3 Tips for Cutting Operational Cost and Keeping Employees Happy
At eSigns.com we’ve worked to streamline our processes so that operational costs are minimized and the quality of our products and working environment are maximized. There’s a little known secret that many business owners don’t realize until years after they open their doors. Operation costs are closely tied to the happiness of your employees.
Happy employees are more productive employees – plus they’re more fun to work with! When you’re happy at work you’re more invested in the company you work for, have a positive mindset, think more creatively and work better as a team. This will make your customers happier, which in turn makes your employees even happier and the cycle will continue.
Ready to make your employees smile more around the office? Try these three proven strategies for boosting employee happiness and reducing operating cost at the same time.
Use Natural Lighting
Have you ever seen an interrogation scene in a movie where there’s nothing but hard artificial light shining down on the nervous culprit? Doesn’t seem too relaxing. Researchers have conducted all kinds of studies into how artificial lighting compares to natural lighting. What they’ve found is that that natural lighting makes people more productive at work because it’s more relaxing and comforting. Artificial lighting on the other hand can actually lower cortisol levels, which increases stress.
Another interesting, beneficial side effect of natural lighting – it helps us sleep better at night so we’re more alert during the day.
So pull the blinds back from those windows! Rearranging the layout of the office to open up areas around windows can have a dramatic impact in how much natural light shines in and how you can make use of it. You can also install daylighting controls to automatically turn off or dim artificial lights when the sun provides ample lighting. That way you spend less money on electricity.
There are many ways to increase natural lighting, a technique also known as daylighting. For more ideas, check out Energy Star’s guide to daylighting in offices.
Promote Pride in Your Brand
When employees feel good about the brand that they’re helping to build they will be more invested and eager to help the business succeed. It may sound crazy, but all of the signs and marketing materials you use have a direct impact on how your employees perceive your brand. It’s the same concept behind how branding makes an impact on consumers.
In addition to investing in quality branding materials like custom signs, letterheads, and business cards you can also get your employees involved. Ask for employee input on new marketing materials, have an internal design contest for a new product label or reward an employee by letting them design your new business signs.
Many people think that if you make a sign online it won’t be as high quality as using a local printer or it will be too difficult for someone without design experience. Designing a custom sign online is easy enough for anyone to do and is a cool, experience-based reward for employees. These types of rewards have been shown to have a greater impact on employees than material objects. Plus, trying something new will help boost their skillsets and confidence levels.
Offer Flex Schedules
There’s no quicker way to make employees happy than by giving them more control over their schedule. It’s all about work-life balance that many employees feel like they’re missing today. Even the White House Council of Economic Advisors has reported that workplace flexibility is needed for today’s workers, especially working moms.
Now you may be thinking that not having everyone together during a set schedule could hold up projects or lead to production pitfalls. But study after study has shown that when employees are given flexible schedules they are happier and more productive. It’s even been proven to help companies retain top employees. At the end of the day it all comes back to the fact that flex schedules make employees happier, and when they’re happier they work harder.
No one flex schedule solution is going to work for every business due to logistics. However, with a little thought and creativity you can find options that work for your employees. The key is to create flexible workplace arrangements that clearly state the expectations and goals that need to be met. When an employee works, where they work and how much they work should be clearly defined.