Creating a positive employee experience ultimately benefits everyone concerned. Employees are content, inspired and productive, and perform better in a positive engaging environment.
It is up to team leaders to make sure that employees thrive by creating the kind of office climate that makes them want to go to work. In return, employers enjoy greater employee retention, increased enthusiasm and a higher return-on-investment as a result of elevated productivity.
Studies Confirm That Mood Impacts Productivity
A study about the impact of happiness on employee productivity conducted at the University of Oxford’s Business School studied employees at a major telesales company. Researchers found that happy employees are 13% more productive, when they are in a good mood.
Their mood was dependent somewhat on the weather, but also on such factors as the office architecture and visual exposure. When cheered up by office perks, employees worked harder, and made more sales.
Ways to Create A Positive Employee Experience
Here are ten ways to create a positive employee experience.
#1 Design A Workspace For Humans
A toxic workplace is one that does not meet the employees’ basic human needs to feel well. At its most basic this means fresh air, natural lighting, and clean water.
Stay away from institutional florescent lighting and windows that don’t open. Central air conditioning can make life more comfortable for employees on hot days. Adequate heating and regular hygiene of your space can also minimize lost productivity due to illness.
#2 Provide A Strong Company Culture
Provide your employees with the same mission statement that you do a bank or a client. Make your company’s branding and locus of focus clear to all, so that your entire team is always on the same page.
#3 Flexibility is Key
Humans need to be treated like more than just a number. Even if you are part of corporate culture, allowing employees to get up, take breaks and take time off as they need for family emergencies or illness is crucial.
#4 Listen to Your Employees
The employee that feels “heard”, even in situations where you cannot provide what is requested is more likely to sacrifice time and energy for the team.
Responding to every email and phone call is imperative to employee happiness. It is also important to have regular meetings with each employee to discover what motivates them as a reward.
#5 Avoid Employee Micro-management
An employee that is micro-managed does not feel trusted. If you hired someone because they have a special talent, then let them show it off to you, at their own pace and using their own logistics.
Keep all criticism constructive. Let employees educate themselves by providing opportunities for training and further education.
The Benefits Employee Experience Benefits All
Creating a positive, engaging work environment for your employees takes effort, and often requires changes on all levels, from the design and layout of your workplace, to establishing a positive company culture to minimizing overwork and rigid corporate behaviors.
The Oxford study is consistent with another study about happiness and productivity from Warwick University that suggests happy employees are 12% more productive than unhappy ones. Productivity rose after employees were exposed to comedy shows, drinks, fruit and chocolate. Productivity lowered after they were told negative stories or reminded of personal tragedies.
Importantly, this increase in productivity is not linked to working more hours; these happier employees simply perform better in the same amount of time. It seems that what some employers would see as a distraction, television, treats and drinks, may actually encourage productivity.
Ultimately, it is the company that offers humane practices, reasonable expectations and positive feedback in the form of financial remuneration that tends to retain its best talent and also see the most productivity in business. Still, even smaller measure such as offering flexibility of schedule, free treats and coffee and access to television can help shift workers into a highly productive zone.