3 Tips for Improving Employee Engagement

Employee engagement

Got to love happy employees

Employees are the lifeblood of a business. Many studies show that employee engagement will significantly increases productivity. Your employees are a substantial part of the success of your business. A motivated and engaged employee base is imperative. Here are 3 tips for improving employee engagement:

1. Clue your employees in to the big vision: Vision seems like something to be left to the big boys, to the top executives in the cloistered boardrooms, shut away from the working masses. But the fulfillment, execution and refinement of a vision are always left to employees. Can you see the disconnect here? There’s nothing to gain from keeping the vision separated from the employees – they are the ones to get the vision implemented anyhow. They will be the ones to apply the initiatives, the ones to perform the actual tasks needed to bring the vision to life. So why shut them away? Employees should be allowed to see and understand what they’re working for. A meaningful sense of connection to an organization’s bigger vision is only a boon to productivity. When people know the rationale, when they know why they are doing something and not another, this motivates them more, as compared to just them being commanded what to do. By allowing them to see the vision, they can more easily find ways to make it a reality.

2. Engage them in policy making: Like a vision, policies may be constructed by executives, but it will be the employees that feel the brunt of company directives. So, why not allow them a say in what these directives will be? Have managers or key executives sit down with employees and actually discuss how things will be done at the company. And the possibilities are endless, too. You could talk about work policies like telecommuting options, flexible vacation plans, new feedback processes between employees and managers, etc. There are multiple areas of organizational policy that employee input can contribute to. If you’re okay with it, perhaps ask them about workweeks, and whether they can be shortened. Ask them whether they’d like less managing and more autonomy. You can even ask them whether flex-time and flex-place arrangements are something they’d consider. When you actively seek out this kind of input, it puts you in alignment with your employees, and shows them they’re truly valued.

3. Let them tell you what to improve: Being down in the trenches gives employees a different view of things than management. Management may be concerned with big-picture problems, but employees are the ones to suffer through bad policies, impractical management methods and the like. On a daily basis, they’re the ones to bear the weight of the organization’s issues. With such down-on-the-ground knowledge, you’d be foolish not to ask your employees about where you can improve. Ask them whether their managers are doing their jobs right. Ask them whether the organizations processes and culture help or hinder. Ask whether workloads and deadlines are reasonable. The list of things you can find out is endless. But the important thing is to ask with sincere and meaningful intent. If you’re going to ask, make sure to ask because you intend to act on what you learn. If they identify areas that could do with some work, listen to that input and do something about it. Rarely will you be able to show sincerity better than through action. If employees see you making a concerted effort to improve, they’ll see how they matter in a real way.

By involving employees in these 3 areas, you can increase employee engagement and increase your bottom line.

Want to know more? We can help your workplace become more productive and improve employee engagement. Please Contact us and we will get you started in learning about creating an Agile Workplace and then show you how it might work for your company.

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By: James Osgood

Photo Credit: gcoldironjr2003 via Compfight cc

Standing Desks the Hottest Trend for the Healthy Workplace

“Sitting is Killing You” says LifeHacker. The infographic goes into detail about the health risks of sitting too much and suggests getting up and moving around the office more as a way to combat inactivity. A standing desk isn’t the only answer, but it sure helps in creating a healthy workplace.

Standing Desk for a healthy workplace

Standing Desk

According to Mónica Guzmán at The Seattle Times, given the option, more workers are choosing to stand while working at computers.  Standing desks are becoming especially popular at tech companies where workers can spend upwards of 9 hours a day sitting in front of a computer.

Do-it-yourselfers have been slapping together stand-up desks for awhile now at home, but the trend is growing in more formal settings. A recent post by LifeHacker lists the Five Best Standing Desks, the last of which is a DIY.

In an office with a tight budget, do-it-yourself may be the answer. Gizmodo India posted an example of an inexpensive solution, a clever contraption that turns any table into a standing desk.

Before you jump into standing all day, consider these tips and ideas for a  healthy workplace and a successful transition to a standing desk:

  • Try increasing your standing time by 5 minutes each day until you reach a half a day, then sit for lunch, then go back to standing and sitting in the afternoon.
  • Walk around the office every so often, at least five minutes every hour.
  • Wake up your brain and practice balancing on one foot while you work.
  • If you’re listening to music, dance a little. Do something different!
  • OSHA has guidelines for standing posture – check them out here.
  • Get an anti-fatigue mat and lessen the strain on your body and improve your workspace ergonomics.
  • Seriously consider an adjustable height table. It makes standing and sitting throughout the day easier.
  • To add a bit of fun to the office, here’s a standing clock so you can time how long you stand each day. Is a little healthy standing time competition in order at your office?

