There are a lot of factors that will make someone a good boss/CEO. There is also a great deal of debate about what those are. Some believe that cultivating a competitive atmosphere or even using fear based leadership () are the best ways to go. What we’ve found (and there are probably some studies that back this up) is that if you really want to build a great company filled with productive employees, you need to make sure that your employees and support teams are as healthy, happy, and positively motivated as possible.
Here are some tips to help you do that.
Design Your Workspace Well
So many startup entrepreneurs and CEOs design their office spaces to be aesthetically pretty. How else can you explain the rise of the open office environment? While you don’t want your offices and workspaces to be dull or dreary, it’s also important to consider the mental health of your workers when designing the space. Studies prove that open office workspaces hinder creativity, productivity and motivation and that employees perform better when they have at least some semblance of privacy and personal space. So, yes, those cubicle walls might seem boring, but surely you can find some way to dress them up!
Provide Basic Necessities
Like plants, your employees need easy access to water, food, and sunlight to grow and flourish. This is why workspaces with lots of windows are often happier than those tucked away in the middle of buildings. Even if an employee isn’t sitting right next to the window, being able to look out and see sky from where he or she is sitting can go a long way toward improving overall mood and productivity levels.
Likewise, easy access to food and water is important. Most corporate culture has settled into the water-cooler and fridge in the breakroom, with employees being free to bring in their own food and snacks as needed. Why settle for the status quo? Nobody is saying that you have to offer your employees free range access to a professionally catered cafeteria every day (though if you can afford it, that’s really cool). You can, however, trick out your breakroom.
For example, you can opt for a hot and cold water cooler rental from Quench so that employees don’t have to leave the premises (or hide electric kettles under their desks) when they want hot beverages. You can also set up a coffee and espresso station (and teach employees how to use it) so that employees can make lattes, etc. on site instead of having to pay for them at the coffee shop downstairs.
It’s also good to have at least a small supply of healthy snacks on site for your employees to take as needed. Having baskets of fruit and muffins on hand reduces the likelihood that your team will be tempted to rely on sugary or salty snacks when they feel peckish.
Get Out of the Office
This is perhaps the most important part of all. People perform better when they know that their hard work is not just noticed but is appreciated. Stopping by someone’s desk to thank them for the hard work they did on a project goes a long way. What’s even better is springing for a company happy hour out at a local pub or taking the team out for dinner every couple of months or so.
What’s important at these dinners and other events is that you let them simply be social events. Don’t force your employees to endure team building exercises to get a free meal. This takes the fun out of the event for everybody. Instead, simply let your employees mingle with each other and encourage people to not talk shop. Employees who know each other and bond outside of work-based structure are more likely to be bonded and work well together during working hours.
Minding the Details
Many company owners, team leaders and CEOs prefer to take a hands-off approach to their underlings. It’s true that a good leader needs to maintain some sense of objectivity. It is also true that an employee who feels seen and cared about will work harder and be happier on the job. Small things like remembering someone’s birthday and the names of their kids, etc. These small details go a long way. And hey, you make a point of knowing this information about your clients, right? Why wouldn’t you pay the same amount of attention to the team that is helping you serve those clients so well?
There are lots of ways to be a great leader and provide a great working environment for your team. Start with what we’ve mentioned here and then tweak to your personality as needed.
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