Derek Elliott - How to Make Your Workplace Better

The human resources professional with the responsibility for creating a better workplace faces a tall order.



The human resources professional with the responsibility for creating a better workplace faces a tall order. Improving the workplace can range from changing the workspace to accommodate the physical and ergonomic needs of workers to raising employee satisfaction levels with a more collegial work environment.

Human resources strategy addresses these and other workplace issues, and although the methods you utilize vary depending on your business or industry, work force size, and current state of job satisfaction, the desired outcomes must focus on the well-being, motivation and engagement of the majority of your employees.

1. Review employee opinion survey responses for clues on employee satisfaction. If you do not administer an employee survey, design questions that elicit valuable information from employees on a variety of issues or questions that hone in on one or two deficiencies or areas of concern. A confidential, anonymous workplace survey identifies issues that inhibit workplace productivity. However, the effectiveness of an employee survey is only as good as the action plan that follows. Using survey responses, help each member of the company leadership develop an action plan that requires his participation in improving the work environment.

2. Assess current workplace situations that affect employee satisfaction, contribute to workplace injuries and threaten the employer-employee relationship. These three areas can be easily identified for developing action plans and providing concrete steps toward improving working conditions.

3. Enlist the expertise of your risk management and workplace safety staff member to conduct an analysis of workplace conditions that may be contributing to lack of motivation, disruptions in productivity or general malaise in the workplace. The Workplace conditions such as a lack of ergonomically correct seating, poor workspace configurations and improper use of tools, machinery and equipment can have a tremendous impact on employee well-being. Attending to the physical needs of your work force produces a dramatic improvement in a work environment where job specifications, access and accommodations require periodic tweaks to improve employee engagement and productivity.

4. Provide supervisor and manager training on performance management techniques. The Constructive and regular feedback gives the employees a sense of accomplishment and corrects deficiencies before they worsen. Manager feedback and informal appraisals are ways to communicate with employees. Employees appreciate communication because it reminds them that their contributions and efforts are important to company success.

5. They Encourage a strong interpersonal relationships among staff and management. The hierarchical structure of many businesses draws a chalk line that employees are fearful of crossing. Employers have been known to devalue employee opinions, skills and talents if they cross over the line that separates front-line workers from managers. Interact with employees and managers on an equal basis to create a more cohesive and productive workplace. Stress the importance of teamwork to achieve organizational goals and recognize employees for their help in reaching those goals.

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