If you’re running a business, you want people to be coming into the office energised and excited for another day of work, rather than dreading leaving the house. Happy employees go the extra mile, and are inspired by their workplace to find fresh insights and new ways of working, but demotivated employees are less productive, less inspired, and are at risk of leaving your business for pastures new.
You might be surprised by the cost of a new hire, and it’ll be an inconvenient length of time until get fully familiar with your systems and reach peak efficiency so they can start earning that investment back.
One of your most important responsibilities, therefore, is to make sure you’re building a workplace that, if it doesn’t guarantees happiness, is at least a positive, rewarding place to spend time, and more hostile to toxic behaviour than it is to the humans who work for you.
A Path to the Future
You need to make sure employees value their time with you. One way to show them it’s more worth spending time in your company than looking for jobs elsewhere is to help them acquire new skills, and invest in their future. The cost of training room hire in London is hardly prohibitive, and gives you a venue for any classes or workshops you wish to organise, from programming to First Aid.
It’s really important to find a good way for managers to give feedback to your employees, but also for your employees to give feedback to your managers. It’s surprisingly easy for a bad, or even toxic manager to hide in a company of medium size, as they get to control the narrative: they give feedback on their team and it’s output, so they’re able to assign blame wherever they like, even as they are ultimately responsible for depressed spirits and productivity.
As part of any robust employee review process, employees have the opportunity to feed back to their manager, but this isn’t necessarily enough. Having an anonymous whistleblowing policy, and the sort of corporate structure that means teams are familiar with different managers, and have enough confidence to go to someone higher up the chain of command to report their worries is the key to rooting out people who have been promoted above their competence and are now lashing out.
It’s also vitally important to take complains seriously and not brush them under the carpet: this includes allegations of assault and sexist behaviour that could see an exodus of highly qualified and productive women from your company.
With an interesting future on the horizon, and the confidence that your office is not welcoming to toxic individuals, your employees should be coming to work happy, with all the benefits that brings you.