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SHRUTI B.

Workplace Wonders | Times of India

In a time when a company's employees are accredited for its success, what does it take to keep them going? Shruti Bhiwandiwala gets the details on what employers can do for their staff to uplift their morale.


Original story published in 2012 in Mumbai Mirror, Times of India


We live in a country where a vast majority of the population is sitting behind desks, clicking away on their computer screens and running companies. While eight-hour job shifts are tiring and stress inducing, what can the companies do to keep stress off bay? P Venugopal, principal consultant, Excalibur Centre for Organisational Learning, explains, “Individuals need to be committed to carry on with the change-agenda-action initiatives with commitment and regularity for a considerable period of time, till they are satisfied that the desired change has actually taken place. Therefore, the follow up on part of the employers is of paramount importance. This is where most of the individuals and organisations fail. Group relations conferences, outdoor learning programmes and behavioural coaching are some of the other methods available for facilitating changes in individuals or teams. It is also crucial for an employer to focus on an individual’s strengths over his/ her weaknesses to reduce the chances of him/ her being actively disengaged.


INCENTIVES

Healthy year-end bonuses, daylong trips for the staff, wellness rooms, etc. are among the slew of techniques corporate honchos seek while striving to keep their workforce spirited. Honouring the hard-work and gestures of appreciation for long-term recruits are also some methods practiced by employers.


Srishti Jain, a media professional, says, “It’s vital that the employer takes a general interest in the work that I offer him at the end of the day. A good boss must help his employees with their tasks and earn better results.” Rewards for star employees and awarding the best employee of the month are also extremely important, as it encourages a sense of spirited competition and pushes laid-back employees to work smarter.


WORK ENVIRONMENT

It is pivotal for an employee to feel comforted and welcome at his own workplace. Sujata Chandran, manager (administration), Apparatus Media Lab, remarks, “My workplace is where I spend a good part of my day at; a charming and comfortable atmosphere helps me perform more efficiently.”

A perfect balance needs to be struck while setting up an office. A clean and well-organised work area, easily accessible cubicles and desks and good lighting are key. Besides the basics, a small sitting area is essential, wherein employees may enjoy their early evening tea breaks. Another basic amenity, such as a clean canteen that provides good and healthy food, is also extremely crucial. A well-balanced diet can keep employees going and double up as a stress-buster when the work pressure builds up.


Employers need to follow the simple-but-effective open-door policy – letting employees in, and giving them the opportunity to contribute to their own company in a much bigger way. It is a familiar fact that amicable employers function as efficient enforcers of work-spirit and competence for their personnel.


RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES

Recreational activities have been long known to be benefactors of satisfaction, relaxation and clearer minds. Zarir Shroff, head of quality and destination management, Make My Trip India, quips, “Our office has a No Work Zone, filled with games where employees can come and relax and have a little fun. We also have an annual off-site wherein all the members of the staff go on a day-long trip together. It gives them a chance to relax with nature and have a little bit of fun.” He also added that the company has its own in-house rock band’s performances, which are followed by a night of disco. Another fun and progressive venture by Make My Trip is their Town Hall session, where new recruits get the chance to come up and introduce themselves in innovative ways.


The right environment, the perfect blend of recreation and work, and timely incentives are all essential methods of ensuring that a company’s manpower is working in the right direction. With a team that is content, relaxed, smart and clear-headed, success is an easy guarantee for any establishment.

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