Every business owner wants hardworking and inspired employees. This is especially important for small businesses since more responsibility is held by fewer workers. The tricky thing about inspiration is that you can’t force anyone to have it. All you can do is set up an environment that encourages it. Thankfully, creating an inspirational environment is pretty simple – here are a few changes you can make around the office to inspire you employees!
1. Create an Empowering Work Environment
Never underestimate office design. Your employees are going to spend many hours of their lives in the workplace, and mundane designs can completely drain them of inspiration. Harsh artificial lighting, bland walls and floors, unremarkable (or nonexistent) décor, and cubicles or other closed off areas are just making it harder for your employees to love what they do. Investing in standing desks, repainting the walls, creating an open concept, and sprucing up the office with modern décor can help get your employees in a more innovative and inspired mindset.
Workplace practices contribute to the overall environment too. Having inconsistent or needlessly strict rules can make employees feel like they aren’t trusted or appreciated. Try creating a more laid back company culture by easing up on the rules and giving your employees more freedom. Adopting an “open door” policy can also help – If your employees see that you’re always there to hear them out, they will feel more empowered to take on harder work and share their new ideas with you. This is a great way to inspire your employees while giving them useful feedback!
2. Bring in Speakers from Relevant and Different Fields
Everyone wants to move forward in their careers, but sometimes the daily drag makes it hard for your employee to remain ambitious. Spicing up the workday with a presentation by a successful speaker could help kickstart their inspiration. By showing your employees that the quality of work they put forward today determines the success they find in the future, you can get them out of that business-as-usual mindset and into a more inspired one.
You don’t have to limit your search to speakers within your industry either. Though finding speakers who have a relevant background will make them more relatable, bringing in people from other industries can lead to great and inspiring discussions. Letting your employees ask questions can be an invaluable experience for them, and having an open discussion about the presentation after the speaker leaves will give everyone the chance to talk about their thoughts and let the information sink in.
3. Always Recognize and Incentivize
Employee recognition is crucial if you want to foster inspiration in the workplace. If the hard work and daily successes (big or small) of your employees go unnoticed, you’re telling them that there’s no point in doing more work than necessary. Instead, you should be deeply engaged with the day-to-day activities of your workers while publicly and privately recognizing them when they go above and beyond.
There are a few ways that you can do this. Setting up an employee of the month system can work, but simply making it a point to pull employees aside and express your appreciation for them is also effective. Using prizes as incentives isn’t as important as you might think. You don’t need to buy a bunch of gift cards to get everyone working harder. Just having a whiteboard in the office that lists accomplishments is a great way to recognize and inspire your employees while starting some friendly competition in the workplace.