Employees talk, they talk to each other, they talk to family members and friends, etc. and they usually talk about the conditions at work. Some of these conversations make it to Human Resources departments and some do not; but one thing is clear, people want to be treated with respect and dignity whether it has to do with the office and/or work environment, salary received, hours of work, expectation, benefits, etc. There are times when it is a monetary issue only and that of course has a finite budget figure that you have to work with, but there are other less obvious forms of disrespect and lack of attention that sometimes go on for years before something gets done about them.
One of the most noticeable is the condition of the places in which people work. I have been in offices and other work environments where as an outside consultant; I have been shocked because of the lack of management, creativity, thought and innovation; most of the employees are working with and have been working with very negative and disruptive spaces and equipment, etc. You actually can have a brand new office space and it could be one of the most undesirable work environments on the planet; it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to produce a good place to work; it takes more creative listening and paying attention and common sense. The way to conquer this enigma is with fresh eyes, open for new data. We get so used of being in this work space we don’t even see that a table moved here or a printer and computer brought in here can totally change the dynamics of efficiency and also make the employees aware that there is some creative thinking done in their behalf or their ideas were listened to. Putting someone’s cubicle or desk next to the break room door or exit or bathroom is just inconsiderate.
So, when trying to keep employees happy remember that you really have to start out your exercise with a new look at some old problems. Not every new idea has to break the bank if you can come up with some re-usable wise and tried and true concepts. We all tend to get set in our ways and companies are no different, because companies are made up of people. Add some color where needed, watch out how many people are working hours they don’t want to and how many people would rather have those hours because they are in the need of more work. Noise control is almost always a big disruption, it could be phones, machines, outside entrances, etc. but if people have to concentrate on work or have phone conversations, it can be a pain. There are many different areas that can be looked over and sometimes small changes make a world of difference!