There is no denying the relationship between employee satisfaction and business productivity. The industry leaders such as Apple, Google, and Facebook, grasped this concept many years ago. Ideas that were dismissed as wacky or off the wall are now accepted as main stream methods in office organization and design.
Two decades ago, offices were constructed around a rigid design and were sterile and austere places to work. Open plan working was in fashion but that left nowhere for private meetings and sensitive conversations. Workers were in each other’s faces throughout the working day and that did not suit everyone.
If you run a business, creating a positive and productive workplace should be high on your list of priorities. If you’re new to the game and you’re on the lookout for suitable premises, or you’re worried that your workplace may be holding you back, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect new office space.
Two months ago I was walking in my hometown of Bristol, England. I passed a modern office with glass walls and my curiosity compelled me to look inside. I saw a conference room with about ten people in it. All of them were men.
Is the Gender Gap Still Prevalent in the Workplace?
When we talk about the gender gap in the workplace, there are two factors to consider. Firstly, that there are more men working than women. Secondly, that those women are not paid the same amount as men. Despite numerous countries creating laws to eradicate the gender pay gap, it is still very much present in today’s society. This isn’t just a problem for us in the UK: the problem is worldwide.
The American Association of University Women explains why the gender gap still exists for so many of us in the workplace. For full-time men and women, they claim that there is still a 20% pay gap in the USA. How is this possible?
MINI is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. It has reached a level that all car manufacturers and companies want to reach: Cult Brand Status. What makes MINI special and unique is that it appeals to all ages and both women and men. People in their 20s all the way up to their 80s buy MINIs. MINIs are fun, and the people that own them and love them are loyal. MINI is a great company to study if you want to learn how to create a great work culture, branding, influence and reach.
I was reminded of this a few weeks ago at the Auto Show that took place in Ottawa. MINI Ottawa was at the show and it was one of my favorite areas to visit and be in. The cars are fun and great looking and the staff that was there from MINI Ottawa were engaged talking all about MINIs. They didn’t have to do a ‘hard sell’. They let the MINI cars speak from themselves. I fell in love with the brand all over again.
Smartphones have become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives. They’re often the first thing we touch when we wake up in the morning and the last thing we look at before going to sleep at night. With these devices playing such an important role in our lives, it makes sense for your workplace to create a cell phone policy. An effective cell phone policy should balance your business’s needs with the needs of all employees.
Doug Yakola has seen his fair share of companies in crisis during his time in business leadership. As the Chief Financial Officer of more than a dozen companies, he’s had several what he calls “boiled frog” moments. Companies, he says, are like frogs put in warm water that are slowly heated up. They often don’t realize that anything is wrong until the water’s boiling and it’s too late to escape. It isn’t necessarily down to bad management. It’s often just that the senior management team isn’t able to accept that the world has changed and moved on and their company hasn’t. The power of inertia can be strong in business.
Other companies get into a crisis by not focusing on the right data. They have the right idea, Yakola says, using data to help make decisions. But sometimes the data they are using is not useful when it comes to improving their revenue. Using the wrong data hamstrings companies and causes them to become less and less relevant to the needs of the market.
After having so many near misses himself, Yakola took a step back and asked how ailing companies can lead themselves out of a crisis. Here is some of his hard-won wisdom.
You may think that it’s okay for employees to be unhappy at work. After all, it’s work, right? Since when do work and happiness exist in the same instance of space-time? Well, actually, work and happiness should go hand-in-hand.
This doesn’t mean that all employees should be expected to want to sing and dance whenever they start work. You’re never going to have the all of your employees being genuinely happy that they have to go to work. It’s an obligation, after all. If they don’t work, they don’t get paid. And the things that they spend their paycheck on are probably the things they’d rather be doing instead of working! Plus there could be issues outside of work that affects their happiness in the workplace as well.
But that doesn’t mean you should allow your employees to be unhappy. And I’m not just talking about this from an ethical standpoint. I’m talking about this from a very pragmatic business standpoint. The fact is that unhappy employees are less productive than happy employees. And you may not even notice it – possibly because all your employees are unhappy, so you have no point of comparison.