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Cultivate an awesome workplace

November 5, 2010 | By Bruce Hourigan | No Comments

Every year Fortune magazine compiles a list of the “Best Companies to Work for.” While everyone likes a big salary and loads of vacation time, most of the companies that make the list offer a number of intangibles and seemingly insignificant perks that all add up to an exemplary work environment.

If you find that the atmosphere in your business is sometimes less than ideal, try the following make your workplace one to be proud of:

  • Choose your mindset. A great workplace starts with the attitude of the owners and managers. Employees take their cues from those in leadership positions. Our moods are contagious. Even when times are tough, smile. Offer encouragement. Pay a compliment. Laugh. Your employees will follow suit. And that makes for a much more pleasant work environment. Your customers will notice the difference, too.
  • Think like an employee. Or even better, ask your staff members what makes a difference to them. Maybe you can tweak the way you do the schedule so your staff has more weekend time off. Or perhaps they would like a change in dress code. Bring in breakfast one morning or have a potluck dinner and brainstorm together. You might be surprised that some of the things that make the biggest difference don’t involve a lot of money. And you might discover that you and your staff have opposite ideas about what kinds of incentives really matter.
  • Empower your employees. Frustration often grows when people feel as though they don’t have any say over their destiny. Give up control whenever possible and let team members work things out by themselves. Give them a voice in major decisions, as well. Even if you don’t always agree with them, listen with an open heart and acknowledge their opinions.
  • Think about the little things. Every day is made up of countless small tasks and moments. Come up with ways to make the ordinary extraordinary. Say thank you for something you usually take for granted. Buy bagels, pizza, candy, fruit or other food – just because. Leave notes of gratitude for your employees. Never assume that they know they’re appreciated.
  • Have fun. It may sound simplistic, but fun workplaces are great businesses to work at. Yes, there are deadlines and difficult clients and orders that don’t come in on time. But people who laugh together and enjoy each other’s company weather the difficult times more successfully. Look for the humor in everyday challenges. Find ways to make mundane tasks fun. You and your staff spend a lot of time at work. Making that time enjoyable will go a long way toward having an awesome workplace.

          It takes a lot of effort to ensure that your business is a great place to work. The result is worth it. Extraordinary workplaces feature employees who are excited to be part of your business and who are fully invested in your company’s success. That’s the type of place that customers will want to return to again and again.

          Categories: Business Builders

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