Cubicles are a great way to define a workspace. They can provide workers with privacy and designated space to focus. To make sure cubicle space is both comfortable and functional, consider adding some of these extras.
The addition of an extra monitor or two can make it much easier for your employees to handle multi-step processes. While multitasking isn’t much of a time-saver, many workers find that having a spreadsheet open on one monitor makes the task of populating a report template much more efficient. For employees who need to communicate with clients in real time the ability to move from conversation to comments on a second screen greatly increases productivity.
Sitting for long periods of time is hard on your spine. Over time, too much sitting can increase the risk of obesity and back problems. Installing standing desks can help your employees build core strength while increasing their focus on their tasks. Consider installing a desktop lift that can be easily elevated by the employee so they can move from a standing to a seated project as needed.
Employees should be able to display a few personal items within sight of their monitors. Pictures of their loved ones can easily go on a bookshelf or a corner of the desktop. While the employee’s space shouldn’t be cluttered, the addition of personal items can brighten a long workday and lift the spirits of a dedicated employee. Experts would advise you to consider the benefits of workspace decorating. Of course, nothing should extend above the height of the cubicle wall or impede the ability of the employee to get work done.
The addition of a green plant can add a touch of home to a cubicle. A green, leafy plant such as sansevieria, also called snake plant, can actually freshen the air in the office. Even better, the snake plant can flourish under fluorescent lighting. To avoid allergies and discomfort, ask employees to avoid flowering plants. Make sure that plant pots are required to include a drip tray to avoid water damage to desks and carpets.
Cubicles are supposed to be uniform, but this can make the office space a bit bland. It’s a good idea to keep things energized and welcoming. The addition of personal items and plants can brighten the space for all employees and encourage personal connections and a culture of being inclusive.
The nature of communication within businesses has seen great changes in recent years. Through the internet and other digital connections, you can pass information to your employees within seconds. However, fast communication is not a guarantee that your workers will see or respond to the communication. The best way to communicate with your staff depends on your resources, employee location, and privacy concerns.
Depending on the number of remote employees you have, the least expensive form of communication may be a face-to-face meeting. Many businesses start the day with a daily briefing of different departments or staff groups. These types of meetings can be helpful in ensuring people have received important information for the day. However, once the workday begins, there may be other communication needs. Email is still a low-end expense, but it is often so frequently used that important communication may never be seen. Shortly after your email arrives, it is pushed down by other pressing messages. Saving money does not matter when your messages get lost in employee inboxes. If you want communication that is more direct or more private, you will have to invest more in your systems. A virtual private network can enhance security, but working with one is an added cost. A third-party communication system can help establish message priority, but it is also a financial investment.
Where Are My Employees?
While the daily meeting can still be helpful, it is a product of a different era when employees were all onsite. Nearly 3 billion people worldwide are deskless workers, making communication via email less optimal for disseminating information. Remote workers may need company-issued phones for receiving information through text or instant message. You also need to consider how remote employees can participate in meetings. This could involve a simple remote connection or a virtual meeting room.
How Important is the Information?
Another important consideration is the value of the information that is being sent back and forth. Sending out a set of weekly goals is most likely an operation with low-security needs. However, if sensitive content is routinely part of communications, you need to think about data safety. In this case, you want to create connections that have higher security protocols like password protection and encryption.
Poor communication costs businesses a great deal of money every year in both time and profit. Companies of every size need to have a communication plan in place. When you think intentionally about how to share information, you will improve the performance of your business.
For a profitable business, your income has to be greater than your expenses. While it is critical to work to increase your income, it is also important to find ways to streamline your costs. Waste in the workplace is often a silent expense. Yet, those lost minutes or unnecessary expenses add up over time, eating into your profits.
When you hire a new employee, there are many upfront costs. It takes some time and training before you receive the full benefit of that new person. If that employee requires more training than you expected or doesn’t have the right skillset, the cost of bringing him or her up to speed can become wasteful. Consider using skills tests and strong behavioral interview questions to make certain that new candidates are honest about their skill levels.
It is also important to find people with the right personality for your workplace. If you are in a market space that promotes creative thinking, someone who spends time doing some daydreaming may be an asset. If you are in manufacturing, that same person will cost you money in lost time and slowed production.
When an unusable product rolls off your assembly line, you are looking at waste in the manufacturing process. Employees may have to spend time disassembling the item or simply throw it away. It’s not enough to check for quality once a product is complete; you need to adopt a process that prioritizes catching mistakes early on.
Some managers will periodically walk through the entire manufacturing process looking for wasted motion and stations with the highest possibility of mistakes. By getting feedback from employees, they are able to improve each step. After revamping the process, they will walk the line again looking for new issues. Over time, the process improves, increasing manufacturing rates and minimizing waste.
Schedule for Productivity
Many businesses still base their workday on an eight-hour period with a few breaks along the way. More recently, businesses have discovered the power of more flexible schedules. The traditional, nine-to-five model produces a productive morning with decreasing productivity through the afternoon.
By breaking up the day in different ways, it is possible to have a more constant level of productivity throughout the day. For example, the period after lunch is often a time of low energy. Encouraging your employees to use half an hour of that time for creative projects or continuing education can set up higher productivity for the rest of the afternoon.
Removing waste from your business is a constant process and there is no one-size-fits-all method. As workplace dynamics change, you will have to constantly reassess the systems you’ve put in place. However, by paying attention to waste, you are increasing the profit margins for your business.
Sometimes you need a bit of guidance to understand what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to increasing productivity. Consider enrolling in our Coaching Program to enhance your leadership skills as a business owner.
In today’s competitive workplace, it is more important than ever to retain quality employees. Reducing the turnover rate at your place of business should be one of your key initiatives if you want to remain competitive and continue to grow your organization. Here are three ways that you can reduce your employee turnover rates so that your business flourishes.
Offer Greater Benefits
Keeping your compensation and benefits current as measured against today’s standards is essential when retaining employees is your goal. Do your research to find out what the competitors are offering their staff for benefits and do your best to match or exceed that package. For many employees, a comprehensive benefits package may be even more enticing than a bump in salary. In addition to the standard features such as medical insurance and 401K matching programs, be sure to consider extras such as vision coverage and life insurance. By thinking outside of the box, you can beef up your benefits offerings without it hurting your bottom line. The key is to find the things that employees really want and value.
Employee Health Programs
In addition to standard benefits programs, you can sweeten the deal by offering employee health programs. According to experts fitness programs increase employee loyalty and boost overall job satisfaction. Programs that reward employees for the number of steps that they take in a day are especially popular now that so many people have built-in fitness trackers on their smartphone or smartwatch. Competitions are a fun way to encourage good health while also building team camaraderie. Another popular benefit is to offer your employees a paid gym membership or to pay for wellness programs that visit your company onsite to reach your staff members.
Today’s modern workforce puts a high premium on flexibility and happy life and work-balance. Offering flexible work schedules is a great way to increase employee satisfaction and motivate them to stay with the company. If you are not offering your employees the ability to create their own schedule and to work from home occasionally, they may leave you for a company that gives them this flexibility.
A strong economy means that workers will continue to look at other places to boost their careers. Employing these initiatives will slow the revolving door at your company and put you in a better position to succeed.
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