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The Ultimate Guide To Creating A Productive Work Environment

It doesn’t matter whether you have just launched a new startup, or whether you have been an entrepreneur for the past decade, the chances are that you are keen to create a productive working environment. When your workplace is buzzing, has a positive vibe and is full of smiling and concentrated faces, you know that high quality work is being achieved.

You will set targets that a manageable yet challenging, you will encourage hard work and effort, and you will set high expectations for staff conduct. However, it is up to you to lead by example to foster the high levels of productivity that you crave.

Being an employer rather than an employee sees you taking on a whole new role. You have essentially moved from one side of the curtain to the other. No longer can you be ‘one of the guys,’ head down to the bar for after work drinks on a Friday, or partake in the office banter in the same way as you once did. It’s time to don a more professional cap and keep a measured distance from your staff team. Having a productive workplace takes work 😉

However, follow this guide, implement your business vision, and you can achieve buy in from your staff and a productive mindset within the office.

Your Vision

When you first set out on your entrepreneurship journey, you may be going it alone. The thought of hiring staff may be well down the line of your business plan. Nevertheless, when you eventually consider hiring personnel to work for you, it’s vital that you hire the right people.

Consider the sorts of personalities that you want to see in your office. It’s all too easy to be seduced by a glowing resume with decades of experience in blue chip corporations, postgraduate qualifications and fluency in a second language. However, if this person doesn’t have a sense of humor, struggles to work collaboratively, and has no inclination to get to know their colleagues, they might not be the right fit for your company. Your business vision has to encompass your workforce as well as your long term goals and targets.

As an employer, you want a team that meshes well together, that bounces ideas off of one another, and that gets on well. A team that can head out for dinner and chat about things that aren’t work related is a good indication that they will work well as a team professionally. Hiring less experienced individuals means that you can morph them into your ideal marketing executive, finance bod or HR guru.

By having a well matched team, you can then go on to encourage them to actually buy into your vision. They have to believe in what they are working for and towards. Just sitting at a laptop all day conducting meetings and working out figures, without any real impetus as to why they are doing it, will see a lack of morale develop. Instead, share targets, goals and the long term business vision with them and let them know how valued and impactful they are.

Invest In Your Team

For your staff team to be productive, they need to feel valued. The relationship between employer and employee needs to be reciprocal. If they are putting in a hundred percent effort to help you realize your business vision, it is only right that you give them something in return. By investing in your team, you are demonstrating in a very practical way, just how important they are to you.

Carry out professional development reviews and help them grow as individuals. You may find that your social media manager yearns to embark on a professional diploma. You could offer to invest in this education in return for them training up other staff members with the new knowledge that they learn. By enhancing the qualifications of your employees you are empowering your company. Allowing them to implement new methodologies and the most forward thinking ways of working will benefit your business and make it more productive.

Sometimes, individuals are keen to go another route with their professional development. They may wish to undergo fire-marshal safety training, undertake a CPR first aid certification or work towards a more vocational qualification. All of these aspects of continuing professional development will benefit your business in the long term. Yes, there is a risk that you pump this investment into your team, only for them to seek opportunities elsewhere. However, if your place of work is productive, enjoyable, fun to be part of and challenging, your staff won’t be eager to leave anytime soon. Show your staff members just how valued they are, and they will repay you with high levels of productivity.

Communication

Don’t be one of those bosses that hole themselves up in their office never to be seen on the shop floor. It’s vital that you have an open door policy and enjoy getting to know your staff team. If you are not visible, you run the risk of becoming resented. Instead, talk to your staff team at their desks, pop out a couple of times a week, just for a chat, and see how your workforce is getting on.

Have a staff briefing every Monday morning to detail the targets for the week, allow your employees to air their opinions, ask for their views and encourage feedback which you will then act upon. Counterbalance this Monday meeting with a Friday email. Make this informative and share any news with your team. Namecheck those individuals who have gone the extra mile and have done something extraordinary that week.

Although we don’t like to admit it, having a little bit of positive praise can be motivating and make people work harder. It also shows how much you value your team.

Being communicative means that your team won’t become frustrated. A staff member that feels stuck in a rut with no way out will begin working to rule. You want your team to feel motivated and enjoy coming into work every morning. Keep all communication channels open and see the productivity in the office rise.

Change The Surroundings

If your office is a tad bland, with beige walls, carpet that hasn’t had the underlay replaced for a decade and polystyrene ceiling tiles with the odd stain or two, it might be time to make your working environment a little more inspiring. With a splash of white paint to brighten up the place, a new carpet, some enhanced hardware and some inspiring artwork or photography on the walls, your office environment can help foster more creativity and a positive buzz.

Try to facilitate those watercooler moments by creating an open plan and airy environment. Forget the old individual desktop computer booths, and swap these for collaborative group working pods. Add some greenery, bring the outdoors inside, and encourage people to be more flexible in their approach to their work. The surroundings that you create can have a massive effect on your employees’ mood, mojo, and motivation.

By creating a space that is happier, brighter and more inspiring, this will be reflected in the quality of your staff team’s work.

Away Days

While the thought of a team building exercise may make many of your team cower in dread, the benefits of an away day to break free from the shackles of the office shouldn’t be underestimated. Sometimes there’s nothing better than taking a break, heading to the great outdoors and waving goodbye to your work environment for a couple of days. To foster a collaborative approach to work and to strengthen team bonds, exercises and activities that foster working together can be beneficial.

As an employer, this also gives you the opportunity to get to know what makes your employees tick.

While you might not want to know how Jean’s son is Joseph in his first nativity play at school, and you might not want to know the details of John’s divorce, the fact that you are aware that issues and problems outside of the workplace could affect an individual’s performance is awareness enough on your part. This shows that you are giving your team the attention they need.

Give Your Team The Tools They Need

No one likes to be spending their days forever trying to fix a photocopier, trying to prevent the printer from jamming yet again or tweaking with their laptop’s settings to try and reconnect to the WiFi again. These minor irritations can lead to major frustration amongst your employees. Ensure that you invest in hardware that is fit for purpose. Make sure your team has decent laptops, can work with a strong server, and that there is an IT troubleshooting firm on hand if any downtime arises. You need a streamlined workplace to facilitate the highest rates of productivity. No matter how hardworking and incredible your team is, if you can’t give them the environment in which to flex their skilful muscles, their impetus becomes redundant.

Being a boss isn’t easy!

However, you can facilitate a productive environment by following this guide ensuring that your business goes from strength to strength.

© New To HR

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