Sophie Borland, who happens to be a health correspondent for the Daily Mail, had once written an article on how overworked the general practitioners are nowadays in US. They have already warned that the patients might have to wait for a month to get an appointment, forget seeing a doctor, at this time next year.
Many companies nowadays actively participate in providing an equal work to life ratio to all of their employees, so that they remain happy and lead healthy satisfied lifestyles, which will directly reflect in their attitude to work and productivity. They understand the risk that pushing employees for a higher production will only yield good results for a short while. But eventually, all employees will quit with the reason quoted being “having no life while working there”.
Companies have now introduced many new and creative measures to give their employees a sense of belongingness to the work place. One of the easiest ways to do this is by simply giving an employee more freedom and control. Many might argue that handing more control to employees could be counter-productive but it is found that when employees have more control in the working of a company, they feel valued and in command.
Innovative steps like flexible timings, job-sharing, tele commuting, working from home and half-day work, have all immensely improved the relation between a company’s management and employee. Employee satisfaction goes up when he realizes that this is a company that thinks about him, and will in turn, try and reciprocate by providing his best output. This results in a higher engagement with their work and better focus on productivity. If the performance is purely due to employment reasons, or fear of being treated like a bottom-performer, now the employees will perform well because they believe themselves as a part of the company and not a mere employee.
It is also advisable to ask employees their suggestions in key matters. Many of them are experienced people in their respective sectors, and must have good ideas that they have seen being implemented in other companies. Most managers don’t have the time to spare with each employee of the company. Hence, creative ways of taking suggestions and inputs are being implemented in many offices nowadays. The most common of which would be the “Suggestion Box”.
Employees might be answerable for only their professional life inside the office, but they all are people with a social life, and might be family persons with various responsibilities and commitments waiting for them back home. There is a big chance that some employee could be lacking in performance owing to certain changes put into his working style by the management, or maybe his productivity has gone down due to certain personal reasons in his life, that may or may not have been because of the work he is in.
In situations like these, the best thing to do is to sit down and have a frank, one-to-one discussion with him. Many managers encourage this way of working. There was a time when a strict hierarchical string of command used to be followed, with pre-determined rules of decorum for people in the senior management.
Nowadays, many of these rules are defunct. The most successful managers of today are so friendly with their team-mates that it is not difficult for any employee to approach them with any personal problem. The most common areas of concern for managers is dealing with co-workers who have emotional, stress-related, health or financial issues. In addition to these, some also have substance-related problems. The most important thing, managers say, is to be as receptive and be as non-judgmental as possible while dealing with these cases.
This has started the Employee Assistance Programs that have seen tremendous success in the recent years. Employees have hailed programs like these as not only attentive to their needs but acting as the bridge between them and different layers of the management.
Employee referrals and rewarding people for their sincere and good work are all strategies that help an employee feel more at home while working with an organization. Steps like these help people find a connectivity with their co-workers by developing a purpose for their working, as compared to treating them as just employees who are there to do a job.
Many companies have reported a remarkable increase in productivity and output by making only small changes like listening to what the employees have to share with them, and thanking them when they share something useful. It was because it made the employee feel like a part of a family where he can also put his points clearly without worrying about any possible backlash.
Organizing team parties, outdoor camping and birthday celebrations are also some steps that are simple and yet, contribute a lot towards making the workplace comfortable.
Small incentives like praising someone in front of other people for their service, giving people some extra time-off, awarding them for their achievements and offering them promotions have been observed to give a huge emotional and moral boost to people. These perks, if timely, give a lot of impetus to the employees to move forward and produce better quality of work.