company culture.
Surprise, surprise, we are talking about flexible working. We love to put emphasis on the importance of flexible working and for good reason. Our 2019 Flexible Working Survey found that 35% of people surveyed would request flexible working over a pay rise. 81% believed that flexible working would make a job more attractive to them and 79% thought working flexibly would make them more productive.
By allowing staff to work flexibly you are giving them the option to work at a time that best suits them. This in turn hopefully makes them feel trusted and appreciated. You’re one step closer to a healthy workplace, full of workers with a spring in their step. Offering flexibility also caters to individuals’ hectic lives. For most people work often competes with many other obligations, a flexible work life allows them to better manage other elements of their life. They can attend that teacher parent day or avoid the stresses that come with the daily commute. All this serves to boost morale and increase employee engagement, helping your business grow and continue to succeed.
Very few people enjoy doing work that has no direct benefit or meaning. If someone doesn’t understand the impact of their work it can feel pointless, increasing the chances of them burning out or seeking new opportunities. Compare this to completing work that you know is beneficial to the company, is helping your fellow workers and pushes your boundaries, it’s a no-brainer.
Meaningful work is significantly more likely to boost engagement and satisfaction. Also, this type of work is much more likely to be appreciated. Showing your workforce appreciation and letting them know they are doing a good job is bound to make them feel happy and valued, only encouraging them to continue being productive and produce top notch work. We understand that meaningful work is very hard to define and can come in numerous variations. However, demonstrating value in whatever work your employees are carrying out is essential.
Feeling like you can’t ask for help at work can make an individual feel powerless. Spending most of your time with people you don’t like can be draining and isolating. Creating an environment where workers fear they will be scorned for mistakes is an unhealthy environment. Making mistakes is an integral part of the learning process. Enabling employees to try and fail without fear creates a culture full of creativity and innovation.
Developing a healthy workplace culture can be very challenging, every individual is different and it’s inevitable that certain people will clash. This is where creating a strong core of company values can be useful, helping you target the type of people you want working for your company. This can be as simple as treating all staff honestly and with integrity. Again, going back to an earlier point, showing appreciation is essential in creating a supportive working environment. If you are spending 8 hours or more a day working without an inkling of gratitude, you will soon realise that this company is not for you.
Creating a healthy workplace can be achieved and with this you can almost guarantee happier and more engaged employees. This is in no way a definitive list, unfortunately we are not that wise. Hopefully this will provide some useful steppingstones and get you going on the path towards a more positive and joyful workplace.