7 Tips for Creating a Social Workplace

If you’ve got unengaged, stressed, sluggish or dissatisfied employees, it may be time to create a more social workplace.

Each year, reports on employee dissatisfaction show workplace issues cause workers to feel stressed and undervalued. According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, employee dissatisfaction is often related to employer issues. 43% cite lack of opportunities for growth and advancement. 43% say a heavy workload leads to stress. 40% point to unrealistic job expectations. 39% bemoan long hours.

Only slightly over half of workers — 52% — report feeling valued on the job.

Year to year, these employee dissatisfaction statistics seem to change little. Too often, employees feel like they’re completing tasks because they have to; they don’t see how their tasks factor into overall company goals.

Creating a more social workplace may be the solution. Opportunities for teamwork and collaboration can help employees stop seeing themselves as individual task-doers and start seeing themselves as valuable team members, leading to a boost in employee morale and, ultimately, motivation and productivity.

Here are seven tips for eliminating employee dissatisfaction and creating a more social workplace:

1. Provide Workplace Perks

Big-name tech companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are often noted for their focus on employee perks to drive engagement. Amenities like an on-site gym, flexible hours, unlimited vacation days, laundry service, massage days or even a pool table can do wonders for employee happiness. Take a cue from these companies, and provide your own company perks without going over your budget.

2. Offer Opportunities to Collaborate

If your workplace is divided into levels like bosses, managers and employees, it may be time to get rid of the hierarchy. Create teams of workers instead, and allow them to meet regularly in a meeting room or even out of the office to discuss projects and collaborate. This will open up opportunities for socialisation, paving the way for problem solving and creative thinking.

3. Create Online Communities

Approximately 45% of executives say social media is good for company culture. Allow current and former employees to engage in the hiring and recruiting process by creating online workspaces and talent communities. Create a company Facebook group dedicated to recruiting new workers or interns, and allow workers to engage with interested candidates on the site. You can also create a group for company alumni and current workers to stay in touch about career management and other industry topics. Reward workers that turn networking contacts into hires. You can also invest in internal collaboration software like Jive to drive engagement and socialisation.

4. Allow Growth From Within

If employees feel chained to their role or position with no advancement in sight, they’ll lose motivation to do their job well. Even if you can’t promote employees at a fast rate, ensure your workers stay engaged by regularly switching up their responsibilities, allowing them to mentor and train each other, or brainstorming new project ideas. Once you eliminate the monotony and repetition employees often tend to associate with their assigned roles, creativity can thrive.

5. Recognise Everyone, Not Just Star Players

There’s nothing wrong with regularly scoping out all-star employees to offer recognition and rewards, but if you neglect some workers, you may be creating more negative feelings than positives ones. Set aside days to recognize and appreciate each department, team or worker, and don’t leave anyone in the dust. Your commitment to employee happiness and recognition will show, creating positive feelings in the process.

6. Focus on Outplacement Services

Sometimes, you’ll lose an employee. Maybe they haven’t been performing well, or they’re seeking career advancement opportunities elsewhere. Instead of fostering negative feelings, focus on great employee outplacement services to show you’re a company that cares about your current and past workers’ well-being. Provide job search software, skills retraining, educational opportunities or information on upcoming career fairs to show your commitment to employee career advancement.

7. Keep in Touch With Worker Needs

Regularly conducting one-on-one or group employee interviews can be a great way to check in with employees and ensure problems aren’t being overlooked. If employees see opportunities to offer their feedback, they’ll be more comfortable addressing issues and offering solutions as problems arise.

Too often, employers treat workers like amenities and not like the social creatures they are. Craft your office into a social workplace, and watch employee dissatisfaction crumble and engagement soar.

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