OfficeFinder is the leading web based office space referral and information network with highly qualified local office space leasing and sales professionals in over 550 markets.  Contact us and we’ll help you find your space and make it work for you.

By: James Osgood

Latest Employment Data Good For Office Space Market

The NAR just released 10 Things to Know about the Latest Employment Data which included some good news for the office space market. “From the worst of the recent recession a few years ago, nearly 8 million jobs have been added. Recall, however, during the recession that 8 million jobs were shed. Not yet a new employment peak, but getting very close to it.”

Here is what it looks like.

Employment Graph

The office space market is directly linked to employment. Many of the recent reports have identified a general stabilization of the US office market with vacancy rates moving downward  and rental rate moving up. As long as employment continues in an upward trend, so should the tightening trend in office space.

If you need some help, we’d be happy to help you Find Office Space.

By: James Osgood

Office Relocation Planner Guide: Part 1 Overview

office relocation plannerEvery year, hundreds of thousands of businesses across the country relocate their offices to new space.  Many have grown too large for their current space, while some companies are down-sizing to smaller, more cost efficient offices.  Still other businesses may be relocating to a new geographic area offering lower operations costs.  Whatever your particular reason for making a change, moving a company requires a lot of thorough planning, open communication, and hard work.

One of the very few events that may be more stressful than a residential move is a corporate office relocation! Most people are totally unfamiliar with how to prepare for a corporate move and the process can be quite overwhelming to the inexperienced. Without proper planning, you may find yourself with a digital copier too large for its designated space, a phone system without enough telephone lines, or movers being paid to stand around and wait while employees pack up their belongings.

This Guide is designed to inform you of some of the most important issues related to office relocations, and to help you avoid costly mistakes during the process.

According to the International Facilities Management Association “Two-thirds of those responsible for their company’s relocations either lose their job or get demoted after the project.”

Start with a Comprehensive Moving Plan

The key to assuring success with any office relocation is planning everything down to the smallest detail. As part of the process of planning an office move you should first determine who will be on the relocation team and what you can handle in house and what might you need or want to outsource.

If you are considering hiring a relocation consultant to manage the move process only, you may be wasting your money.  Most reputable office moving companies will assign you a project manager to assist you with the process from beginning to end.  However if you need a consultant to help with space planning, furniture purchases, implementing new technology, etc., then a relocation consultant could be a valuable resource.

Factors to Consider When Planning an Office Relocation:

Technology Systems Planning – What is the current status of your high tech equipment? Since most companies renew their technology every 18 to 36 months, is this an opportunity to upgrade or expand your systems?

Asset Management Planning – Audit your existing assets. What’s worth moving in the area of technology and furnishings? What should be replaced or upgraded? Can you install what you’re moving in the new facility or are there obsolescence and incompatibility issues?

Space and Interior Design Planning – Whether you elect to handle the space planning or to use a consultant, building floor plans drawn to scale are very important.  Drawings that are reasonable facsimile representations of your space can be very misleading and create substantial problems on moving day.  Once you have the ‘big picture’ settled you can focus on special details for decorations, artwork, enhanced lighting and plants.

Space Requirements Analysis – For space planning purposes compile a roster of personnel and their anticipated space needs as well as a detailed inventory list of the minimal space requirements for all machinery and office equipment. Once you have your roster and equipment list compiled, you can easily determine your total minimum space requirements.

Business Requirements Analysis – Employees should be consulted for specific preferences and requirements.  Once all the information has been compiled, you will be prepared to complete a ‘needs analysis’ of business requirements and preferences.  Develop a ‘must-have’ priority list from your requirements list to help you identify which areas of your business need the most attention.  Also develop a timeline for your requirements list that includes the start date and the projected completion date for each item.

Part 2 of our Office Relocation Planner Guide will address the key factors in developing an Office Relocation Plan.

If you need some help, we’d be happy to help you Find Office Space.

By: James Osgood

Jones Lang LaSalle Pays OfficeFinder a HUGE Compliment

Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) has paid OfficeFinder a HUGE compliment. OfficeFinder has been in operation online since 1995 with it’s registered trademark and we have worked hard to develop a well recognized brand. As we all know, “Imitation is the highest form of flattery” and JLL has gone to extremes when it comes to imitating OfficeFinder. I know it is hard to believe that a 5 billion dollar company would feel the need to copy a small business like OfficeFinder, but they did it with the creation of an entire set of websites in Eastern Europe. Here are a few of them:

JLL officefinder

JLL officefinder Logo

Not only did they choose to use our brand in their URL, but they even chose to use the OfficeFinder name brand on the websites by not bothering to separate the words. Wow! I love it. What a huge compliment. We must be doing something they like.

Thank you JLL.