A company is dependent on its employees. Not every employee has the same level of importance but they are all important in one way or another to the smooth and successful functioning of the company. The question is how do you keep them all happy and get their best efforts all of the time? The answer is you can’t. There are always going to be things like sick kids, traffic, or just a bad hair day that will prevent your workers from giving their best efforts. However, there are things you can do to ensure that you are not adding to these struggles.

The following are 5 ways you can improve the environment and work ethic in the workplace.

1. Improve the lighting: Working in dim lighting causes fatigue and even headaches from straining your eyes too long. It is also unsafe to operate any big or heavy machinery in improper lighting due to the increase in risk of injury. Additionally, while working in low lighting can sometimes be relaxing, it tends to wear on the mood producing a depressing feel when instead, you want to be supporting a bright and energetic glow to the area.

2. Encourage open communication: By keeping everyone looped in, not only are you building team communication skills but you are leaving no room for mistakes or errors that come from too little or bad communication. If you keep your employees in the loop, so that they understand both the successes and failures of the company, you will find they are more involved and motivated to enjoy the successes but also work harder to avoid the failures.

3. Trust your employees: If your employees feel like you trust them they will feel more confident in their work and in their skills. Trusting your workers is key to workplace atmosphere. Make sure you hire people you can trust, not people you feel like you have to constantly watch over their shoulders. However there are always going to be dishonest people no matter what you do. So instead of consuming all your time feeling like to have to watch them it’s worth it to invest in a system that can track their hours, location and even what they are working on. It’s also a way for them to track their own goals and time more easily. While some people work best under pressure, no one likes feeling like you are watching and judging their every move. Make sure your expectations are clear then give them the space to do their best work.

4. Routinely check to make sure the workplace is clean and in good repair: Nothing is worse than getting to work and there’s a disaster you have to take care of before you can even begin work or you find that the air conditioning isn’t working. Not only are you uncomfortable but it’s hard for you to concentrate on your work as sweat drips down your back. You want your employees focused on their jobs and not on the overflowing garbage bins, the 3 month old spaghetti with new green meatballs appearing everyday in the fridge, or the microwave that has turned into a decoration instead of an appliance forcing everyone to eat cold leftovers. By keeping the space where they spend most of their day in good repair your employees will feel more appreciated and important to the company.

5. Don’t keep them away from their friends and family longer than you have to: As much as your employees love you and love working (ok, maybe love is a strong word here), they love being home with their families a lot more. Even though they seem fine when you ask them last minute to work late, they are silently cursing you in their heads. Same thing goes for the super fun work parties you plan. If you plan a work party, invite the wives and husbands to come, and on occasion make it kid friendly and invite the whole family. That way they are still getting the family time they’ve been wanting all week and you are getting extra brownie points for those occasions when you do have to ask your workers to stay late.

Most people are a sucker for a compliment. If your employees feel as if they are appreciated and you are taking notice of their work they will be encouraged to keep producing great results in the future.