Workplace Psychology: Keeping Your Employees Happy
A background in psychology has a much wider range of applications than a traditional career as a therapist or psychiatrist. For example, a deep understanding of the science has a myriad of uses in the business world, including the ability to create an especially happy, positive, and productive work environment. These are some tips for creating an ideal atmosphere in the workplace. It would also be helpful to employ a person who has taken an I/O Psychology masters program to maximum workplace enjoyment for your employees.
When you do not let your employees have much choice or freedom while performing, it sends a rather negative message: that you do not trust them, and that they do not have much if anything in the way of freedom in the workplace. This leads to feelings of stress and an actual loss in productivity. However, laying off in the micromanagement department but offering occasional help and support when needed is a much more effective way to engender a happy and constructive work environment.
It may see counter-intuitive to allow for schedule flexibility when trying to stimulate productivity, but giving employees more free reign to choose and work within their own chosen hours obvious leads to happier workers – as well as better employee retention and much less in the way of absenteeism, both of which are beneficial to anybody involved with a workplace. Flexible schedules are also more conducive to a good work/life balance, which supports both contentment and efficiency. Some companies have found success with setting deadlines but letting employees set their own hours within those parameters.
In addition to a flexible schedule, modern technology allows for flexibility in commuting as well. While there are some managers who prefer to maintain a line of sight, letting employees use telecommuting technology to complete projects from home or elsewhere creates healthy feelings of independence while increasing efficacy and productivity. This has the added benefit of helping a workplace feel modern rather than outdated, which helps morale.
Keep Things at a Low Din
Loud noises in an office create more problems than just the obvious distractions. Too many noises – including phones, talking, machinery, etc. – has unconscious effects on everybody in the workplace, including the raising of stress hormones. It is possible to reduce workplace noise and the problems it creates by practicing strategic acoustic design through the use of dense carpeting and curtains and by allowing and maybe even encouraging the use of headphones.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
There are few things more frustrating as an employee than a perceived lack of transparency. Even if it is not intentional, not being properly communicative is bound to come across as secretive at best and potentially devious – which leads to suspicion and all manner of speculation, not things at all conducive to a healthy, happy work environment. Communicating and answering questions is important, but simply parroting what is obviously the company line can make things even worse. The best approach is to remain receptive to any and all questions and be as frank and forthcoming as possible. Very few people enjoy delivering bad news, but bad news that affects employees is going to come out eventually, and being opaque or dishonest about it is only bound to breed resentment down the road.