For many business owners, making sure their employees have all the necessary tools at their disposal to their jobs is paramount.
From office equipment to the right office setting, making sure your workers are comfortably suited to handle their responsibilities at work is beyond important. Without the right tools and setting, not only can it impact the product or services you can provide for your customers, but it ultimately could end up determining whether or not you remain in business for the long haul.
With 2013 kicking off, take a few minutes to review the tools and setting that your employees have to work with, including:
- The office – Are you in a space where your employees can comfortably do their jobs? Do they have access to essential items like computers, printers, fax machines, phones, and other office supplies? You might be surprised to learn that many small businesses can’t answer yes to that question. Whether it is because of a shoestring budget or other reasons, many workers just get by at work, meaning the product may ultimately suffer. Without going on a major shopping spree, review what your expenditures are for office equipment and see where you may be lacking;
- Office policies – Although protocol says you provide new workers with an employee handbook when they first arrive at your company, some business owners fall behind on this important detail. Make sure everyone in the office knows what is and is not acceptable. The last thing you want to do is potentially set yourself up for a sexual harassment lawsuit, a lawsuit involving a client, or an issue with law enforcement. Review these policies with your workers at least once a year so they know the importance of such matters. In today’s litigious society, you can never be too careful;
- Before and after work – Do you review the conditions your employees encounter before and after work, most notably security? While many offices have proper security, including video surveillance, others do not. From simple things like the proper lighting to making sure the building is secure, review the surroundings for your workers. As some business owners have discovered over the years, an unsecure environment can lead to problems, including potential lawsuits;
- Recognize the highlights – While your employees obviously get compensation during the year, do you do the little things to recognize their achievements? Things such as a year-end party, birthday and employment anniversary celebrations, an office newsletter and putting together an office video or photo album from the last 12 months are great ways to keep morale up. A photo book you can compile using blurb promotional codes is a great keepsake for all workers, noting some of the fun times you’ve shared together. Given that many employees work 40 hours or more in an office setting weekly, a photo book can show each and every one the importance of working as a team;
- Individuals matter – Lastly, sit down with each of your workers for a few minutes and see if they are happy in their present position. Are they coming to work with incentive or just to collect a paycheck? Do they like the team they work with or are they unhappy? Would they be even more productive if one or more things changed in the office? While some may be hesitant to speak, some will also share their feelings and thoughts with you, meaning a better work environment for all involved.
About the Author: Dave Thomas covers small business topics for various websites.