The Three “F’s” for Increasing Productivity and Success for your Business

In, “The Making of a Happy Workplace”, we covered ways to make your workplace somewhere people want to be. Those tips were based on moral and how we treat people. Today’s topic goes into a different element of happiness on the job.  It may seem impossible to make everyone happy all of the time, and you’d be correct. However, you can come pretty close to pleasing the masses, including yourself. I’ve broken it down to the three “F’s” of what people are looking for in their places of employment.

Fun:
Not to imply that you should throw professionalism out the window, but I think you’d agree that people like to have fun. Creating an environment that your actually makes your staff look forward to, actually increases productivity and loyalty. Furthermore, people that are having fun often have decreased stress levels. Many companies today are learning that providing a loose, not lackadaisical, environment is raising profit margins.

I’ll be referring to Google a lot in this post. A number of companies are modeling themselves more often these days to the internet giant. They’ve found a formula that not only works, but exceeds expectations for their bottom line and their retention rate. With scooters, play areas, cafes, free food, nap pods and more, it is THE place everyone would love to work. So, why would anyone jeopardize their job working at a place like that? They don’t. Google is very strategic in who they hire. Therefore, those lucky enough to land a job there, work hard to keep that job. They recognize that it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. Your business may not have the stature of Google, your people can feel that it’s just as exceptional.

Flexibility:
Stepping beyond the fun, flexibility is another crucial facet of keeping people happy. Like you, your employees have a life filled with family, kids’ soccer games, errands, doctor appointments, the gym, and more. This doesn’t include leaving some time to unwind with a social life. It can be overwhelming and stressful thinking about the laundry list of things one has to do while not having enough time to do it. As a result, that decreases our quality of life.

Back to the Google model: In a 2014 article in Forbes magazine (http://goo.gl/zGxSzV), Larry Page (Google founder) states that he thinks the 40-hour work week is going to become a thing of the past. Being the prosperous company it is, you’d think, like I did, he was going to imply we should work more. Surprisingly, the opposite is true. Google understands people need to have balanced lives to be happy and provide the company with the very best that they have to offer. When someone is able to focus on tasks at hand without having to worry about how they’re going to fit everything in, you’re going to benefit. Sometimes, less truly is more.

Future:
If you asked 100 people if they would keep their jobs if they hit the lottery, 99 of them would likely say no. We work to pay bills, buy food, and provide a lifestyle for ourselves and our families. Obviously, the majority of the population will not hit that jackpot and will show up to the office tomorrow. That being said, it’s detrimental for people to feel that they have a future in their career. While there may not be many positions to advance to in all companies, a future of fair and competitive pay and benefits, as well as time off is equal to titles. Men and women that fear that they don’t have a future at their place of employment are often looking for other opportunities.

The bottom line here is to not be afraid of doing things in a way that you may not be used to. Jump on board with what is working for other successful companies. Lastly, be sure to really listen to the needs of your employees. If you find someone that works hard, shows up, goes above and beyond, you want to do everything possible to hold on to that individual. In the end, this helps you as much as it helps them.

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