What exactly gives a person satisfaction at work? And what can make a person not only satisfied with work, but look forward to work each day? While there is no magic formula for making employees enjoy work, there are a few things that increase happiness in the workplace. People tend to stay at jobs where they feel comfortable, and you can consider these seven tips for making employees feel more at ease at work.
1. Gain a Relationship
There tends to be a stigma when it comes to power status within the workplace. Often, employees don’t have a great relationship with their boss. Sometimes when someone above you holds higher power, it can be easy to avoid them out of fear. Talking with a boss can be uncomfortable and forced if there isn’t a positive relationship established first. It’s possible and helpful to have friendly work relationships with employees and still establish your place of power.
2. Encourage Open Communication
Employees get easily frustrated when they feel their concerns and opinions don’t matter. Create a safe space where employees can voice things they think could be improved in the workplace. Also, if an employee talks to a manager confidentially about some issue, make sure the conversation remains private. There is no need to pit employees against each other by announcing when one employee has an issue with another. Instead, try to resolve conflicts without insinuating that anyone reported an issue.
3. Allow Casual Dress on Certain Days
One of the main advantages of working from home is that one can dress casually. While office dress is likely expected at your place of business, you can offer casual days open in a new tab. Every once in a while is something to look forward to. Consider letting your employees wear khakis and a polo at the end of the week, instead of a suit every single day. Little gestures like this can boost morale more than you know.
4. Make it Feel More Like Home
Your office doesn’t have to look like the main goal is strictly business. Employees likely spend more time at work than they do at home, so you should make the office feel as comfortable as possible within reason. For example, offer a break room with a few extra amenities. Make the lunch area feel more like an actual kitchen by making a few simple upgrades, like adding glass pantry doors. This is a great option for adding a touch of familiarity to the office, with the option of engraving your company’s logo or name into the glass. When you make the environment homier, workers will not have to dread coming to a cold, sterile environment.
5. Offer Some Privacy
While there is certainly a time and place for team bonding activities, there is also a need for privacy at times. Employees will likely not feel comfortable at work if they feel the look over their shoulders of a manager. While monitoring job performance is necessary, employees need to feel trusted. Giving employees private cubicles opens in a new tab to get work done can make them more efficient, because they will feel less pressure to impress the people watching them.
Although it’s a helpful suggestion, employees don’t need their cubicles to be productive. If that isn’t your style for running a company, use your own office as a place to monitor your employees from a distance. You can do this while your team works and operates in an open office layout. You should check up on things a few times throughout the day, but it’s best to show your employees that you trust them by letting them do their work on their own.
6. Host Team-Building Activities
During work hours, coworkers likely don’t have much time to talk and find out a lot about each other. Hosting team-building exercises regularly can be a good way to let everyone get to know each other better, with no pressure from work in the way. Try to think of fun group activities that promote bonding. This includes bowling, pottery painting, or even an escape room. Employees may find out they have more in common with each other than they thought, and this can create a better teamwork.
7. Allow Anonymous Suggestions for Improvement
Some employees may never be confrontational people. However, these employees may still have great ideas about how the company can be improved. Instead of putting employees on the spot and making them feel they must attach their name to any suggestions, consider allowing anonymous ones. For example, you can offer an end-of-the-year survey annually. In this questionnaire, you can ask workers to report things they do and do not like about their jobs. When you don’t make someone put their name on this type of survey, you will likely get a more honest and open report. This also helps to take pressure off your employees, because they won’t feel nervous or at risk of losing their job by anonymously stating how they feel.
8. Reward Good Work
If you want someone to feel comfortable with his or her job, make sure you don’t leave them guessing about work performance. When you see someone doing a good job, tell him or her that you appreciate his or her dedication and attention to detail. Offer incentives throughout the year to employees who demonstrate a strong work ethic. When workers feel appreciated, they are more likely to feel satisfied at work. A simple “good job” can go a long way in making workers feel comfortable at their job.
If you are willing to take it a step further, offer incentives for hard work. A simple way to do this is to choose an employee of the month and let them pick out a gift card from their favorite restaurant. This will show your employees that their work doesn’t go unnoticed, and will motivate them to keep putting their best effort into what they do.
Most employees want their workers to be as happy as possible with their jobs. In many cases, coworkers become like a family to each other. Promoting an environment of honesty and open communication is essential in making employees feel comfortable in their positions. Don’t be afraid to ask them what could change to make their workplace a little better.