Happy employees are more motivated to bring their best to the table. The below list offers a variety of easy to implement and often low cost or free ideas to increase employee happiness and strengthen workplace culture.
Supporting employees’ mental health will be one of the key issues that company owners and management must address in coming years. Poor mental health and stress can negatively impact performance and productivity and cause a variety of issues and conflicts in the workplace.
The pandemic and recent negative world events (climate problems, war in the Ukraine, rising cost of living) have further driven individual stress, negative thinking, and people “feeling like they are in a place of struggle”. According to the January 2023 Mental Health Index Report by Telus, over 30% of Canadians have a high mental health risk, while an additional 40% have a moderate risk to develop mental health illness or crisis. These numbers are quite frankly shocking, and we should all work together to address the issue.
However, here are the good news: Putting support in place to help employees navigate stress at work and outside of work, creating a safe and aware environment and decreasing stigma can reduce the impact on employers and employees. The below list offers a variety of easy to implement and often low cost or free ideas to increase employee happiness and strengthen workplace culture.
- Encourage Breaks & Avoid Long Chair Time
Regular breaks don’t only boost motivation and reduce stress, they also increase productivity. Encourage your employees to add 10 minutes of stretching or chair yoga to their routine twice a day. If you can, set up a designated lunch area, so people can step away from their desk. Incorporate stand up desks and stand up meetings to ease the physical impact of long hours spend sitting.
2. Change Starts at the Top
You can’t change workplace culture if you don’t change leadership culture. It’s that simple. The fastest way to implement changes in your business is to take the lead and be a role model.
3. Promote Work-Life Balance & Increase Time Off
When I was a manager, I liked to kick people out of the office early on some days – either after a long week or because it was extra sunny outside. Because really, who is productive after 12pm on a Friday?
If your company can afford it, think about awarding extra personal days or vacation days to your employees. Employees that have opportunity to rest and recharge will be more grateful and productive. We all know that already, right?
4. Build Community & Create a Culture of Purpose and Belonging
Help people identify with their place of work. Create a corporate culture and corporate branding. Find common goals and communicate them to your employees often – and also when they have met these goals. They want to know what all their hard work is for!
5. Celebrate Success
Take five to celebrate. It can be as simple and cheap as sending a thank you email to your employees and get coffee for everybody. Or maybe have a special lunch at the office after reaching a milestone. Everybody likes good food!
6. Decorate & Green Up your Office
I used to work at a desk that was added to a shop as an afterthought. In a corner with no light and behind a pile of boxes. Not fun. Make sure office spaces are clutter-free, clean, and somewhat appealing. A few pictures on a wall and a couple plants go a long way (check out Click & Grow gardens for an easy way to incorporate flowers into your office – https://ca.clickandgrow.com/). And everybody likes a good coffee maker and tea selection. Just sayin’
7. Give employees opportunity to extend their knowledge and further their career
Most of us don’t just end up in a job – we decide on a career path, because there are certain components to a job that interest us. Ideally, we want to keep learning to stay engaged in our field.
8. Role Model Good Relationships and Drama-Free Office Culture
Encourage good relationships and start by setting the right tone. Be kind and courteous to everybody in the office with no exception. This is the minimum standard! Sometimes we can’t all be friends, and we don’t have to, but we all like to be treated with respect. If you have people creating drama and a toxic environment, it is your job as the manager to put an end to that!
9. A Thank You goes a Long Way
Say thank you every now and then. Nothing is worse for your hard-working crew then not being seen or feel acknowledged. Talk a walk through your office or shop and make some time to get to know your employees and say thank you. Or put a hand-written note on their desk.
10. Workplace Mental Health Awareness Training
Reduce stigma and remove barriers for people that need more support or are going through a crisis. Workplace Mental Health Support trainings are a great way to educate everybody on common signs of mental health crisis, where to find help and how to approach a co-worker that could use a mental boost or professional support.
Find more information here: https://www.titaniumhr.ca/5-reasons-why-mental-health-support-training-should-be-as-common-as-regular-first-aid-training/
To book a free consultation on our Mental Health Support Training or get more information on our other services to improve workplace culture, please use calendly: https://calendly.com/titanium_hr
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