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Ten Tips To Workplace Noise Management

By Dr. Molly Barrow

Have you streamlined your business with innovative equipment and progressive training, yet, efficiency eludes you? Do you cringe when you hear the words human error? Is the cash register too quiet and the standard office operating procedure chaotic and unproductive? How can you make your business run smoother and demand optimum performance from your team without becoming more stressed yourself? Stress is your company’s worst enemy. The cost in health care, mistakes on the job, troubled family lives and unpleasant work environments often add up to lost revenues for your company. Take a moment to step back and incorporate some stress reducing techniques regarding noise at the workplace. These tips will help management be more successful with employees and employees more successful with customers. Stress-reduction will always help to improve your bottom-line numbers.

1. Stop and Listen: What is the sound of your company? Is it the same throughout or do you have pockets of intolerable noise. Does heavy silence shroud other locations? Visit areas of the company that are struggling and make note of the ambiance. Noise level can induce stress in sensitive individuals within seconds. Oppressive silence may make an attention deficit individual unable to focus and a skittish customer uncomfortable.

2. Crack the Sound Barrier: Do you have loud machinery that rattles nerves and jars the mind streams into pools of anxiety? Improve office quality with quiet equipment from the copier to the coffee grinder. Muffled equipment may cost more but is worth every penny in soothing frazzled nerves. Provide earphones for workers for hearing protection and their own sound selection.

3. Variety Spices It Up: Never ending tapes of repetitive music will create boredom in your employees and in their performance. Some sound equipment allows you to select a random setting. A Random setting on repetitive tapes helps to create musical surprise even after 365 days of the company’s same sound.

4. Too Strict Management Atmosphere: Are your employees stifled by work protocol and kept at attention constantly? Even ridged workplaces have wisely chosen to evolve into more people-friendly surroundings and better accommodate employee and customer needs. A more relaxed atmosphere is conducive to creating customer relationships and that equals more business.

5. One Sound Fits All: Music is in the ear of the listener and the rest is all noise. Preferences are a result of learned behavior acquired from childhood beginning before they were born and are extremely difficult to alter. Poll your employee’s needs for music, silence, warmth, light, privacy or companionship and let them rearrange their work stations to be more comfortable and efficient.

6. Chain, Chain, Chain: If your middle management wiz is all about country and your draftsperson is strictly classical, who should win the mood war? The musical comfort of management who is mobile and floats through an environment checking on details should be second to someone who is a prisoner of their desk.

7. Beware the Holiday Song Tape: Repeat Pa Rumpa Pa Pum one thousand times every day after Halloween until New Years Day while making change or counting inventory. Impossible, however, management creates these mind-numbing states in their best employees. Does your company have seasonally surges and simultaneously hypnotize the staff? Lowered production with increased demand may break the success of your company. Your customers may need to escape if they are tired of hearing the same music, too. Think outside the box and artfully create a holiday mood that is more stimulating and less annoying.

8. Use Music and Sound to Enhance Production: Some offices require constant conversation. Office Business Music, like perfume or cologne, is best when barely there, a light sweet scent floating in the air of your office, caressing the nerves of your highly stressed employee, mending the frazzles and allowing their bodies to undulate slowly in their executive chairs. The “World Mixes” lightly stimulate your employee’s mind with great variety and without disharmonious overload. Some offices require constant physical motion and less conversation. Action Office Music requires a more upbeat and slightly higher volume to fill the silence and move to the beat. Customer Consideration Music is vital to some businesses. While your patient waits for an MRI, use music to help sooth their high anxiety. If you want your customer to eat quickly and vacate their chair for the next person, speed up the tempo. Match the excitement of buying a new car or outfit with hot dance tunes.

9. Ask Any Fifteen-Year-Old: Someone in your office probably already knows how to give the workplace an ear lift. Management could wire offices with modern individual speakers and electronic systems that allow for adjustable volume and choice of music within designated areas.

10. Trickle Down Sound: Management can chose to have a workplace filled with music, busy murmuring voices, laughter and positive statements or the noise of criticism and tension. Encourage laughter by emailing the joke or funny story of the day from the CEO. Catch your employees doing something right and compliment them loudly. If management notices something amiss, whisper to the person who needs to correct their behavior. Adults bask in attention from their boss the way that children require attention from their parents. Sing complements, not criticism to achieve the best performance from your employees.

Read other articles and learn more about Dr. Molly Barrow.

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