How to cultivate an environment of inspiration to reap the benefits for your business
Many organizations across the globe are reaping the benefits of creating inspiring workplaces – benefits such as employee engagement, high staff retention, boosting productivity, better customer satisfaction and profit growth.
But what does an environment of inspiration actually look like in the workplace, and how can you achieve it?
Let’s start with the definition of ‘inspiration’.
It is ‘the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative’.
The good news is you don’t need to be a giant like Google to create an awesome, inspirational environment for your people. Here are our top tips on cultivating a great workplace environment that will motivate and inspire your employees:
Humans are visual creatures so our day-to-day surroundings play a massive part in creating a sense of wellbeing and motivation. Drab and dreary work spaces will generate drab and dreary workers, whereas bright, playful, creative decor and furnishings will bring out the bright, playful, creative sides of your employees.
For some quirky ideas check out these 20 cool, inspiring workplaces but if your budget and tastes are more restrained, just adding some colourful artwork or painting the walls in mood-enhancing colours can change-up the atmosphere in your workplace. Certain colours can boost productivity, while others can reduce stress.
Equipped for the job
Office equipment and furniture can also make or break an inspiring environment for your people. Out-dated, not-fit-for purpose chairs and desks for example, can thoroughly demotivate an employee. Likewise old technology that’s slow or keeps breaking down.
So investing in ergonomic office furniture and modern, fit-for-purpose technology shows employees that the organization values them and adds to the creation of an inspiring environment.
Whether its comfortable seating by the kitchen area or a fully dedicated chill-out zone, having a space that staff can get away from their desks to eat their lunch or grab some quiet-time is really important in today’s fast-paced working environments. Particularly when the weather is miserable, people don’t always want to go outside for their breaks so having a nice, inviting space to go to is really valuable.
Equally, such a space might include some fun recreational games such as a pool or fuse-ball table, a games console, air hockey or event giant Jenga blocks. Allowing employees to engage in such activities helps them switch off, de-stress and provides a feel-good factor which is great for boosting wellbeing and motivation.
Touchy feely stuff
It’s not just the physical environment that creates a culture of inspiration, but the softer or ‘touchy-feely’ way of being that a company can create. Having a ‘thank-you’ board that staff can anonymously pin a thank-you note on when someone’s done something nicer for them is a simple thing to introduce and HR technology can facilitate this kind of peer-to-peer recognition. Taking this one-step further, managers could compile a weekly round-up email to share the wins of the week that their team have achieved, perhaps singling out specific members of staff for doing a great job. People feel happier and are more likely to go the extra mile when they know their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.
Finishing early on Fridays or providing free beers and wine in the office fridge on a Friday afternoon also creates a great sense of comradery and motivation across the company.
Lunchtime pilates or pre-work yoga classes within your workplace can do wonders for peoples’ physical and mental wellbeing. Especially those with families or other external responsibilities who don’t have time to exercise after work.
Companies are realizing the benefits of encouraging their people to explore their creative sides and there’s been a big rise in corporate creativity coaches and creativity courses. Investing in an away-day for teams to go and do some creative challenges or have a creativity day at work is a sure-fire way to show your staff that your company is a great place to work.
These are just some ways that demonstrate how designing an inspiring and motivational environment could be key to getting the best out of your people. Relatively easy and cost-effective, it enables organizations to foster better environments for happier, more engaged workforces – with the added bonus of helping to retain your talent a lot longer.