Operations

Extreme Makeover: Employee Happiness Edition

Lexi Tucker
Posted on November 10, 2019

Strong office design can make employees up to 33% happier. (Source: Talent Works International)

Strong office design can make employees up to 33% happier. (Source: Talent Works International)

I can’t be the only one who spends more time with my coworkers than my actual family and friends. Most desk jobs have you sitting eight hours (or more!) next to people you must work together with to accomplish a specific goal.

In my case, that means discussing new story ideas with LCT editor Martin Romjue and the way those stories will look on paper with LCT art director Kevin Haegele. I thoroughly enjoy working with both, and I’d like to think I’ve gotten to know them better as people because of how well we work together…and our proximity to one another. There’s no doubt it improves our workflow (although I wouldn’t complain if I could get a bigger cubicle).

In August, I discovered a topic I really enjoy writing about: Office remodeling and new headquarters. Two operators I spoke to, Carey Fieldhouse of Pegasus Chauffeured in Louisville, Ky., and Johnny Donohoe of Sterling Limousine in Newtown, Pa., both decided to revamp their buildings with one consideration at the forefront: Their employees. Not only did this increase my respect for both of them (not that it wasn’t already high), it inspired me to share some of these particular points with readers who haven’t already seen the pieces on our website, lctmag.com.

Home Away From Home

37% of job candidates will accept a job with a lower salary if the company offers an appealing culture, workplace facilities, and technology. (Source: Serraview)

37% of job candidates will accept a job with a lower salary if the company offers an appealing culture, workplace facilities, and technology. (Source: Serraview)

Fieldhouse emphasizes a family mentality. “We see chauffeurs and employees as family, and that attitude extends to our customers,” she says. Fieldhouse designed her new headquarters with them in mind. Every Friday they have a big cookout, and throughout the week people will bring in food for events like Taco Wednesday. “We wanted to create a place for them to hang out and enjoy each other’s company.”

Some people might read this and think, “But I’m not paying them to hang out and have fun!” These people are missing the point. Your employees are human. Treat them as such.

“I’ve had people question me on that, but people are what make those vehicles move. Cars are made of metal; what’s most important to me is what’s inside our offices. You can’t just go out and buy new people.” You want to get your money’s worth out of your employees? Be kind. Show them you actually care. Trust me, the money will come back to you in spades.

Legacies Built on Reputation

Only 13% of the global workforce is highly engaged and highly satisfied with their workplace. (Source: iOffice)

Only 13% of the global workforce is highly engaged and highly satisfied with their workplace. (Source: iOffice)

Creating a new headquarters from the ground up was a challenge and took about two years for Donohoe. He says he often second-guessed himself, but now that he gets to see the results, it’s been worth it tenfold.

“We always wanted to put something together that would be here forever as a part of our legacy,” he says. Naturally, to have a legacy you must have a group of people to carry it on. That’s why he invested in a chauffeur lounge that has become the hit of the building with vending machines, a big screen TV with cable so they can watch a game while their vehicle is being cleaned or maintained, and a full-size arcade game that has started to spur friendly competition.

The company was growing so fast at its previous building that at one point employees had to share work stations, which they were less than ecstatic about. “I completely understood it was time to upgrade. When you don’t have a place to call home, it can irk some people. This now gives me the ability to continue to expand and hire more people,” he explains.

People are 12% more likely to report being happy with their jobs when they have freedom and autonomy in their work environment. (Source: Serraview)

People are 12% more likely to report being happy with their jobs when they have freedom and autonomy in their work environment. (Source: Serraview)

Your employees will respect you and your business more when you show you understand the role they play in making you and your company successful. 

Related Topics: company culture, employee benefits, employee management, employee perks, employee recruitment, employee retention, staff management

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
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