Are offices better places to work in than they were twenty years ago?
I’d certainly like to think so. One of the positive side effects of the technological revolution has been to make employers realise how important the people who work for them are to the success of their business. Millennials change jobs at three times the rate of the previous generation and if you aren’t giving your employees a working environment that suits them, then you can expect to be taking interview on a regular basis.
Relinquishing control is unnerving for a manager, but it’s important to recognise that not everything needs to be controlled. Identifying where and how you can be flexible is a key managerial skill. Allowing your employees certain freedoms helps foster trust and respect and is an important element in building a loyal team. If the work is being done well, then what does it matter if hours are flexible or whether someone does their work in the office or at home? Recognising that employees have personal lives to manage and giving them the flexibility to do so will produce a better-motivated and more effective workforce.
A perk is a very effective way of sending a message of appreciation. Gym membership, health care, culture days, will all make your team value their job just that little bit more. Make sure that the perk is a perk though, forcing employees on some team building jaunt that they don’t want will have the opposite effect to the one intended.
Hot desking is very on trend at the moment. The practice of having a shared workspace without anyone having ownership of a desk can be productive, but it’s not always as transformative as the name might suggest. It tends to work best in small offices.
Efficient use of technology
Technology should make everyone’s life easier. It should free people to do other, more interesting work. It shouldn’t leave them feeling resentful and in fear of losing their job. It’s estimated that between 2012 and 2016 the UK government saved £3.9 billion by making better use of technology.
Accounting software that is fast, efficient and make working life more congenial for your employees is a huge time saver. Likewise, issuing your employees with a virtual credit card like the one from Soldo, will enable them to deal with day to day expenses and enable you to keep a real time check on what’s being spent.
We all like to have recognition for what we do, and reward schemes are a powerful tool for building a happy, confident team. Financial incentives are important but so too are peer to peer recognition schemes, which improve staff relationships and create a culture of appreciation.
Recognising that employees, who are in junior positions, have the same potential as their superiors is crucial if you are going to build a team that pulls together. As a manager you need to make the time to share the bigger picture and listen to what people have to say. This is not to be confused with relinquishing control and putting everything up for debate.