A job is a job, and most people don't wake up every morning thrilled to go to work. Of course, the large majority of individuals are happy to be employed, but the daily drudgery of sitting in a cubicle day in and day out can certainly take its toll. The good news is there are ways you can make your particular workplace a little more inviting and exciting for your employees.
Start by Listening
It may seem like a simple concept, but actually taking the time to listen to your employees is a great way to get a feel for the overall morale of your team and to hear suggestions about how they believe certain things could be improved. For example, maybe you've heard several people talk about wanting an alternative work space, an area where employees could get out of their cubes or away from their desks and work in another area. Of course, you won't be able to please everyone or implement every idea, but listening to your workers will go a long way toward improving the workplace.
Offer Flexible Schedules
Not all companies will have the freedom to let people work on a flexible schedule, but giving your employees a little room to move when it comes to working traditional business hours will mean a lot to them. You could allow workers to come in a little later and work later or come in early and leave early. You may even consider switching to half day Fridays, which can help your employees take care of personal needs and tasks while other businesses are still open. And, depending on your type of business and what it needs for successful day-to-day operations, you may even think about implementing a work from home program where employees can log in and work right from their own homes.
Schedule Team Building Events
Getting everyone out of the office every now and again can do more to boost morale than you may realize. Your employees may spend more time with each other than they do with their own families, but how often do they get a chance to really interact with each other, or with you? When you remove everyone from the formality of the office and go to happy hour or plan a family-friendly picnic, people will be more likely to engage in personal conversation and may even have great business ideas that never would have been mentioned in a conference room.
Buy Everyone Lunch
For many people, food is a common bond. We all need it, we all love it. What better way to show appreciation to your employees than buying them lunch? This is the type of thing that doesn't have to be fancy - sandwiches, pizza, or an ice cream social - and can allow your employees to get away from their desks, interact with one another, and reenergize them and help get them through the rest of the day. You can schedule a lunch day around special events, a holiday, or just pick a day out of the blue. Providing lunch will cost you very little in the big scheme of things, but can give you a great return on your investment.
Don't Be Afraid to Try New Things
When it comes to improving the workplace, you should be creative and try any ideas that you think might appeal to your employees. Maybe the team bowling event didn't go over so well, but that's okay. Try something else the next time around, like taking everyone to a baseball game, planning a trip to a theme park, or beefing up your usual holiday party with drink tickets, surprise gifts, or other incentives.
Taking the time to think about, plan, and implement a few activities to improve your company workplace will be worth it in the end.