The Human Factor: Your opinion is important!

I surveyed business owners, employees and contractors to ask them what factors can improve worker happiness.  Happier workers are engaged in their work and will contribute to the overall well being of a workplace.  From our previous posts, it is evident that worker satisfaction has direct impact on productivity.

The comments from the surveys were interesting and similar.

Kyle on the Job at Ritchie Homes

Here are some comments

I strongly believe that employees need to feel a sense of ownership relative to the goals and objectives of their employers. This can be reflected through staff meetings that have an open door policy of inclusion where employees can freely express their concerns and issues in the workplace.”


Dakota on the job at All Elements

 “Have a mechanism to applaud work well done in the workplace by personnel regardless of complexity or difficulty. Logic being that everything is relevant to the overall success of the enterprise.”

The single biggest factor in my opinion and experience is that each employee needs to feel like their opinion matters. Workers who feel they have input into how the company is run, or how certain tasks are carried out, or even how social events are organized in the workplace are far happier than workers who feel they are just ‘punching a clock’.”
If workers feel their opinion matters and that their recommendations are implemented, they take more pride in their work, care less about the money, and are overall happier employees. ”
Workers also need to feel they are treated fairly when it comes to wages, benefits, etc., and that the organization does not simply see them as a number, but most importantly that they are a valued employee above all else. Dictatorships simply don’t work. Not in the workplace nor in politics.”

Josh at Ritchie Homes


Posted on: October 26th, 2012 by Victoria Comments

Positive Reinforcement by the Big Bang Theory

Positive reinforcement can influence workers behaviour. Try this approach from Sheldon as he trains Penny.

Posted on: October 5th, 2012 by Victoria Comments

Why do we need to supervise our workers? Bored construction workers video

When I first saw this video I laughed in shock and amazement. Here are some bored construction workers goofing around.

Boredom, carelessness, poor attitude.

We are dealing with people and people are unpredictable.  Employers are responsible for training and supervising workers.  They need to inspect their job sites.

Check this out

Posted on: October 5th, 2012 by Victoria Comments

The Human Factor: Are your workers happy and engaged at work?

Machine operator

Machine operator

Judging from the comments and discussions around this series, worker satisfaction is a relevant issue for us all. 

The goal is to generate these discussions so that we can each take away a bit of knowledge or insight into creating a happier workplace.  Whether you are an employee or employer, I appreciate and encourage your comments.

This post will share with you a Gallup survey that was designed to measure employee engagement called the Gallup Q12 index.  Researchers have found that there were 12 key expectations that form the foundation of strong feelings of engagement.  You can find this survey on-line.

The gallup organization has created from this survey an engagement index which slots people into one of three categories.


Engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company.  They drive innovation and move the organization forward

Not-Engaged employeeds are essentially ‘checked out.’   They are sleepwalking through their workday.  They are putting in time, but not enough energy or passion into their work.

Actively Disengaged employees aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re busy acting out their unhappiness.  Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged c0-workers accomplish.

Ask yourself the following?  Are you engaged?  Are your workers engaged? 

1.  Do you know what is expected of you at work?

2. Do you have the materials and equipment to do your work right?

3. At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?

4. In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work?

5. Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person?

6. Is there someone at work who encourages your development?

7. At work, do your opinions seem to count?

8. Does the mission/purpose of your company make you feel your job is important?

9. Are your associates (fellow employees) committed to doing quality work?

10. Do you have a best friend at work?

11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you about your progress?

12. In the last year, have you had opportunities to learn and grow.

Isn’t is funny, people are looking for respect, acknowledgement, the ability to do their job without barriers or conflict and learning opportunites. 

The example company for this series is Bellamy Homes in Kelowna.  The reason that we are looking at Bellamy Homes is because, they are doing something right.  It is an example of a company who has found a balance of productivity and worker satisfaction.

His trades appreciate him for some very simple systems that he has implemented.  By establishing a set construction schedule at project start, they know when to be on site, how much time they have and that the site will be prepared for their arrival.  The site will be clean, there will no other trades working in their area, the materials will be on site and they can do what they do best.  It is evident at Bellamy’s job sites that the workers are committed to doing quality work.

 As the site safety manager, I get to visit with the crews.  They appreciate that someone cares enough about their well being to provide hearing protection and safety glasses, a first aid kit, an emergency plan.

  When workers know that someone cares about them as a person, they work with passion and feel a strong connection to the company.

Posted on: September 18th, 2012 by Victoria Comments

The Human Factor: Happy workers do a better job!

Workers sheathing the roof

It’s early Friday morning. Three workers are starting their day. Two are on the roof getting set up for sheathing. Time for a quick smoke break. One is in a zoom boom lifting a load of materials to the roof. The day will be hot. There is a lot of work to be done. It all needs be finished today.

Bellamy Homes

Every morning workers across the country start their day. Some may have had a fight with their spouse. Some may be happy about spending the night with their new love. Medications, fatigue, general health, emotional state, personal issues, knowledge of task and level of experience, attitude about employer….there is no end to the variables that effect how the job will be performed.

The human factor effects all areas of work. The quality, safety and efficiency of a job can all be dramatically influenced by the people performing the task.

This feature will explore the human factor and highlight Bellamy Homes, a custom home builder in the beautiful Okanagan Valley who is doing something right. Bellamy Homes has learned that happy workers build great homes. The company owner, Les Bellamy, has put systems in place to keep his crews happy.

The Human Factor will look at how systems management can help a company have it all. It is not necessary to compromise any aspect. Bellamy Homes is an example of how focusing on quality will improve efficiency. Anyone who has experienced the time drain of customer call backs and deficiency lists can learn from Les. Les has also implemented a safety program through Safety Solutions at Work. His program is practical, designed for his crew and his systems and works!

Bellamy’s workers feel like their employer cares about them. The crews receive a schedule at project start so they know exactly when they are to arrive on site and their timeline. They have the time and space to work without tripping over other trades. Housekeeping is a priority so that workers have a clean and safe place to set up ladders and scaffolding. Quality is not diminshed by excess dust or clutter. Workers can work more efficiently without having to trip over other trades. The schedule avoids stacking trades on top of each other. The crews are happy and fiercly loyal to Bellamy Homes. That loyalty is returned by Les who contracts the same trades ongoingly.

Joe Scott Contracting and Victoria from Safety SolutionsImagine a workplace where you do not have to train new people for every project! Imagine how consistency in the workplace would improve efficiency and quality. Visualize how much safer your workplace would be if everyone was working on the same page. Worker satisfaction has an enormous impact on a company’s bottom line

Look at the faces of the workers in the pictures. They want to do a good job. Employers can set workers up for success or for failure. Happy workers do great work!

The next article will look at planning for success: Steps employers can take to help their workers be successful.

I invite employers, workers, contactors, spouses, children to comment below on “What makes a happy workplace?” Post a comment to facebook and share. I want to hear from all types of workplaces. The goal will be to feature and share the best ideas to take back to the workplace.

To learn more about our featured company visit: Bellamy Homes

Posted on: August 14th, 2012 by Victoria Comments

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