Having a highly engaged workforce means keeping every employee super inspired, from the cleaners to the CEO. If there's a distinct lack of zing amongst your people right now, it might be time to take a look at whether any of the following inspiration drains are at play.
Is your workplace a breeding ground for hostility? Negative vibes are the most powerful of inspiration drains and can steadily eat away at employee engagement. So how to turn all those frowns around? The best way to beat negativity in the long run is to slowly and steadily build trust across your organisation. This means getting to know one another, through team building, one to ones and meaningful conversation. Nothing generates positivity more than sensitive human contact and mutual understanding. Transparency can also work wonders – demonstrate just how much your trust your employees by sharing with them the inner workings of your organisation. And not just the good stuff, but the not-so-good stuff too. Honesty is powerful relationship-glue.
Recent statistics show that a shocking two thirds of employees feel 'overwhelmed' by their workload. And whilst 50% of adults work more than the standard 40 hours per week, 80% of them wish they were working less. Overworking leads not only to employee stress, which can be debilitating, but it can also have adverse effects on your organisation too - 'just working harder' is rarely the answer to business woes. According to HSE, 10 million working days were lost to work-related stress in 2011 alone.
Is your office design sapping the life out of your team? Great office design can inspire great ideas, but bad design can cause a whole host of productivity and engagement nightmares. Does your office space allow for the free flow of information and ideas? Is it too open plan? How are the noise levels? For peak inspiration levels, be sure to provide a wire-free zone, where team members can brainstorm or contemplate without distraction. At the very least, get a sofa. Every office needs an inspiration sofa.
Lack of Care
Not having a boss who cares is a huge inspiration drain. Be sure to make time to show your people that they matter, and that their hard work is both recognised and valued. Of course, awards ceremonies and annual Christmas parties are brilliant ways to give thanks, but the little day-to-day stuff matters too. When was the last time you sat down and had a one-to-one with each of your staff? Getting to know your people, and listening to both their ideas and their concerns, is never time wasted. Showing that you care is easy, once you've decided it's a priority.
As Manly Hall once said, “It is only a step from boredom to disillusionment, which leads naturally to self-pity, which in turn ends in chaos.” Well, at the very least boredom certainly is the enemy of inspiration. If your daily grind is starting to grate, and your team are beginning to look a little grey around the gills, why not shake things up a bit? Changing the office routine in even a slight way can really shift boredom ruts. Why not change the desk layout, or treat your staff to a delicious breakfast now and again?