A happy worker is a productive worker. I’m sure you’ve heard that before. When employees enjoy the work that they do, they perform in a more efficient and effective manner. But for some, work and happiness repel like two negative magnetic poles. They either don’t enjoy the work they do on a daily basis, or they don’t like where they do it… or the most miserable people hate both.
Hopefully, your firm’s staff doesn’t fall into the miserable category. If any of them do, it may be time for some new employees. But for those who just need a little push into the happiness realm, here are some tips on increasing the overall happiness factor within your workspace.
Create a culture of respect
Unpleasant coworkers are a part of life and there’s no way for you to ensure that all of your employees will like one another. However, likeability is not a necessary element of respect. Create an office culture where bickering and gossipping is not tolerated. Make your professionalism expectations clear from the outset of employment and consistently maintain these standards. It’s also important to keep these principles in mind as you are making hiring decisions. Remember, one bad apple really can spoil a bunch. Be cognizant of personalities and the office culture when bringing in new employees.
An attitude of gratitude
It’s okay to thank your staff members for the work they do on a daily basis. Employees respond to positive reinforcement and they like to know that their contributions are appreciated. You can do this on a small scale with a personalized email of thanks or you can implement something grander, like a monthly or yearly recognition event. You’ll be amazed at the effects of a simple thank you.
Curb the micromanaging
Maybe you’ve labeled yourself a control freak, or you have convinced yourself that you are the only one skilled enough to handle tasks correctly. However you choose to word it, micromanaging does not belong in an efficient, well-staffed law firm. I hope you hired your staff for their knowledge and abilities. So, why do you waste your time (and theirs) managing every single aspect of their work. It is a misuse of costly resources and it makes your team feel inadequate. When workers feel that you trust in their abilities, they will generally rise to the occasion.
Pay attention to the environment
Does your law office offer a comfortable environment for work? Is it large enough to accommodate all of your employees? Are the office chairs comfortable? Is the lighting adequate? What about the temperature? Studies show that work productivity fluctuates with temperature changes. Workers do not perform as well when the room temperature is too warm or too hot. All of these environmental aspects effect the happiness of your employees.
Happiness isn’t a requirement in the workplace, but it sure does equate to a more enjoyable and productive work environment. Use these tips to up the happiness factor within your law office.
About Erika Winston:
Erika Winston is a freelance writer with a passion for law. Through her business, The Legal Writing Studio, she helps legal professionals deliver effective written messages. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications.