Let’s face it there are a lot of places out there that are simply pretty darn dingy and depressing to work in. They are grungy, run down, tired, smelly, tense and uncomfortable. I never really understand why some business owners don’t make more of an effort to make their working environments more appealing for the people who work there (and lets not forget the customers visiting the business).
We all spend so much time at work surely it would be better for everyone involved to have the very best workplace imaginable. Build a positive environment, one where staff are encouraged to be a little light-hearted and to have a good time and the results will rub off onto the customers.
Next time you are out and about take a few minutes to observe some of the businesses that you visit. From my experience the worse the business atmosphere and appearance the worse the attitude of the staff. Having pride in the appearance of your business means you have pride in the products or services that you sell.
My top ten tips for building a positive working environment are:
1. Have a good cleaner. First impressions count and having a clean business is critically important for any business, especially food related businesses.
2. Make sure that the workplace is tidy – this is different to clean and it means that pictures are straight on the walls, magazines tidy, things in the right place and so on.
3. Have some background music, make it light, depending on the business of course, but set it to suit the mood of the business. Make sure that music is played on a good sound system not a $9.99 throwaway scratchy AM radio.
4. Put some flowers in your reception area. Nothing improves the mood of a room like a fresh bunch of flowers (and make sure they are replaced before they look dead).
5. If you have magazines for people to read throw out any that are more than a few months old. Let’s move beyond the 1976 Woman’s Weekly.
6. If you have won some awards or supported a charity put the certificates up in the waiting room. Show that you have community spirit and pride.
7.Encourage your staff to have some fun – it is not unprofessional to laugh.
8.Eliminate bad smells – either use a good air freshener or have an air purifier that plugs into the power. Remember though that replacing one horrible smell with another will not help the problem so make air fresheners subtle.
9. Ask your staff for suggestions regarding their working environment – what do they think would make it more enjoyable for them and for the customers.
10. Ask your customers for suggestions that would make your business more appealing and inviting for them.