HR & Management
Don’t let winter affect your business
4 min read
21 October 2013
The autumn and winter months can be a difficult time for the small business owner. Full offices are a rare site as employees are struck down by colds and the flu, or are unable to make it into work due to adverse weather conditions.
Holiday absences can also mean that productivity decreases as key members of staff leave the office. However, there are a number of steps a business can take to ensure that production runs as smooth in the winter as it does all year round.
Hire an intern
College and university students are always willing to enhance their CV and gain more experience, with some even prepared to work for short periods of time for free. However, hiring a paid intern on a one or two month placement can erase any productivity issues your business may have and will benefit the student too as it gives them real work experience for an extended period of time. Both parties benefit from this; a business maintains productivity and improves its reputation and the intern gets a valuable insight in to the world of work.
Keep your employees happy
This is a tough one but in order to maintain a happy office try to see things from your employees’ perspective. Is the office environment an ideal place to work? Would it benefit from a few plants? A painting, maybe? It’s no secret that employee’s work well when they feel more comfortable in the surrounding environment so make sure desk sizes are suitable and chairs are comfortable.
Install a management system
Stereotypically, the implementation of management systems involves copious amounts of paperwork and time. Debunk that myth entirely. Management systems such as the ISO 9001 allow companies to save money and improve performance. Streamlined dedication to customer service means that even if a couple of your staff are away on sick leave, there are methods that can be put in place to ensure a business can boost performance if needs be.
Praise your workers
A little praise can go a long way. Workers may be feeling down if they’ve been ill or don’t have much paid leave left, so praising them on how well they’re doing their job and helping the company could help their self esteem and general happiness. Of course, only give credit where it’s due, but employee’s will be encouraged by praise and look forward to coming to work in the morning if they know they’re doing a good job.
Rewarding your workers with an extra bit of cash will always go a long way. Money will most likely be an issue with the expense of the Christmas season looming once again, so a bonus will be welcomed with gratitude. Rewarding all employees will increase their respect for you and will ultimately improve morale and motivation.
Holding appraisals is useful and allows both the employee and the employer to get any issues off their chest and start afresh with new goals and increased motivation to achieve objectives.
Socialising can take place either in or out of the office but revealing your personal side to your employees will improve relationships and introduce an extra element of enjoyment to the office.
The autumn and winter months can be tough for businesses but following these tips can ensure smooth running at a time when the office isn’t at full capacity.
Rachel Hemsley is a professional writer who works on behalf of QMS International Plc, specialists in ISO 9001 certification.