Employee happiness matters. Research from the University of Warwick shows happiness at work makes people more productive – about 12% more productive, at that. Google has invested more into employee support, and employee satisfaction has risen by 37%. The bottom line is, people perform better when they are happier.
Keeping your employees motivated is an essential part of a successful business. Paying your employees a fair wage is a start, but it’s not enough. Other factors include: good relationships between employees, good work/life balance, satisfaction with the job, and recognition for a job well done.
Here are six ways to keep your employees happy and motivate them toward better productivity.
Make Sure Employees Know Their Place
Your employees should know where they fit into the larger picture, and how they play role in the grand scheme. Metric and analytics can give your employees concrete proof of how well they’re fitting in and getting their job done. For example, creating a gamified environment can help your employees quantify their achievements, in relation to the company and in relation to their colleagues.
Gamification in a team environment can be more effective than pitting employees against each other in the game. If you’re using an individual challenge, it’s important to be completely transparent about all the scoring and who is where, so as to keep all employees on the same page.
It can breed anger and resentment if employees believe there is one person or a small group of people who are at an advantage over the rest according to gameffective.com.
Redesign Your Office
If you have the budget, consider making some changes around the office in terms of decor and furniture. Studies have shown everything from the color on the office walls to the amount of natural light available, to furniture used can impact productivity.
According to a 2011 study, the color red on office walls could cause issues with focus. It not only increases the speed of reactions, but also the strength, at a level most people are not aware of. At first, this could seem like a good thing, but typically this causes distraction and worry, which can drain mental resources faster.
Another study revealed using the all-white approachcould make the office feel more like a hospital, which feels more intimidating, which is not ideal for productivity. Instead of going for bold and bright, opt for something more subtle and subdued. Softer colors are not as hard on the eyes making it easier to concentrate.
If painting your office is not an option, make use of color wherever you can, and include blues and greens where possible, because these colors are particularly calming.
If possible, let natural light in. At the least, change the lightbulbs the office uses to better mimic sunlight. Studies show those who work in an office with windows get 173% more white light exposure during work hours, and as a result sleep an average of 46 minutes long per night compared to those who work in windowless offices.
Those who worked in offices without windows reported lower scores on measures of quality of life, and poor outcomes with efficiency and quality of sleep. Artificial light bothers the circadian rhythms, which promotes better sleep, and in turn, more productivity.
Invest in ergonomic furniture. This combined with effective use of space could lead to productivity increases of up to 64% according to research from New Zealand.
The same research out of New Zealand showed that by encouraging employees to take exercise breaks throughout the day, there was a 25% increase in overall productivity. Provide a list of small and easy exercises to do at the desk or around the office – as simple as getting up to walk a few laps around the desk.
Add some plants around the office, and encourage employees to bring their own plants to their offices and/or cubicles. Studies show adding a little greenery to the office helps decrease stress while improving productivity by up to 12%.Plants work to purify the air in the office, and several species are easy to keep alive if employees are worried they have a black thumb, rather than a green one.
If you say something to an employee, follow through with it. Dr. Noelle C. Nelson’s research shows that good managers are those who keep their promises and put employees first. For instance, the CEO of Alcoa Ltd, an aluminum company, dedicated himself to employee safety as his only priority. He was not only able to reduce the accidents among employees, but also to improve productivity.
It’s not necessarily the right move for your company, but many tech giantsare making it work. Companies such as Netflix, Twitter, Prezi, InsightSquared, and The Motley Fool, all offer “unlimited” vacation policies. Of course employees cannot take half the year off and get paid for it, but it works because it gives employees the time they need to recharge – lending to more productivity at work.
Research shows the more someone works, the less productive they become. Many times, employees respond by carefully planning how they’ll take their time off and still get all of their work done.
Happy employees are productive ones, but try not to make too many changes at once. It could overwhelm the employees to deal with so many different changes in process and policy. Try organizing a meeting with everyone to learn more about what changes they would like to see, and then do your best to make them work.
4 Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating in the Workplace
A healthier workforce is a more engaged and productive one. A lot of people overlook the impact eating habits can have on cognitive functions, mood, and concentration. But by making a few adjustments to your workplace and company culture, you could help your employees make healthier food choices.
Here are a few simple ways you could encourage healthy eating in the workplace.
Use Snack Services
There are plenty of snack services out there that will allow you to provide snacks to your employees for cheap. They allow you to buy various snacks in bulk so you can save on total costs. They’re also a great way to show that you actually care about your employees’ wellbeing.
However, not all of them are created equal and some might be healthier than others. While an office snack service like Naturebox will be focused mainly on providing healthy office snacks like dried fruits, nuts, and low-calorie options, others won’t have as wide a selection and will offer your usual run-of-the-mill snacks with a few “healthy” options. If you want to know more about snack services and which one would be best for you, Bevi has a great article about them. Bevi also supplies beverages for the office, including water dispensers.
Incentivize your Employees
There are plenty of ways you could make things easier for your employees and incentivize healthy eating. Some companies, for instance, will have free fruit around the office or will allow their employees to have access to mineral water. If you have vending machines, make sure that you stock them up with healthy foods as well as the usual snacks. And make sure that healthy options are much cheaper as well.
Do not Neglect Break Time
You have to institute a culture in your business where your employees feel free to enjoy a full lunch break and sufficient screen break time as well. This will encourage healthy eating habits and reduce stress as well. Make sure that they don’t eat at their desk and consider giving flexible break hours so they can get out and stretch their legs. A lunch hour should be long enough to let them go out and enjoy a healthy meal if they want to. Enjoying fresh air will also leave them invigorated for the second half of the day.
