Treat your employees well and make the workplace fun. Easier said than done. Like many old timers used to say, “They call it WORK for a reason. If it was FUN they would call it that.”
Do you treat the people that work for you as a means to an end?
Good business has changed. “Sometimes simply receiving a paycheck is not enough of an incentive to keep employees dedicated and focused,” Amelia Jenkinsin says, in the Houston Chronicle. While some companies continue to squeeze their staff to make more money, a growing number are testing the theory that they can have both profits and happy workers. And it is working.
Consider this example of the workday of a close friend of mine who works for a major internet company.
9:00am arrive at work eat a catered breakfast.
12:30-1:30pm Lunch catered, lifts weights at the gym at his job site
4:30-5:30pm Dinner catered, Foosball tournament with co-workers
5:30-8:00pm Work. Go home.
He loves his work. He loves going and being at work. He is there for 11 hours each day. He is fit, happy, fed and still puts in 8.5 hours of solid work in a day. He is not even required to come into the office. He just needs to get his work done wherever he is.
“If we learned anything, it’s that there are large numbers of people who resonated with the basic idea that companies have to work both for owners and employees, and for customers,” stated Thomas Kochan, a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, in a recent interview.
My friend’s work schedule is unique. However, there are some elements of his workday that can worker's. Consider the following list and begin to think about how you can create an atmosphere that breeds success at every level.
1. Give your people freedom and control over their time.
2. Delegate responsibility.
3. Give incentives that matter to the worker.
4. Give the workers a voice in the company.
5. Design the work with a variety of challenging opportunities
6. Foster creativity.
7. Create a culture and atmosphere where your workers want to work.
8. Hire slow.
This could look like: (Real examples)
- Construction manager who feeds his workers breakfast burritos every Friday
- Catered meals at the end of every month for the whole company
- Weekly meetings on progress that is always positive. “How can I help you get better” or “What do you need.”
- Having a family day and BBQ
- Allowing workers to create their work space that you budgeted for them
“Treating employees well can be expensive. But the company is always looking for more benefits to offer,” said Suzanne McDowell, the VP of Human Resources at King Arthur Flour, a 225-year-old company that prides itself on treating its employees well.
“We take care of our people—the whole person that comes into work every day,” she said. “It’s the employer that we want to be—it feels right. It feels balanced. And it could probably be more.”