Senior Vice President,
Sodexo North America
After the doldrums of winter, spring is a time for change and renewal. That’s why it’s this time of year when many of us think about spring cleaning — getting rid of the old to make way for the new. In the office, spring cleaning can mean clearing off your desk so you can be more organized, or it could mean wrapping up those lingering projects so you can devote your attention to creating new ones. It’s a great time for leaders to help employees refresh their workspaces and re-engage with their work. It could make both you and your employees happier, healthier and more productive.
Here are a few ways leaders can help employees feel rejuvenated this spring.
- Do some spring cleaning:
Designate a few hours — or even half a day — for desk or office cleanup. Station some big trash cans and recycling bins nearby, and join your team in throwing away old papers, unneeded files, the promotional selfie stick you never use and other clutter. Experts say clutter can increase stress and inhibit creativity, so start the new season with a clear desk.
- Jump on the health bandwagon:
With the temperature rising, many employees might be recommitting to a healthy lifestyle with outdoor exercise and activities. Support them by making your office healthier, too. You could do something as simple as offering free, healthy snacks. Some organizations go all-out by holding exercise or weight-loss competitions. Spending money on wellness usually pays off in the long run: With Americans facing a rise in chronic illnesses like diabetes, healthier employees cost companies less.
- Buy a few plants and open the curtains:
The office environment can have an impact on worker performance. According to a study done by the California Energy Commission, workers with access to natural elements, such as indoor plants, were 6 to 12 percent more productive than those without any nature nearby. The same California Energy Commission study found that worker fatigue was strongly associated with lack of natural light. It also found that workers with window seats reported the fewest negative health symptoms. Take advantage of the longer days by letting some light into your office.
- Find new ways to praise:
Praiseand recognition are essential building blocks of great workplaces, but few employees feel they’re getting enough, according to The Gallup Organization’s book, Twelve Elements of Great Managing. Praise doesn’t have to mean a big award or fancy gala. You could set up a “recognition wall” in the office and encourage employees to write kudos on it to one another, or set aside time during meetings to recognize a team member’s good work. For more great and inexpensive ideas, check out Mia Mends, CEO of Sodexo Benefits & Rewards Services in the U.S., blog Boost Employee Recognition without Breaking the Bank. Gallup found that employees who feel valued are more productive and more likely to stay with the company.
- Make or revisit goals:
Whether your organization does performance reviews in December or at another time, a new season is a great time for reflection. Encourage your employees to revisit the goals they set for themselves during their most recent performance review to see how much progress they’ve made or to recommit themselves to completing them.
If you’re interested in learning more about making your workplace a better place, contact us.
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Jennifer Williamson is Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for Sodexo North America. Sodexo’s 133,000 employees in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico provide more than 100 unique services that improve performance for 9,000 client partners and improve Quality of Life for 15 million consumers every day.
— Sodexo USA, Inc. (@sodexoUSA) April 11, 2016