Work would be better if
April 30, 2012 7:28 AM   Subscribe

Better workplace - all around suggestions

The company that I work for takes employee feedback very seriously and encourages improvement suggestions. This month there is a submission competition and I'd like to finish out the month with a couple of more suggestions.

I'm the web content manager so I can't submit anything website related so most of my suggestions have been really general, HR, workplace environment improvement kind of stuff - most recently I suggested we remove the elevator floor number (not the button) and replace it with our company logo (a nice little enhancement for the clients that visit us).

With that in mind, do you have any generic workplace/company improvements that you can suggest? Bonus points if it doesn't cost the company anything and or saves money.

*writing this I came up with another
Monthly employee lunch meet and greets.
We (almost literally) work in silos, and I think it would be a great employee perk to have the opportunity to have regular scheduled lunches to meet coworkers. The company doesn't even have to pay for lunch, just provide the space (we don't have a lunchroom but a bunch of small break rooms) and the opportunity to meet coworkers.
posted by doorsfan to Work & Money (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
- Make Fridays optional work-from-home days.
- Allow employees to work four 10-hr days so they can take Friday or Monday off.
- In the summer end the work week at 4 pm.
posted by Dragonness at 7:39 AM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

One thing that a company that I used to work for provided that literally cost them nothing to not very much (the cost of pizzas) was a "lunch and learn" program.

Basically, what could you or your coworkers learn that would help you improve your job?Could this be taught by a colleague? At my workplace, the editor worked with the writers, but it was a win win in my opinion because 1) we got to know (work with)another person in another department and 2) what we handed to the editor met their needs.

I think this could/should be done at most companies, because department A almost never tells department B what they need to do to meet specifications. Also, who doesn't want to an new skills to what they do? Let the employees suggest the topics- agree on a meeting time (lunch), the bosses can feel free to get lunch or not.
posted by Wolfster at 7:43 AM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

I always thought the "attaboy" or "attagirl" types of peer recognition was a good idea. Here is one used in the Army Management Staff College, but they are all over the place.

Simple and easy to administer. Probably low cost too if you are just handing out little award signs that can go in a person's cubicle.
posted by lampshade at 7:43 AM on April 30, 2012

One of my former employers maintained an employee photo directory that I found very useful. It was just a Word document saved on the company intranet. Someone in HR was in charge of keeping it updated.
posted by mullacc at 7:44 AM on April 30, 2012

Re the silos -- the university where I work held a series of monthly "cafes" where people got together from various departments to have coffee and inter-department conversation.

The employees really liked it, but more, the university found it helped resolve lots of little problems because people ended up knowing who to call about hiccups in the work that were caused by not knowing each other's responsibilities well enough.

- bring your kid to work day. let them see what you do

- training opportunities (outside the workplace and nthing the lunch and learn idea)

- lunch time yoga or walking group
posted by chapps at 7:46 AM on April 30, 2012

I think the things that improve employee satisfaction the most aren't little perks, but rather maximizing people's ability to get their jobs done with a minimum of frustration. I mean, yeah, little perks are nice. But a weekly pizza party or yearly cubical decorating contest aren't really going to help if people are constantly battling stupid, fixable issues in their day to day work. A "good job" award from a coworker is nothing compared to replacing the printer that's constantly jamming, or getting people the best software available for their tasks, or improving the communication in a process that usually results in lots of "It's not right, do it over" responses. Try to think of what annoys you about your work, even if it's something little, and then come up with a way to fix it.
posted by vytae at 8:16 AM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

Disable the PA system, or at least enforce a rule that it can only be used to respond to life threatening emergencies.
posted by Bruce H. at 8:23 AM on April 30, 2012

In addition to the photos on the directory, a current and regularly-updated map of where everyone sits. Nothing like trying to find someone you talk to rarely and playing the "Where does soandsosit?" "Oh, he moved upstairs" "Where does soandsosit?" "I think he's in the back part over there." game.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:34 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

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