Employee happiness is one of the most important factors to develop in a small business, because happy employees stay at their jobs. The small business can shrink or grow, depending on how good its employees are at their jobs, and productivity is related to how happy they are in the workplace.
A smart employer will take the extra time to make sure employees are content, so there is consistency in the level and quality of services along with a high level of productivity.
So, what kinds of things can an employer do to keep employees happy?
Well, the employer can start with the workplace environment. The workplace should be kept clean and comfortable, so it is an enjoyable place for employees to spend their time. If necessary, the employer should hire a cleaning company to ensure workplace cleanliness. This is number one on the list of important factors, because dirty workplaces can increase employee sickness, and sick workers mean less productivity.
In addition to cleanliness, any health hazards at the workplace should be eliminated. Is the building old? Is there a possibility of mold being present? How well is it heated and air conditioned? Is it too noisy? Does the carpet, flooring, or ceiling need work? Do the air filters need to be changed, or does it need fresh paint? These are all things to be considered by an employer who wants to retain employees. Every building requires regular maintenance. A condition called sick building syndrome refers to cases where occupants of a building suffer acute health problems that seem to be related to time spent in the workplace and problems associated in the building’s heating, air conditioning and ventilations systems.
There is no doubt about it. People enjoy working in nice places more than working in less desirable conditions. And their comfort increases naturally when the workplace has good decor. The type of office decor can influence productivity, mood and the flow of ideas. Obtaining the services of a professional decorator could be a worthwhile investment, especially if the owner expects the business to attract more customers. A pleasing decor is an essential part of business success.
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And in some cases, employees might like to be involved in the decorating process. This can work to the employer’s advantage and can help build team morale. Some talented employees take a great deal of pride in assisting with the decorating of their office or production floor environment, or even contributing ideas in the process.
The use of large images
The tasteful use of large images in prints, paintings or murals can enhance the decor of any workplace environment. Images are one thing that can have a powerful effect on the brain because they are perceived so readily. And images can affect the mood and overall feeling of a workplace by what they convey.
Well-selected images in the workplace, especially large ones, can have an impact on employees in 3 ways:
- they can inspire
- they can motivate
- they can help reduce stress
Beautiful and pleasing images that are of subjects related to the type of business at hand can serve as an inspiration to workers, especially those in creative/artistic jobs. Photos of clouds, sunlight, murals of city life, people at play, children, families, or couples can be an enjoyable part of any room or large open area. The larger the area, the larger the image can be, and larger images tend to be the most powerful and effective.
For employees working in sales positions, images that include positive slogans or quotes about achievement can be very effective in setting a motivational atmosphere and help increase feelings of team spirit. Posters of athletic superstars or sporting events, and active people in various kinds of professions are helpful. Strong images can help people in creative and sales positions stay motivated to produce.
And, for workers in positions like those in the healthcare industry, it is best to have images that evoke feelings of comfort and warm, such as a little girl holding a puppy, or a man fishing at a lake. Dentist offices use posters on the ceiling to help children relax while they are being worked on. Hospitals and doctor’s offices can use images that both calm the viewers and reduce stress. Paintings or murals of quiet scenes near water or picturesque mountain scenery, for instance, will convey feelings of comfort and calmness.
Tranquil images can actually work well in any workplace because they can help reduce the stress levels of workers. Pictures of lakes, mountains, sunsets, animals or waterfalls are stress relieving because they remind people of familiar, enjoyable and stress-free places.
Many workplaces today are being transformed because studies have shown just how important workplace environment is to the levels of productivity. One study showed that happy employees were 31 percent more productive, three times more creative and had a 37 percent higher sales average.
It makes sense that people who are happier work harder, and tend to be more open to new ideas and change. And when you consider just how much time people spend at their jobs, it is absolutely necessary that the workplace be as comfortable as a second home.
Author: Karen Bresnahan is a freelance journalist, photographer and artist from Boise, Idaho. Karen is a small business owner whose goal is to motivate, educate and inspire others through her writing and photography. She often writes about the topics of health and fitness, personal relationships, and stress relief and small business goals. You can connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @idaho1111