How To Create a Supportive, Conducive and Productive Work Environment
A supportive and conducive work environment is a key success factor for any organization. This is because results are achieved through people. There is a direct relationship between high morale and productivity.
To attain maximum productivity, a business must address the following issues:
The working environment need not be drab unless this is completely unavoidable such as some manufacturing settings. An invigorating environment should be maintained at all times. This could be achieved in a number of ways such as; playing soft background music, using as much natural light as possible, an interesting coat of paint or wallpaper and a regularly cleaned and maintained working area. Plants are also great at improving the general appearance as well as improving air quality. Proper ambience instills a ' feel good' excitement in workers which improves output.
Equipment, supplies and facilities
The equipment and facilities that workers use to perform their tasks should be in good working order and regularly maintained. In addition to this, the entrepreneur can invest in equipment that increases output by reducing the amount of time it takes for the worker to get fatigued, for example; ergonomic keyboards, computer anti-glare screens, high back seats and so forth. The worker should also be adequately supplied with supplies needed to perform his or her duties as and when required.
It is universally accepted that a noisy work environment can reduce productivity in most white collar jobs. If the business is located close to a noisy factory or motorway, then it is a good idea to try to use soundproofing and masking techniques to shield your workers from the noise.
Prejudice and stereotyping
Unfortunately, in today's world the issue of prejudice and stereotyping along racial, religious and gender lines remains a major problem at the work place. Targets of prejudice and stereotyping are affected psychologically and this affects their performance. As an entrepreneur, you should respect diversity and demand the same from your workers. You should go a step further and incorporate respect for diversity as a core value of the business. This should be reflected in the employee handbook or manual.
Conflict Resolution Mechanisms
Conflict in the workplace can seriously reduce productivity. Failure to properly resolve conflict is even worse than the conflict itself because it portends the possibility of much worse conflict in future. Employees react to conflict and differences differently based on their characters. Some will be vocal and make it known they are unhappy whereas others will sulk and retreat into cocoons without uttering a word. It is this second group that should be of most concern to an entrepreneur because the they are likely to rebel silently and employ a number of tactics to ' punish' the offender(s) such as implementing a go slow which may not be very apparent until orders start getting late. It is therefore very important to have a working conflict resolution mechanism in place.
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