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Founders & CEOs: How to Create a Better Workplace

The particular atmosphere of your company plays an essential role in how your employees may view their overall job. This can span everything from the physical environment (office comfort, lighting, proper equipment) to the overall culture (actions of fellow employees and managers, room for growth, etc.).  It can even mean the difference between employees who look forward to entering the office each day, and those who don’t.  An encouraging atmosphere also helps employees uphold their motivation and ambition through the day.

Founders_and_CEOS - Happy employees in conference room

 

Stay Positive

Keeping people happy is much easier than repairing bad relations.  It is not very costly to keep the office clean, comfortable, and well decorated.  There are even companies that will install plants, water them, feed them, and change them periodically to keep the offices visually interesting.

Natural source light makes people happy; comfortable furniture makes people happy; a trivial investment in a quality coffee machine makes people happy.  Compared to the increase in productivity when people are pleased with their workplace, the cost may be negligible.

Hire for Compatibility

Give some thought to vetting the new hires yourself, or assigning someone you trust, with the insight to make sure that the candidates will be a good fit with the others they will be working with.  Having the right skills doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a great fit for the corporate culture of your company, or even the departmental culture.

Install Whiteboards

Having a Whiteboard in all of the meeting-rooms is a positively brilliant idea.  It encourages spontaneous brainstorming and heightens creativity.  Bolster the idea that people should use their tablets or phones to photograph the whiteboard.  It makes a great quick reference to help remember what was discussed, to make sure a timeline is being adhered to, or to reinforce personal responsibilities on a project.

Be Family-Friendly

Alfred Carlton Gilbert produced the famed Erector Sets in the early 1900s in competition with the European Meccano sets.  His factories employed as many as 5,000 people in three shifts, producing toys like microscopes, chemistry sets, magician’s tricks, and much, much more.  He was probably the first to introduce daycare for all of the employees’ children.  Many of his employees were women who might otherwise not have been able to work for him—and after all, the business was a Toy Factory.

Single parents, male or female, appreciate the better options when you provide enhanced amenities.  Some businesses even allow you to bring your well-behaved pets to work, which has been shown to improve job satisfaction, enhance relaxation, and increase productivity.

Encourage Breaks

Provide a discrete space, safely separated from working employees, where people can wind down and relax.  People are entitled to a 15 or 20 minute break periodically and they shouldn’t have to spend it at their desk.  In order to de-stress they need to step away from their work completely; possibly get a cup of coffee, go for a walk, or anything non-work-related.

Buy Lunch

The next time you have a new development to relay to your team, make it worth your employees’ while, and have a luncheon meeting.  Your announcement will be much better-received, and your employees will appreciate your generosity.

Have a Subtle Impact

You’re an important person, but are you self-important?  It’s an entirely trivial expense that shows an astonishing degree of thoughtfulness if you take a couple of minutes out of your day to order a fruit basket for the employee lunchroom with absolutely no explanation.  Maybe just a little tag that says “Stay Healthy!” signed Bob Smith, CEO.  That can send spirits soaring for a minimal cost.

Founders_and_CEOS - Leadership compass

The Takeaway

The key is to be visible and accessible to your fellow workers.  For example, subtle things such as taking the time to learn the names of the security guards at the front desk, giving employees a paid day off on their birthday, acknowledging exceptional effort, and thanking people often will show that you are an attentive and considerate employer.

Keep employees apprised of corporate developments and don’t let them learn shocking details in the newspapers.  If there are problems tell them how you are working to protect their jobs.  If you keep people informed they will trust you can keep doing the best job they can even when times are tough.

It doesn’t take a great deal of effort to be a good leader.  It just calls for you take a moment, put yourself in the place of an employee, and ask what would make you happy, and then do exactly that.

By Fred Coon, CEO

 

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200


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