A positive work environment is important in any workplace for a number of reasons. If you’ve ever worked in a toxic work environment then you’ll know just how important it is for employees and employers to foster a positive workplace culture.
In fact, while many managers and business owners tend to turn to changes in workplace rules when their workforce isn’t being productive enough, a focus on improving the environment may be a better solution to their problem. A positive workplace will nurture happy, healthy and productive employees and should be the focus of any organization.
Want to focus on creating a positive workplace environment in your organization but not sure what that looks like or how to get started?
In this article we’ll take a look at:
What is a Positive Work Environment?
A positive work environment is one in which employees feel safe to work and to share their thoughts, ideas and opinions. It is an environment in which employees are happy to be and where they enjoy interacting with colleagues.
Why is it Important to Create A Positive Environment?
First and foremost, a positive work environment fosters a productive atmosphere in which employees perform to the best of their abilities. Organizations that develop positive cultures see more productive, happier and healthier employees.
A safe and positive workplace also encourages collaboration and communication, contributing to creativity and further promoting productivity. A positive work environment allows companies to retain their best employees and to attract new ones more easily.
As a result of increased productivity and retention, employers ultimately experience monetary benefits from establishing a positive organizational culture.
How to Create A Positive Work Environment
There are many ways that employers can foster a positive and ideal work environment in their own way and with their own flair. However, to get you started, here are 8 steps that will help you create a positive culture and ideal working environment in your organization.
1. Encourage open and honest communication
Ensuring open, honest and judgement-free communication can significantly contribute to a positive work environment. This type of communication is important to establish between employees and between employees and management.
For example, be sure to include all relevant employees on your team in project discussions and to acknowledge and consider everyone’s input. Employees should never be made to feel silly or stupid for an opinion or an idea that they share. Lead by example and open communication will come naturally among all employees and take a proactive approach to ensuring that discriminatory behavior and communication will not be tolerated.
2. Promote collaboration
Make sure never to leave anyone on your team out. Regularly ask your employees for their input and opinions and encourage them to share with you and among each other. Collaboration leads to increased creativity and therefore better outcomes and success overall!
For example, when starting a new project, invite all involved parties to partake in a brainstorming session. Make sure to acknowledge, actively listen and positively respond to all ideas!
Another effective way to promote inter-team collaboration and communication is to offer a free office lunch for all employees. Pixar, Google and SAP are just some of the companies that offer free food to not only have happier employees, but also more produdctive and creative employees as well.
3. Demonstrate positivity
As a leader, be sure to smile, to be positive and to be optimistic around others, especially during difficult times.
For example, when faced with a difficult situation handle it with optimism and a positive outlook. By demonstrating this behavior to employees, it will encourage them to act similarly and begin to develop an environment in which this type of behavior is commonplace.
4. Show Compassion and Appreciation
A super simple way to promote positivity in the workplace is to check in with your employees and to thank them for their hard work.
For example, stop by an employee’s desk to check in on them and how they are personally doing (not to monitor their work). Many people forget how far a thank you can go – make sure to acknowledge your employees and the good work that they do on a regular basis.
5. Offer positive reinforcement
In addition to a thank you, positive reinforcement can also create a productive, positive and engaged workforce. By rewarding employees for their positive contributions to the company, they will feel valued and appreciated, resulting in a positive work environment.
For example, offering bonuses or even catered lunches at the end of a big project or just as a thank you can go a long way to creating a positive and enjoyable environment for all employees.
6. Provide a safe and comfortable workplace
Ensure employees are comfortable while at work – both physically and emotionally.
For example, provide ergonomically sound workstations and an environment that is free from unnecessary disruptions. Noise reduction will also reduce stress, leading to a more positive environment. A safe office environment is a productive and positive environment – always have a plan in place for any emergency situation that may arise.
7. Promote a good work-life balance
Workplaces that offer flexibility and promote a good work-life balance will see happier employees, resulting in a positive workforce.
For example, offer your employees flex time. This will allow them to take care of things in their personal lives that are important to them (perhaps more family time) while still completing their work.
8. Support personal and professional growth
By promoting personal and professional development, an organization can foster a positive environment in which employees are excited about their job and can see positive changes in themselves.
For example, provide employees with the opportunity to take leadership classes. By doing so, employees will gain valuable leadership skills that may result in them becoming administration or management.
Providing training that pertains to the organization, it’s values and culture is also helpful, as this will allow the employee to become familiar with expectations and the office environment.
Key Takeaways for a Positive Work Environment
A positive work environment in which employees feel safe, both physically and emotionally, and appreciated will be conducive to increased productivity, collaboration, creativity and overall happier employees and better results.
Organizations can help to create a positive environment in their workplace by focusing on these 8 simple steps:
- Encourage open and honest communication between everyone in your organization.
- Promote collaboration by including all relevant parties in brainstorming and discussions.
- Demonstrate what it looks like to be positive in the workplace and make sure to handle even the most difficult situations with optimism.
- Show appreciation for your employees and their contributions.
- Offer positive reinforcement in the form of rewards like bonuses, free food, etc.
- Provide a safe and comfortable space for your employees to work. This refers to physical and emotional safety and comfortability.
- Promote a good work-life balance by offering flex hours or other solutions that allow employees to balance their work and personal lives in a stress-free way.
- Support personal and professional growth by offering training and courses to your employees.
By focusing on these steps, employers can establish a strong positive environment that employees are happy to come to and work in, resulting in greater productivity!