Successful entrepreneurs and business people achieving goals, business team concept

We’d like to take this opportunity to talk about creating a happy workplace. You may be getting ready to say “Now, wait a minute! Work is work, not play”, but that’s not where we’re going with this.

We’re talking about creating a space where employees feel valued and respected, alliances are born, the people at the top set the tone, and everyone wants to contribute to the company’s growth.

All for one and one for all, if you will.

To that end, we offer these 10 tips to get you on your way:

1. When you’re meeting face-to-face with an employee — no matter their position — look them in the eye. Shake their hand. Hear what they have to say without judgment. Making someone feel valued goes a long way toward, well, just about everything.

2. Work hard. Seems like a no-brainer, right? You’d be surprised. By working hard, you set the tone for your organization, and you show your customers what you’re made of. And, if you have little ones at home, you teach them a valuable lesson, too.

3. Create a happy workplace. Everything is better when people are happy. Employees are more productive, more present, and more focused when they enjoy where they work. Recent headlines about employee walkouts and resulting manpower shortages should be all the reminders you need that happy workers hold companies together.

4. Teambuilding works! If you’re late to the game, then consider adding team-building exercises to your 2022 calendar. They help to build team unity, team reliance and better communication.

5. Be friendly! When we’re finally back at work (on-site, not remote), encourage your staff to remember the niceties. Smile and say hi to co-workers when you arrive at work, ask about their day, say goodbye when you’re leaving. These may seem like obvious things, but after a year or so of remote work, we may all be a little rusty! And honestly, if there’s anything we should ALL have learned during this last year, it’s that life is precious, and kindness is king.

6. Respect the boundaries between home and work, and encourage your employees to do the same. At work, focus on the job, and your clients. At home, focus on what matters to you, whether it’s spending time with family, a pet, or being engrossed in a rewarding hobby.

7. Remind your employees to continue taking time for themselves. If you worked remotely and took a walk or bike ride each day at lunch, why stop now? The break from tasks will leave employees refreshed and ready to focus! A change of scenery can work wonders for creativity and productivity!

8. Never stop learning, and encourage your employees to do the same. When he was 80, Michelangelo said “I am still learning.” Michelangelo, the very same man who carved the Statue of David out of a solid piece of stone. If he could consider himself “still learning” at age 80, we can ALL consider ourselves “still learning.”

9. Reach out to the community. Find ways for your employees to engage with the community, whether it’s sponsoring youth sports or a scout troop, or volunteering at a hospital (when that’s allowed again), or a soup kitchen.

10. Encourage your employees to decorate their work or locker space with things that matter to them. A photo of a loved one is a great motivator for just about everyone.

We should all have learned some lessons from these last two years. As we transition back to a more regular work life, let’s not forget them!