Make Sure that it’s a Clear Part of your Company Culture
If you want your employees to truly dedicate themselves to healthy eating, it has to be part of your company’s mission and put down in writing. Make sure that your commitment to healthy eating and overall health is part of the staff handbook. You should also make it clear to your staff that your mission will translate into actual policy. Let them know that healthy eating options will be subsidized or completely free of charge. Also, make sure that you consider adopting a corporate food plan if you have a cafeteria.
Making sure that your employees adopt healthy eating habits is not only an investment in their well-being but in your business as well. If you want to enjoy a happier and healthier workforce that will run on all cylinders, make sure to make healthy eating a must in your workplace.
How to Make Money from Home as a Freelance Writer
If you have ever considered becoming a freelance writer your first and biggest question is probably “how do I begin making money as a freelance writer”? Knowing where and how to look for jobs is the first step in your freelance writing career.
There are plenty of ways to get paid but in this article, we give you 5 of the best methods for getting work as a beginner freelance writer.
Enter Writing Contests
Writing contests are a great option for freelance writers of any experience level because they do not differentiate between beginner writers and established professionals. Winning of these would be a great achievement for any resume and are sure to spruce up portfolios.
There are many competitions open to the public so do your research and see what opportunities are available to you. Prizes range from small cash payments to publications of your written works. Many of these competitions are free to enter so take the opportunity and submit your works today.
There are many ways for freelancers to make money online, you can find out more here. However, a common beginning point for freelance writers looking to get their first clients is to pitch for jobs on job boards. It is as simple as registering for an account and filling out applications or bidding on jobs. There are a ton of wiring jobs available on these boards and the clients are looking for people with a base level writing ability and a strong work ethic.
Start a Blog
Every writer needs a blog and these days bloggers are monetizing their blog through affiliate marketing. Running a blog can benefit you as a writer in many ways including contributing to your portfolio, creating lead generation, build up your credibility and give you confidence as a writer. Your blog will help you develop your style and target audience. The goal to successfully monetizing your blog is to pick a successful niche and developing a strong social media presence.
As a writer you should be following and supporting other bloggers and their sites. Consider pitching a guest post to your favorite authors. Most blogs accept guest posts and a lot of them are willing to pay for quality content from their guests. Before you send your pitch make sure you take the time to research the blog extensively. What is the style of writing? What is the niche? Develop a pitch that fits in nicely with site you are hoping to guest post for.
Self-Publish your Own Books
Amazon Direct Publishing has made it easy for writers of all experience levels to self-publish paperbacks and ebooks. The best part is that it is free to publish through KDP. Al you have to do is upload your book and wait for people to start purchasing it. Write about your book in your blog and post it all over your social media accounts to help gain some traffic and awareness. With KDP you can earn up to 70% in royalties, keep control of the rights, set your own prices and make changes to the book at any time.
4 Tools That Will Help You Keep Focus in Meetings
Keeping everybody focused on any kind of meeting can be quite a challenge. People are easily distracted and they get bored, especially in long meetings that drone on. However, there are some tools that can help keep focus during a meeting.
Did you know that whiteboards are a critical part of meetings nowadays? It’s one of the focus tools we will look at today.
One big help when it comes to the meeting is anything visual. There is a reason why people use tools like PowerPoint, graphs, images, and other types of visuals in meetings – because they help keep focus much better than words alone.
Have you ever been in a meeting, or maybe listening to a school presentation, where a person drones on? It can get boring if a person relies solely on words to get a point across. It can become boring and hard to focus on.
However, when you add snazzy visuals and colorful graphs into the mix, it helps to catch the eyes of those watching and listening. It also helps provide a minor break from word-only presentations that are hard to focus on.
Visuals always help with presentations, not to mention that they are great for getting across points and hammering them home, points out that words alone have trouble getting across.
One of the tools that can be used to help keep focus in meetings is a recording device of sorts. This could be anything; as long as it allows you to record a meeting, it should work fine. This could be an old-school tape recorder, a phone, tablet, or anything else that can record voice.
The point here is that during meetings, people often try and jot down notes and write down what the speaker is saying.
However, this actually distracts from the task at hand, because when people are writing notes, they are n’t listening or taking in additional information. It is actually pretty hard to take a new point in when you are also writing the last point down.
Therefore, a recording device to record all things said in a meeting can come in handy.
Instead of having people write down notes and lightning speed and not absorb information; people can actually listen to what is being said. Then, instead of referring to notes for reference, they can simply listen to the recording.
This might seem like an odd tool when it comes to helping people keep focus in meetings, but it does work. Some people probably wouldn’t qualify stress balls as being tools, but in reality, they are.
Stress balls are those little softballs which people have in their hands and squeeze to relieve stress. They might be stress relief tools, but this is exactly why they can help people focus.
People don’t listen well when they are stressed out, and a stress ball helps to combat this. Furthermore, many people have to be doing something with their hands, which is why they invented those fidget spinners that were a big deal last year. It’s hard to focus on a meeting when you are constantly looking for something for your hands to do.
A stress ball in your hands can solve both of these problems quite adequately. Make sure you don’t get a noisy one, or else everybody else in the meeting room will not be happy with you.
When it comes down to it, one of the most useful tools to help keep people focused during a meeting is undoubtedly the whiteboard. This has to do with our first point – that visuals help to keep attention.
Whiteboards are pretty big, they have great contrast between the surface and the colored markers, and they allow for great organization.
Whoever is leading the meeting can use various colors of markers to jot down the most important ideas, which are easy for everybody to see.
Whiteboards are also highly portable, so they can be moved from one meeting room to another. If you did not already know, whiteboards are becoming a staple of every meeting room and classroom out there today.
These 4 items or tools that we have discussed here today are fantastic for helping you and others keep their focus during meetings. It can be hard to keep focus, especially in a long meeting and in a room full of people. Hopefully, you can put these items to good use to increase focus and productivity.
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