Your employees are the mirror of your company. The happier they are with their jobs, the better they will talk about your company and you as their boss.

When starting your own business you have to understand that the people you plan on hiring will spend the better part of their day working with you. If you create a friendly environment where they are able to reach their professional and personal goals, the chances of your business succeeding will multiply.

1. Create a pleasant working atmosphere for your employees

People spend at least eight hours a day in their offices. That’s one-third of the entire day! Creating a pleasant environment and atmosphere will make it much easier for your employees to get up in the morning and go to work.

The process of defining your company’s work atmosphere begins the moment you start looking for an office space. Here are some things you have to take into consideration when it comes to this:

– Try to find a space with lots of natural light coming in during the day. This means windows in all the rooms! Natural light, especially during those beautiful sunny days, will most certainly impact your employees’ mood.

– Artificial light is just as important as natural, so avoid spaces with fluorescent lights or at least try to put up a few lower-wattage bulbs that are easier on the eye.

– If you want an open-space concept for your company, make sure to provide your employees with a silent room, where they can have conversations (e.g. Skype calls) without being interrupted. This can be a small space designated just for this or a conference room your employees can use when necessary.

Relaxation and lunch areas may seem like a luxury to you when looking for an office space, but they are more valuable than you can imagine. These areas give your employees a place to relax and take their mind off of work during breaks which are necessary if you want happy and productive workers.

2. Provide your employees with software and apps that increase productivity

Whether you’re using a cool software to automate different processes during your workday or apps that make your job easier, one thing is certain—working in this day and age is unimaginable without these productivity-boosting tools. Here are just some apps to consider getting in order to make your employees’ jobs easier.

 Hiri email client is a great tool that will help your employees deal with daily email overload and improve their communication style.

Hiri provides you with some easy-to-use features that make dealing with emails easier and less stressful. It offers two filters—Actionable and FYI, which are especially useful if everyone in your company is using Hiri. Thanks to these filters, received emails will automatically be separated based on the action required from the recipient. This way, your employees will always know that emails in the Actionable inbox are those they have to deal with first, because they require a certain action from them. With to-do lists and reminders, the chances of them forgetting about an important email are very low.

 Gridlly is a project management, team collaboration and data organization tool that is really easy and fun to use.

There are a couple of reasons why using Gridlly (or a tool similar to it) is very important for any business. Gridlly allows you to keep track of all your projects and make sure they get done on time and without any hassle. You can create and adjust data boxes, make checklists within them, discuss new ideas with your employees, make plans, upload any documents relevant to your projects online, and so much more. Everything you need will stay in one place, at all times, easily accessible.

Use GameEffective to motivate your workers through gamification.

Gamification incorporates the use of badges, rewards, leader boards or rankings, points, challenges, and other game elements to make repetitive tasks more engaging and less boring.

GameEffective can be integrated with the existing ERP, CRM or other apps, making it easier for employees to use all the previously mentioned elements. This platform offers solutions for processes like sales, customer support, and learning with best case practices and how-to manuals if you want to get a better understanding of this new trend in companies worldwide.

3. Provide learning opportunities for employees who want to further educate themselves

No matter the field of business your company operates in, constant improvement is necessary for success. Both you and your employees need to follow industry trends and discover ways for improvement.

Investing in your employees is investing in your company!

Make it possible for employees who want to attend seminars, conferences, classes, etc. to take time off from work (as long as it’s reasonable, of course). Another option is to reward your employees by giving them tickets to relevant events where they will learn something new directly from industry experts. This will enhance their knowledge and set of skills, and also present your company in the possible best way.

If your company budget can’t support these (sometimes very costly) events, there is a wide choice of online courses and trainings at little or no cost at all. Online education is the source of great learning opportunities that your employees will appreciate.

4. Make meetings effective and actionable

We all know that office meetings can be time-consuming and sometimes even motivation killers if not conducted properly. Having long meetings with your employees every day is necessary in a lot of cases, but often counter-productive.

The general advice is to keep the number of meetings to a minimum and make use of effective communication tools and techniques that won’t take up too much of your time at work. Instead of having meetings for the sake of having meetings, have one meeting a week that is structured and actionable.

Here are some tips to help you make the meetings more productive:

  • Make an agenda for the meeting and stick to it. Send it to everyone participating in the meeting beforehand.
  • Prepare all the necessary information and documentation in advance.
  • Keep the meetings as short as possible.
  • Set a time limit for the meeting and don’t go over it. Use a timer if you must! You will be surprised at how everyone can be efficient in a tight time frame.
  • Consider changing the environment of the meetings. Take the meeting outside; make it a lunch meeting or even a walking meeting. People will become more interested and attentive in an environment different from the one at the conference room.

5. Ask your employees what would make them happier

If you have no idea where to begin in order to make your job more enjoyable for your employees, ask them directly. People like having their opinions heard and valued, and you will get a great insight and a lot of ideas on how to improve your company.

Your employees are people who entrusted you with their skills and expertise, not just a means to an end, so listen to them. Take their suggestions into consideration—if you do this right, you will end up with highly motivated, happy and productive workers.