How to Create a Positive Small Office Environment
Or, to put it another way: how to create an atmosphere that will put your small office on the fast track to being a big office.
It all comes down to positive, proactive management and a willingness to try new things. So here are a few ideas to get your office firing on all cylinders.
Balance dressing downs with gee-ups
Admin staff are going to mess up a few financials. Receptionists are going to lose the odd message. And sales reps are going to miss the occasional budget. That's just life in an office.
But don't let the criticisms overwhelm the compliments. Praise will always be your most empowering tool.
Commend your staff regularly and criticism will carry more weight. If you do have to call out staff for mistakes, try to make it more of an appraisal with a positive focus on ways to perform better. Most importantly, pour the praise on thick on deadline days when everyone is making a last ditch effort to reach weekly goals. Those gee-ups can be just the thing to get them there.
Give staff the stomach to succeed
Indeed, the way to your employees' heads and hearts may well be through their stomachs. So feed them well if you can afford to. That's not to suggest you should provide meals morning, noon and night – you're not Google – but a regular staff lunch boosts morale and melds personalities.
Also ensure all your staff take their allotted lunchbreak. We've all been guilty of saying 'I haven't got time for lunch,' at some time or another, but in reality doing so is completely counterproductive. We are far less efficient on an empty stomach. So even if your staff stop for as long as it takes to gobble down a sandwich, their batteries will be recharged and their afternoon will be significantly more fruitful.
If you usually have your sales meeting in a boardroom, have it at a cafe. If you need to nut out figures with admin, grab a calculator and a pad and go for a walk in the park. A change of routine or environment is a great way to energise minds and stimulate new thinking.
Do the same thing, expect the same thing. Do the unexpected, expect pleasant surprises. Be creative and spontaneous in your approach to the day-to-day running of your office. Rearrange the furniture. Play music. Tell your managers they can work from home tomorrow. Break it up, mix it up, spice it up and the only way will be...up.
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