Eighteen years ago, a Detroit tech company called Vectorform created a workplace of boyhood dreams. Employees zipped down the corridors on skateboards and scooters, played Lego to unleash their creativity and held team meetings over board games once a week. They turned up in PJ’s, brought their dogs to work or just worked from home when the fancy took them. Pretty radical ideas at the time, but today, not so much.
The majority of modern tech companies now are boasting offices that are something out of the ordinary. Take a look at Google, Amazon and Apple for a start, where floor to floor slides are commonplace and plush ‘chill out’ areas a must-have. But as we stride on through the 2010’s, more and more companies are starting to prioritise employee happiness.
A recent study by Perkbox showed that around a third of UK workers are unhappy in their jobs. Many cited poor organisational culture, micromanagement and lack of development opportunities as their main bug-bears, but surprisingly its not all about the money. One in four workers said they would rather work in a job that made them happier, even if it meant taking a pay cut, so what can your business do to increase satisfaction in your workforce?
What can really ensure employee happiness?
Not every workplace is appropriate for ping pong tables and video games. As much as these are regular fixtures in cutting edge tech businesses, it’s never going to be appropriate in a law firm or a financial company. So, what can you do to stand out from the crowd if you’re just another business trying to attract and retain top talent? Here are some ideas:
- Look again at your recruitment process
Employee happiness needs to begin from the first moment your candidate encounters your business. Matching the right person to the right job is essential, and while you should certainly make sure the person is well qualified for the job, don’t overlook the softer skills (personality, interpersonal skills etc.) that will help them fit in with your team.
- Invest in your office
OK, so maybe you’re not the skateboard riding, pool playing big-kids of silicon valley, but you can work to make your office a nicer place to be. First impressions count, so look at your office with fresh eyes and see it how a new recruit would see it coming into it for the first time. Small upgrades like solid wood computer desks or ergonomic office chairs can really make all the difference.
- Have a career progression plan
Retaining talent is all about helping them to meet their goals too. Being challenged, rewarded and invested in will help your employees to stay focussed, happy and engaged. Nurture their progression, offer opportunities for development and don’t be afraid to invest in your staff to explore new areas of interest in line with your business needs.
- Create a positive organisational culture
The environment in which your employees is working is as important to them as any other aspect of their job. By actively shaping a positive culture in your workplace, you can engineer a happier, more cohesive team and a joyful working environment. Prioritise work-life balance, introduce rewards and facilitate regular social activities to help this process along.
Building an inspirational workforce is not easily done, but wise investments should be the first place you start. If your office could do with an upgrade, we can help. From solid wood computer desks and comfortable chairs through to solutions for office layout and workstation dividers, our products are just what you need to create the right ambience for your employees.