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The Making of a Happy Workplace…

Most, if not all of us, have worked for someone else before owning businesses. There were things we liked and definitely things we said we’d never do as an employer. But once the time came to be the boss, we found ourselves doing things we said we’d never do. We come to an understanding, as a boss, that some of those things we hated as an employee were necessary. However, some of the things we do could be because we forgot what it was like being the employee. There’s definitely a balance to strike when it comes to creating a happy workplace.

To run a successful business, there have to be some rules in place…expectations. Start times, ending times, times for breaks…things of that nature. It’s important to remember that while you are paying them a wage, they are nurturing and developing your dream.

So what type of things creates a great place to work? First and foremost is respect. You may not have a lot in common with your employee. You may not share the same views, but you saw something in them if you hired them. It’s imperative that your employees feel comfortable coming to you with questions, concerns, and ideas without feeling inferior. Perhaps that’s not your area, so I suggest having a someone else they can go to without repercussions. This makes your workers feel valued and important. Unfortunately, with the rise of big corporations, this has gone by the wayside and created a world of unhappy people.

Playing favorites…doesn’t work. The reality is that you will have people that work for you that you have a better relationship with, that you relate to better. However, letting that cloud your vision when it comes to employee relations never ends well. Unless the employee that you don’t have that kinship with has done something completely unacceptable, keep your personal feelings aside and be fair. We all deserve the opportunity to be heard and not made to feel belittled at the place we will spend most of our time.

Something else to consider: Of course there are certain jobs where there is a specific way of doing things, but in most cases, the end result is the important thing. Every person in this world has a different way of “getting the job done”. Try to restrain from creating a “one size fits all” expectation. It winds up being deflating to your employees and doesn’t allow for each person to learn something new from their peers. If you’re seeing productivity…don’t fix what isn’t broken?

Create a community among you and your staff. This isn’t to say you have to be best friends with everyone, but there’s nothing wrong with having a little fun. Special events, outings, lunches, etc. make it a place people look forward to coming into. And the bonus is, that it makes it fun for you too.

Money! Let’s face it…if one of your employees hit the lottery, they likely wouldn’t keep their job. And no one ever says, “I do not want to make any more money. This is plenty.”  (No one I ever met anyway). And while it may never feel like anyone is over the moon with their wage, at least make it fair and satisfying to them. Employees that receive regular raises, that hopefully cover more than just the cost of living, breeds vested employees that care about the company they work for. Bonuses are a nice addition too, as an incentive for going above and beyond the expectations or goals of the company. Again, remember what it was like to be in their shoes.

Your employees should be looked at as your partners. That’s really what they are. We all have the same mission every morning (or night for those working late shifts) …to be productive and further our own dreams in life.

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