Getting the best from your staff is probably the hardest and the most worthwhile thing any employer can do. It involves making the workplace a fun place to be and inspiring a happy environment. All too often employees complain that they just don't want to go to work – imagine the results you could get from your staff if they found work a happy place to be!
Lead from the top
If you come to work every day with a sour expression and nothing but complaints, your staff will soon learn that this is the usual way to behave in your workplace. The fact is that your staff members will look to you for leadership and if you are smiling, happy and positive, it will trickle down.
Empowering your staff to offer advice regarding their needs and thoughts on their working environment is a great way to keep them happy. Having a suggestion box is one way to do this. Staff should feel that they can approach management to complain or to suggest new ways of doing things and they should be listened to. The fact is that the people doing the job, know the best way to achieve the most from that job. Ignoring your staff is a way to engender an unhappy environment.
A little bit extra in your pay packet at the end of the month is a perfect way to keep staff members happy. Let's face it, most people judge their job by how much they earn and they are willing to put in extra effort for more reward. If you can't offer money, try a once a week pizza shout, drinks at a local pub once a week or even a dress down Friday. All of these things can help people to feel happy to come to work and will even make them work a little harder.
Provide a great environment
You will be surprised at how miserable working in a drab, cold, boring and unloved office can be. Your working environment needs to be bright and happy for the staff members to feel that way too. Try using posters, paintings, bright colours and an open plan feel to create a more joyful place to be. Plants are also good and encouraging staff to personalise their desk area is also a great idea. Corporate environments create corporate robots and they don't work well.
Nothing creates a feeling of discord in the workplace than the knowledge that some members of staff are being treated differently to the rest. Equality may be enshrined in law, but it doesn't always work in practice. So you need to ensure that men and women are paid equally, disabled people are never discriminated against and that those people with children are offered flexibility in their working hours. These things may cost you money in the short term, but in the long term they pay dividends. This general rule extends to lunches out for directors, pay scales, smoking breaks, working hours and every aspect of a working day. It all needs to be seen to be fair.
So it isn't hard to create a fun and happy workplace – just remember the main rules of fairness, smiling, colour and incentives and you can't go wrong.