Creating a JoyPowered workspace can sound like a tall order. It must be expensive (not to mention time-consuming) to make your team joyful, right?
Wrong. While of course there are fantastic things you can do to improve your organization’s JoyPower that cost money (CliftonStrengths assessments and coaching come to mind), you can also make small, easy changes, with no cost, to get the ball rolling. Here are some ideas:
You should always be appreciative of your team. People who don’t feel like they’re making a difference, an impact, or even just doing a good job aren’t going to be JoyPowered, so it’s always a great idea to say thank you! Just make sure you’re being specific about what you’re grateful for – what exactly did they do that you appreciated? If that’s not a big enough step, a boutique travel community called Indagare is taking workplace appreciation to a whole new level; they start every day with a morning gratitude practice where each team member is invited to share one thing they’re grateful for and one wish of happiness for another person.
Open floor plan offices can be great for encouraging communication, team bonding, and collaboration. On the other hand, they can be exhausting for introverts who need alone time and too noisy and distracting for people who are trying to focus. You don’t need to totally redesign your floor plan to solve these problems, though. If you have other rooms available, designate one or more as a quiet room where people can go when they don’t want to or have time to talk. If you don’t have a space for that, try something that Intel experimented with: designating a “do-not-disturb” day (or even an hour!) with a rule that nobody can talk to each other, talk on the phone, or have meetings in the office during that time. One more inexpensive way to address this issue is to allow employees to work from home, whether that’s on a specific day each week, or whenever they want.
Research shows that when we take short breaks, it results in higher productivity, renewed focus, and reduced stress. However, almost 20% of North American workers think their boss won’t think they’re hardworking if they take a break – even for lunch – so make sure that your team knows that you support taking breaks, and set a good example by taking breaks yourself! This shouldn’t stop at mid-day breaks, either; studies say people who travel with most of their vacation time are happier with their companies, so encourage your team to take all their vacation time as well.
Create a healthy and happy workforce by supporting mentally and physically healthy behaviors. This could include encouraging your team to take meditation breaks, offering mentoring, or creating a wellness program (yes, you can do that for free). By acknowledging facets of your team’s life outside of the profit they’re making for you, you’ll show them that they are appreciated and seen as more than a dollar sign – not to mention that when they participate in these healthy activities, they’re likely to be happier, more productive, and less stressed.
Show your employees that you care about them and create a connected culture and a sense of belonging by celebrating with your employees, whether it’s because of a success at work or something unrelated to the office like a birthday, new baby, or new house. This can mean anything from a cake, to a shout-out during a meeting, to featuring their work win on your company’s blog. You might consider creating a peer-to-peer award system for recognizing big achievements, too.
Annual performance review meetings can lower employee engagement; your team doesn’t want a pile of criticisms dropped on them once a year. Instead of saving all your insight for one pressure-filled meeting with a mountain of paperwork, have frequent conversations giving immediate feedback. Think of it more as coaching them than grading them for their performance.
If you’ve been thinking that you can’t create a JoyPowered workspace, think again! All it takes is a series of small changes, so start small with something free – it might make a bigger impact than you think.