The math doesn’t lie—if your employees work a forty-hour workweek, they’re spending nearly 30 percent of their lives on the job. The occasional vacation and a long holiday weekend can go a long way in reducing the amount of stress these long hours can create, but the reality is that the everyday workplace is very much an extension of who your employees are as people and how they interact with the world.
It’s no wonder, then, that a positive corporate culture and workplace environment is becoming an increasingly important factor in whether or not talented professionals want to work for you. Sure, a high salary is gratifying, but today’s employees know that a sense of joy and connectedness will contribute to higher rates of happiness in the end. In fact, if you ask most millennials, they’ll say that they place feeling good about going to work every day above the benefits of salary and promises of promotion (which is great news for any small company hoping to compete with the big players).
How to Make the Workplace Welcoming
Of course, knowing that you need to create a welcoming and positive workplace environment is one thing; actually making the transformation is another. These three tips will help you increase employee engagement by shifting the way you view the workplace.
Freedom and Autonomy: No one likes to have someone watching over their shoulder as they work, especially in a professional setting. By providing greater freedom in terms of hours worked, project management, and, yes, even when your employees are allowed to take their lunch breaks, you can create a culture where everyone feels respected and valued.
Good Communication: Few thing are more frustrating than a lack of communication in the workplace—especially if it leads to additional work. Open and honest communication (and transparency in how it works) can go a long way in fostering positive feelings, and it rarely costs anything to implement.
Perks and Snacks: Don’t underestimate the value of fresh, healthy snacks in the workplace as an incentive to get out of bed every day. Micromarket vending options like those offered through Airlift allow you to create an on-site dining option that shows how much you value your employees’ well-being. Not only are you feeding their minds and bodies, but you’re also demonstrating that you support break time. Nothing boosts morale quite as much as knowing that your employer cares enough to encourage you to take a little time out for yourself.
A positive work environment is one that empowers and excites employees to come to work every day. Although it would be nice to operate on a budget that allows for per diem meal reimbursement, month-long sabbaticals every year, and corporate retreats, these kinds of expenses can overwhelm a small business or startup. Fortunately, your workplace culture can be changed to a happy, positive one much easier than you realize—and Airlift is here to help that happen.