I believe when it comes to running a successful business nothing is more important than having a happy team. How often do you hear people come home and complain about their bosses or their work environment? I hear these stories pretty regularly, and when I do I truly believe that the person running that business is failing. While I don’t think we have the perfect balance or setup at Pitch we’ve certainly found a few things which seem to help keep the team happy so I thought I would share three of those with you today.

Don't Be Cheap

The most common crime I see businesses committing is giving their staff cheap computer setups, especially when it comes to the LCD screens. Why companies still insist on providing 15” – 19” screens is beyond me, especially when a decent 24” screen can be picked up for as little as $350 (NZD) and large screens provide dramatic gains in productivity.

A decent setup will go a suprisingly long way to helping your staff enjoy their work days. It’s pretty simple too, a nice big (or dual) screen setup, a computer with a bunch of RAM in it and finally a nice comfortable chair with good back support. Bonus points if you provide a nice pair of headphones.

So businesses, here’s a winning formula for you; don’t be cheap, buy the best setup you can afford for your team and they’ll repay you with their quality of work and productivity. Spending more up-front might be harsh on the bank balance but I promise you’ll get better results in the long term.

Be Transparent

Everyone loves to feel like they’re important and valued at their job and there’s a really simple way to achieve this; get the whole team involved in some business decisions.

Obviously this is easier with a small team and some decisions will be too sensitive to share but overall a lot of important decisions are better out it the open where they can be discussed. The business will also benefit from getting feedback from the people who understand the business the best; the people that do the work to keep it running.

So I think we should break down the barriers that exist between management and the the rest of the team. Everyone will be better off for it and after all, the staff have a vested interest in helping the business grow and improve.

Food!

I love food and recently I’ve made the startling discovery that the majority of people do too! The concept is pretty simple then; feed your team.

Whilst some companies do this on a completely awesome level by catering full lunches every day it’s quite possible a similar setup wouldn’t be sustainable for a small business, so be smart about it. At Pitch we head to a local cafe and have a team lunch covered by the business every Wednesday. It allows us all to get out of the office away from the computers, relax and most importantly have a good catch up about topics other than work.

Just make sure that everyone is eating healthy and nothing fatty otherwise they will feel tired when they get back to the office.

To Be Continued

That’s all for Part 1, hopefully this has given you some things to think about and possible changes you can make at your work place, I know that we’re constantly trying out new things at Pitch, not all of them work, but you learn a lot along the way so give it a try.