Vol VI: Paying Attention to the Employee Environment

workspace

The influence the workplace environment has on every aspect of your business can be significant. In my article, Setting the Stage, I referenced the environment, asking if there were opportunities for improvement or innovation. It’s natural to become complacent with our surroundings, things you see every day fade into the background. How often are you evaluating the workplace environment? Do your employees engage with their environment and the tools they have available to them? Does your team’s work environment contribute to a more successful employee and customer experience?

There are three areas I look to when evaluating a company’s environment: Space, Tools, and Technology.

Space

Look with fresh eyes – is your team’s workspace organized and inspiring? Does it represent your brand? Here are some things to look for:

  • Does clutter accumulate in corners or on countertops?
  • Do all the tools that employees need have a place in the workspace?
  • Are tools put back into place after use?
  • Do employees struggle to find what they need, or is everything readily at hand?
  • What’s the condition of the paint, flooring, countertops, and equipment?

Fixing the little stuff will make a big difference both to your employees and to your customers.

Tools

Examine the tools your employee use – most jobs need something more than the employee themselves.

  • Do your employees have the right tools for their job?
  • Are the tools in good working condition?
  • Are things “rigged together” – nothing inspires confidence like seeing a tool held together with duct tape or rubber bands.

Employees having appropriate tools will not only make them more efficient, but will reduce the stress of their jobs allowing them to focus on helping your customers and promoting your brand.

Technology

Changes in technology have affected every business, and the pace of change seems to keep accelerating. Choosing when and how to adopt new technologies presents a unique set of challenges. Investments in technology require looking at and beyond the financial implications.

  • Are you investing appropriately in technology?
  • What is the long term return on investment for the technologies you do invest in?
  • How much time will a new technology save your employees or your customers?
  • How much more can your employees do with the technology in terms of cross-selling, up-selling, or up-servicing? Something as straightforward as access to customer profiles and history can make a big difference.

When employees spend hours each day in the same environment inspiration may fade. If you have ever witnessed the opening of a new restaurant, the staff is charged up, proud, and engaged in the surroundings. That level of enthusiasm is hard to maintain, but keeping the workplace fresh and the tools relevant and working can make a significant difference to morale and can help solidify relationships between leaders and team members, as well as customers.

Please join the conversation….

 

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