Boost employee satisfaction in simple and colorful ways

March 27, 2019

In the world of business, keeping talented team members is just as important as attracting them. Employee retention should always be at the forefront of a business leader’s decisions, no matter the industry. Having a low turnover rate equals less time and money spent training new employees and more opportunities to create a loyal workforce with your team members.

Work Institute’s 2018 Retention Report dives deep into the topic. The study reveals that one in four employees will leave their jobs over the course of a year. Of those instances in which people step away, a staggering 77 percent are said to be situations that could be avoided by employers. All that turnover comes at a cost – the very high cost of $600 billion annually, which is expected to rise to $680 billion by 2020 according to Work Institute. How can business owners avoid pitfalls? One simple and often overlooked way is to create an inviting workspace that is aesthetically pleasing.

memphis art gallery sue layman designs in kathy baird's officeOffice decor can be an afterthought for leaders who are focused on issues that they believe more heavily impact their bottom line. However, employee morale and productivity, two of those big-ticket items that business owners pay close attention to, are boosted if workspaces are easy on the eye. Research by Exeter University’s School of Psychology found that team members were 17 percent more productive if the office featured artwork than those working in spaces without the two. With those numbers, the simple act of hanging a painting with varying hues on the wall can go a long way.

Not only does art increase morale and productivity, but it also helps organizations address key challenges that are plaguing business. For example, Exeter University’s study reports that artwork in the office space aids in lowering stress, encouraging individuals to share opinions and boosting creativity. The colors featured in the paintings play a role as well. Greens and blues bring about efficiency and focus, while yellow hues usher in optimism and energy.

Leaders do not have to do a complete overhaul of their office to get these benefits. The neutral paint and solid lounge chairs can remain the same. Bear walls, however, must be changed. Wall art is an easy way to solve the monochromatic problem that plagues many venues today. Some artists, myself included, will even allow businesses to rent artwork for a nominal fee. Doing so allows decision makers to provide employees with an engaging work environment in an affordable manner. Renting provides the opportunity to rotate paintings on a regular basis as well, helping to avoid monotony.

Managing an office filled with workers can be complicated, so why not ease the burden by positively impacting their work life? Pick a bare wall, select an artist and hang your masterpiece.

Sue Layman Lightman, artist and owner of Sue Layman Designs, can be reached at 901-409-7870 or