Labor Day is rapidly approaching, and you and your employees are probably already relishing the extra time. But how to get the most of that extra day off? If you run a small business or work as a manager, your employees’ day off can give you some time to think of ways to make work a better place for everyone.
A positive work environment is an important way to encourage your team members to do a great job every day. Here are several creative steps you can initiate to facilitate cooperation, teamwork, and satisfaction among staff.
1. Encourage open communication
Employees feel valued if management and coworkers take the time to listen to them. Everyone should feel honored and respected at all times. Sometimes it’s helpful in busy workplaces for a drop box or mail center to be installed to house ideas, questions, comments, and complaints that employees might have. All communications should be handled with care, and some notes should be kept private if an issue is sensitive.
A literal drop box is a great way for employees to feel their voices matter, even in a busy environment, as long as management acknowledges all communications appropriately. Private responses, public acknowledgements, and meetings can make employees feel like management cares. Giving employees a voice in matters can go a long way towards creating a positive work environment for everyone.
2. Set a foundation for accountability
Employees who know what to expect are generally happier at work. Employment contracts and employee handbooks come into play when setting rules and guidelines in the workplace. Management is held accountable along with employees, and both parties must abide by set guidelines. When they do, it’s a win-win situation for everyone. After all, it’s only fair for everyone to know ahead of time what is expected of them and what success looks like in their roles.
3. Find reasons to celebrate
Who doesn’t love a party? Your state might have mandatory meal breaks (California does, for instance), or it might be that any short breaks you are granted are paid. In either case, it’s important to find reasons to take a break together and celebrate as a team. Birthdays, births, adoptions, weddings, and housewarming parties are all great office occasions. They help staff feel valued and give coworkers the opportunity to appreciate each other outside of daily tasks. Gather together in the break room under a banner and enjoy cake or healthy refreshments. Even if the occasion isn’t a big deal, it can be a huge morale booster for everyone.
4. Laughter is the best medicine
Humor should be a regular part of the daily work environment. Pass around polite and appropriate emails, set up a humor section on the office bulletin board and encourage staff to find reasons to laugh. Employers who encourage this attitude can make a huge difference in the quality of office life.
5. Give recognition when due
Always offer recognition and kudos to staff who are giving 100%. It’s a great idea to ‘catch people being good,’ because it encourages employees to always do their best and it lets them know that leadership cares. A little recognition can go a long way. Labor day is all about recognizing the contributions for workers and their rights. If you manage others or run a small business, take a little time and think about how you can make your workplace a better place for everyone. Chances are, it’ll be better for the business too. To get the right guidelines in place for clear communication, check out our employment legal center.