For a business, offices are where the whole action is and surprisingly these are the last places management looks to make any improvements.
Just as with most things that have the human element interfering, we take things for granted. Did you know that by making small changes to the way people work can bring about an avalanche of profits? What do companies like South-west Airlines and Virgin have in common? Great employee-care. Best places to work are often the most profitable ones.
Here's what you can do build a high-performance office:
Focus on basic amenities: A great work-place environment includes basic air-conditioning, amenities like a cafeteria and clean toilets. Well-thought out office spaces also have ergonomically designed office cubicles and cabins, better systems to work on with wide-screen monitors and ergonomic keyboards & break-out areas with snacks and beverages. Think of these as an investment and not as an expense. The better the office space, the more motivated employees will be to work for you.
Reward and recognize your employees: It's only human to need appreciation for good, commendable work your employees do. Too many businesses focus on sales and operations and ignore basic human needs like a word of appreciation and lend a shoulder for employees who need help. One of the most stated reasons as to why employees quit, is "lack of appreciation." Have Reward and Recognition(R&R) in place and make it decentralized by allowing a budget for these things. Miracles often happen in companies where employees get a pat on their back for little things they do for the benefit of your business.
Make your employees' opinion count: In most businesses, across departments, the bosses are usually the ones who have the last word. Although it is important to have a hierarchy in place to manage employees, giving it too much importance often robs the company off valuable inputs from employees. If no one is allowed to speak within a company and if the ideas come off the top of only the middle and senior level of management, you aren't really using the power of human leverage. The more brains you have working to solve a problem (of which you will have many when running a business), the easier and quicker you can resolve these problems with apt solutions.
Don't forget fun at work: Most business office spaces look like morgues decked up with timber, teak and glass. No one talks loud and employees usually don't have any time to socialize and interact with each other. While it is true that businesses are not playgrounds or venues for leisure clubs, it doesn't mean that employees cannot have some fun every now and then. Put aside Friday evenings for a bit of fun and frolic, have frequent after-office hours, go out camping and on picnics and do some social activity together. Forgetting fun at work is forgetting to make more money while running a business.