Thirty years ago, Professors Wilson and Kelling introduced the “Broken Windows” theory, which basically stated that if you monitor and maintain urban environments, vandalism doesn’t lead to more serious crime. Fix those broken windows, clean up the graffiti, and you’re less likely to have murder and mayhem.
The theory has been applied with considerable success, notably by Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is widely credited with reducing crime in New York City.
What does this have to do with your business? Fixing “broken windows” is one of the fastest, most effective ways to boost employee motivation. Simply put, when you show employees you care about what matters to them, they will respond by caring more about what matters to you. They will be more motivated.
Try it. Put a fresh coat of paint on the employee lunchroom. Provide free fruit or muffins on Fridays. Make sure the sinks and toilets work in every restroom, and that restrooms are always clean. Add some freebies to the restroom; hand lotion, or disposable toothbrushes. Check out the florescent lighting, don’t let it flicker endlessly before you text maintenance to change a bulb.
All these, and many more seemingly non-business oriented details, matter to your employees. Remember, most of them spend more hours at work than they do in their own homes!
Take a weekly walk through your department. Make sure you aren’t allowing your employees’ workspace to be home to “broken windows,” and seemingly without any effort on your part, your employees work and commitment to their work will improve.