Tips for Generating a Positive Work Environment

Tips for Generating a Positive Work Environment

What Is a Positive Work Environment?

Feeling dread about arriving at work does not necessarily come solely from the type of work you do. If you are met with a lack of care, structure or communication when entering your workplace, you will simply not enjoy being there.

Creating a positive work environment not only encourages people to remain in their positions of employment but it also helps motivate people to work hard and results in higher productivity.

Employees usually define a positive working environment by the level of respect they feel, the growth and support they receive and how much they feel they contribute to the working goals of a given corporation.

What's more, if a certain corporation is known for providing a good working environment that is friendly, communicative and understanding, they are likely to receive more applications for available positions.

A positive work environment benefits both the employee and employer.

For an employee, it means feeling comfortable and happy to continue working at the organization.

For an employer it is arguably even more important. Without a positive work environment, staff retention may be low, so a company may struggle to find the right people for the work.

Without being able to recruit or retain staff, a corporation can even fail to survive. Taking care of employees and their well-being is a priority for all working environments.

In this article we will outline how to develop a positive work environment, and the reasons why this is essential.

Can a Positive Work Environment Develop Organically?

How a positive environment is created within a workplace depends on two major factors:

  • Individuals
  • Structures and protocols

Without the right individuals working towards a positive atmosphere or the right structures in place, it is almost impossible to generate a good working environment.

Individuals

If you work within a company where your colleagues are naturally positive and caring, it is more likely that a good environment will organically emerge.

With encouragement from colleagues, you will feel more respected and valued. When you have team members instilling these traits in the workplace, you will also want to contribute to this environment.

On the other hand, if a workplace is full of individuals who have no regard for the workplace culture or cultivating a good environment, it is unlikely that you will go out of your way to begin building a positive environment.

However, the individual can only do so much in any working environment. If there is nothing to work towards as a team or an individual, efforts can be somewhat in vain.

For instance, if a colleague is trying to establish a monthly team-building activity, it can prove difficult if there is no one to refer this to or nothing in place to encourage others to participate.

In this case, the colleague who is attempting to create a positive work environment will expend a lot of effort, and they may not get the return they anticipated. This may even lead to a hard-working individual feeling disillusioned and giving up.

Structures and Protocols

Strong structures can also help lead to a positive working environment.

A good personal relations team, communication channels between all levels of management and dedication to a team’s well-being are some aspects that result in a positive environment.

How to create these in a given working environment will be discussed below, but it is important to stress first what these structures look like. Most successful corporations have an outlined set of values that management and employees are aware of. An insistence on learning these values can drive work and an environment in a more positive direction.

Moreover, building awareness of a company’s values allows individuals to contribute to them.

Corporations also need to facilitate training and collaborative efforts that are aimed at creating a good environment. Doing so will mitigate wasted efforts and a lack of direction.

With such structures in place, a group of positive individuals will work more efficiently towards creating the right environment.

Likewise, having strong structures in place will highlight the colleagues who are less aware of the need to create a positive work environment.

Once these individuals are identified, the right training can be given. Such training can reinforce the right attitudes and encourage a positive environment even further.

Tips for Generating a Positive Work Environment
Tips for Generating a Positive Work Environment

Reasons Why You Should Create a Positive Work Environment

Instilling a positive work environment benefits everybody, including the employee, the employer and the clientele.

Discover the four main reasons why you should strive to facilitate a good working environment.

1. Productivity

According to a Deloitte study, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe that a positive work environment leads to a company’s success. This is evident in Deloitte’s success and other big corporations who instill a positive environment.

Creating an environment where people feel comfortable and motivated to come to work will inevitably conclude in them doing better work.

Without a good environment, the motivation to do the work well is reduced, leading to a decrease in productivity.

Depending on the work, getting people to be positive in a workplace environment can be difficult, so increasing efforts to cultivate this will lead to better performance across the board.

2. Cost

A study from Harvard Business School has highlighted that the cost of healthcare reduces when employment satisfaction is higher. If people do not feel happy in work, they are more likely to take sick leave.

Keeping employees in the office and retaining the right personnel increases a corporation’s profit and mitigates the costs associated with recruitment.

