Employers: Is Your Staff Happy?
By Sara Parent

I've assembled a list of tips that I know will go a long way to making your employees love their job. Feel free to add more as they apply to your company! 

1. Have occasional unannounced events at your office. Whether it be a "Staff Appreciation Day" banner that greets them on their way in, or a special lunch for the crew, making your staff feel valuable and appreciated goes a long way towards company loyalty and productivity. 

2. Try to schedule their shifts ahead of time. A minimum of two weeks ahead of time is a good goal. Of course, sometimes things change quickly, and you may need to make changes. Make sure that when you change the schedule at the last minute, your staff realises how much you appreciate them coming in on short notice. If it happens a lot, consider making a list of names of your workers that don't mind last minute changes; workers that are often available at the last minute, or want to work extra shifts. This helps you keep track of those making the extra effort when promotion time comes around. 

3. Consider relaxing the dress code at your office. There are several schools of thought on this. Some companies prefer to make their workers come in a suit and tie every day, and others don't mind casual, neat clothing. I believe the latter encourages creativity and takes the emphasis off of "looking good" and more on producing and working well. If you can't relax the dress code, consider offering a casual day. Your staff will thank you. 

4. Bring candy to work and share with your staff. It's surprising how far a bowl of jelly beans will go. 

5. Let them go home an hour early when you have too much staff on hand or after a great sales day. That one's even better than the jelly beans. 

6. Plan company events that aren't constrained by "office politics." When making up teams for the company softball or volleyball league, for example, put the VP of Sales on a team with a customer service representative. It's amazing the friendships that will evolve and the common bonds that will be discovered. 

7. Pick a charity your company can support and plan events throughout the year that will help generate some revenue for your chosen charity. Plan a car wash, a marathon, and other events that will raise your company's community profile, and help others at the same time. Plus, you are creating a common bond between your employees that makes them all feel great. 

8. Allow the radio to be played when your staff is doing repetitive work that doesn't require too much concentration. It's a great way to relax and washes away the grumbles of tiring work. 

9. Have a "Bring your Child to Work" day. For one day a year, let children's laughter fill your workplace. It's a great chance for kids to learn about your business, and for your workers who are parents to save a little on daycare. Others in the community will see you are kid-friendly. You're also introducing a new generation to your products and services. Maybe not a lot of work will get done that day. In the big picture, it's a little thing that will bring a lot of smiles. 

10. Throw some fun into the workplace. Make your staff laugh. Post some jokes in the lunch room. Or tell them a few yourself. The first thing they tell you if you get a job that involves answering the phone is smile. It comes through on the other end. You want that attitude and those smiles coming through all the time. Working on that, with your staff will make you a happier person and make your workplace more productive, your staff more loyal, and your days more

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