Across the world, this time of year, managers are asking themselves a question to a recurring problem; “How am I going to spend what’s left of my department's budget?”
For many organizations it’s either use it or lose it, meaning that if you don’t use the budget it will most likely be reduced the following year.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should throw your money toward things that aren’t useful. Here’s a list of 4 strategic ways to spend what’s left of your yearly budget:
1. Invest in improving your work environment
When you think about it, the average team member works 8 hours a day, resulting in a 40 hour work week. Given that an employee typically gets two weeks of vacation per year, the average Joe/Jane will end up spending 2,000 hours each year in an office setting. When thought about like this, the total numbers are staggering.
With all that time being spent at work, you should want your team members to feel as comfortable as possible in order for them to produce their best results.
Here are some ideas to invest in to improve your work environment:
- Upgrade office chairs
- Adjustable desks, so team members can choose to stand or sit
- Get a personal trainer to come to the office once a week to train employees
- Get a premium coffee maker
- Provide refreshments for employees
- Get some plants for the office
- Update the decor and furniture
- Improve the lightning within the office space
- Create quiet spaces for people to work in when they need to focus
2. Invest in team building
They say you’re nothing without your team, and we at Tempo believe that there’s a truth to that.
Andrew Carnegie, Industrialist and philanthropist once said, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
Combining work and play with a team offsite allows you to take time for planning and team building, which can produce wonderful results. Team building builds trust, encourages communication, increases collaboration and reduces conflicts. It can also work as a big morale booster for your team members to get out of the normal work environment and into new surroundings. Please note though that successful team-building events are ones that don’t feel like a day at the office.
They say that in the end, a happy worker is an efficient worker, right? Well according to a study by the economists at the University of Warwick that’s actually true. Researches found out that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity among employees, while unhappy employees proved 10% less productive.
3. Invest in a software to make life easier
There are a ton of tools out there which can help teams perform their work better and faster. It often comes down to research, figuring out which tools you and your team can benefit from. There’s always some things that could be simplified with software and possibly automated.
Teams can save time and increase efficiency with the right software tools. Strong teams and effective tools complement each other in achieving magnificent results.
Our Tempo suite of add-ons for Jira has helped multiple organizations save money and increase productivity. Here’s a short customer success story on a how a Tempo Customer saved 50% on their project management toolset after implementing the Tempo suite of add-ons.
After all, you can’t really go wrong with a clear overview of your projects or portfolio, transparency throughout the organization and happy team members!
4. Invest in learning
When employees feel stagnate and lack challenges they may begin to feel disengaged and disconnected at work. That’s why we encourage organization to challenge its team members on a regular basis.
Team member development can be quite encouraging, and learning should always be a continuous effort. The more we learn, the more we bring to the table.
Whether it’s giving employees a ticket to an interesting conference, signing them up for a workshop or seminar that they’re interested in or simply offering them an online subscription for a learning platform, it can lead to better and more knowledgeable workers.
Why not reward your team members and give back to them for their hard work this year?
We encourage you to invest the rest of your budget on your team, their working environment, their tool suite or their continuing education.