Creating a positive environment is an essential part of keeping a company's running costs low. Having a poor working environment will lead to higher overheads in the long term.

Stress, pressure and poor mental health are all reasons why people take sick leave. Reducing the impact of these in the workplace is essential for keeping people happy and productive.

3. Well-Being

A positive work environment encourages openness and communication.

With better channels of communication, employees are less likely to feel unsupported and alone. They will be more likely to seek out help when needed. With more support, staff will perform better and feel acknowledged.

A positive working environment can help prevent the negative consequences of negligence and a lack of support.

4. Willingness

With a better working environment, more employees will be willing to commit to difficult projects and tasks.

Improvement programs and support networks will give individuals the confidence to take on complex tasks. These projects may be essential to the profitability of a company.

7 Tips for Generating a Positive Work Environment

1. Working Space

Having a comfortable environment is essential, particularly if you have an office job.

Good office space, furniture and recreational spaces make employees feel welcome and motivate them to work hard.

Provide a decent cafeteria or break area where employees can eat and relax away from their desk.

Similarly, bright open spaces help individuals cope with their workload. Work environments need to be flexible enough to cater for a full working day.

2. Training and Learning Opportunities

The opportunity to train is imperative for improvement. Separate teams, assigned goals and dedicated workspaces help individuals practice and improve their working skills.

Struggling colleagues should have a plan in place to improve at their job. A training team and a group of colleagues dedicated to helping others access these opportunities goes a long way.

Another requirement is having spaces where people can be vocal about what they need. Providing enclosed offices where productive conversations can be had are conducive to a positive environment.

3. Individuality

Each team member should feel respected, and that they can express themselves.

Encouraging diversity in the workplace and respect of different identities makes everyone aware of their coworkers' right to be heard and accepted.

Projects and team events should be held to help people showcase their individuality.

Promoting individuality also encourages employees to speak about their mental health and external issues that are not associated with work.

Turning up at work should provide people with an opportunity to take time away from their other stresses, rather than add to them.

4. Collaboration and Communication

A strong personal relations team and a functioning communication system helps keep every team member aware of what is going on in the workplace.

Microsoft Teams and simple things such as a notice board can help to raise awareness.

There should also be a clear emphasis on cooperation in the workplace and details available on how to access this.

5. Clarity in Values and Company Standards

Outlining a corporation’s values and what they stand for can ensure that everyone is on board.

With this approach, they will be incorporated into people's working methods and can be used to facilitate further training.

Developing a strong culture can also help team members identify what positive behavior is.

This ultimately leads to a common understanding of what is accepted and what is not.

6. Internal and External Events

Hosting team-building events can help others to bond and exercise their skills.

They can really encourage communication and instill a company’s values. These types of events should be put on both internally and externally.

The internal events can be held monthly. One day of each month could be put aside for presentations, team challenges and charitable efforts.

External events are generally more expensive to provide to a whole team, but they can do more to boost positivity than what is possible in the workplace.

Taking a team on a sporting day out or a leisurely break away from work can create a positive mentality that stretches beyond the walls of work. This is essential for keeping individuals interested in their work.

7. Career Development

A poor working environment is usually one that is stagnant. Team members need to be aware of opportunities to progress.

Your employees also need to know how to develop their career. Outlining the positions available and how they can reach them is a good start.

To encourage career development further, a company should be clear about what behaviour they expect and what they do not tolerate.

In a positive working environment, this should not be pushed on colleagues, but evident enough so that if individuals do want to progress, they know what options are available.

People work for a myriad of reasons, and if someone is driven and wants to carve out a career, this should be accessible.

On the other hand, if someone wants to maintain a role and become comfortable first, they should be allowed to do so.

A positive environment offers flexibility for a range of attitudes towards career development.

Final Thoughts

If you have experience of working in a corporate industry, you will be more aware of efforts that make a positive work environment.

This is not coincidental, and it is not irrelevant to employers either. A positive work environment leads to greater productivity, and therefore greater results.

They are not the only ones who win in a positive environment; employees do too. Feeling enjoyment at work, or at worst tolerance, can be a great stress reliever.

Creating a positive environment is conducive to a good life, positive mental health and potentially the career you want to build. If you can contribute to building and maintaining one, it is worth the effort in the long term.


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