By Jerry Mooney
There are many typical business practices that employees love to hate. They can't stand things like team building days or annual reviews. However, there are good reasons for doing these things. Sometimes you have to do things your staff doesn't enjoy because they're valuable practices. They might not be fun for your employees. But they can help to boost productivity and create a better working environment. If you want to keep some of these practices but extend an olive branch to your workers, there are ways you can make them less torturous. Try out these techniques to turn some business practices around.
Team building days can be a mixed bag for many employees. On the one hand, they get to avoid doing real work for a few hours, or even a couple of days. However, on the other hand, they might have to deal with a range of annoying activities. There are many things people dread about attending a team building workshop. From introducing themselves to the room to role-playing, it can cause hours of cringing. But using team building exercises for coworkers doesn't have to be a nightmare. If you use the right provider or find some interesting exercises on your own, you can make it less excruciating. Remember that you can create less formal ways of helping your staff bond too. It could take place outside instead of in an office, or you could all enjoy a social event together.
No one likes having their performance reviewed. Although it can help them improve, it can sometimes be a knock to their confidence. They may feel like they're doing well, based on the regular feedback they receive. But when it comes to their annual review, they can then be blindsided by issues they weren't aware of. Performance reviews can be very useful to everyone, but you have to go about them in the right way. One of the important things to do is to raise issues with employees as the become apparent. Don't wait until their annual review to tell them about a problem they could have corrected six months ago. Another thing to avoid is getting other people involved in their review. You might find value in asking them to self-evaluate. But asking their colleagues to evaluate them is likely to backfire.
Everyone loves to hate HR. They see the department as being there to enact the interests of the company. While it's true that your HR department is there is part to protect you, it should also help your employees. For many HR departments, any benefit to the employee is a by-product of protecting the company. However, if you want your HR professionals to be relatable, they should make an effort to reach out more. Allowing HR the ability to offer certain benefits to employees is a good start.
There might be a long list of things that many people don't like about work. But if you recognize some of them, you can keep your employees happier and more productive.
Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of Zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter @JerryMooney