What is a quality workplace?
A quality workplace is essential to keep employees on task and working efficiently. An excellent work environment is marked by attributes such as: competitive wages; trust between the employees and management; fairness for everyone; and a sensible workload with challenging, yet achievable, goals…
All this comes together to provide the best possible working conditions. Small business professionals can profit from creating the best possible work environments for their employees. Here are some ways in which to do this:
Competitive compensation and benefits
One of the best ways to create a quality workplace is to show employees they are quality workers. The most tangible way to express this is by providing competitive compensation and benefits to staff. Employees have financial and health needs. It is important to help provide for these by offering wages and a benefits package commensurate with their contribution to the business.
Robert Levering, author of A Great Place to Work, puts trust between managers and employees as the most important aspect of a quality workplace. He theorises that workers will not thrive under a system in which they suspect managers are only interested in bottom-line results, and that this is the only reason they attempt to create a decent workplace for employees.
Employers need to be “above board” with everything they do, so that real trust can develop. You need to demonstrate to employees (through actions and not just words) that you are not only concerned with profitability, but also genuinely concerned with employee welfare and happiness.
The HR Leader website says a quality workplace is one which is structured. This means employees must be given clear directives, responsibilities and a transparent method of reporting issues. Structured guidelines give workers the clarity and definition they need in order to operate effectively on the job.
Provide written materials that describe the organisation’s structure and distribute these to all the staff. Open your door to questions from employees regarding how the business operates.
Quality is also measured in terms of fairness in the workplace. Employees should be able to trust that their managers are equitable in their treatment of all. Stick to company principles and regulations when dealing with delicate workplace issues. Do not let personal preferences guide your decisions, or allow personal bias to be a determining factor.
No employee should be expected to handle so great a workload that they cannot possibility complete the work to the best of their abilities. Supervisors must carefully judge how many tasks to assign to individual workers and consider the complexity and length of projects when deciding how much work is enough, but not too much. Directives need to be altered if it becomes obvious that an employee has a load greater than he or she can effectively handle.
According to a study conducted by the Gallup Organisation in the United States, employees say the 12 components that make up successful workplaces are:
• Knowing what’s expected;
• Having the right materials and equipment;
• Doing what I do best;
• Recognition or praise;
• My supervisor cares about me;
• Someone encourages my development;
• My opinions seem to count;
• Understanding my company’s mission or purpose;
• Doing quality work;
• Having a best friend at work;
• Talk to me about my progress;
• Opportunities to learn and grow.