A positive work environment is a physical or mental environment that champions employee growth, values employees, and treats everyone with respect. A positive work environment is important for attracting the right talent and for employee retention.
Every person who applies for a role has a mental or physical list of things they want in their workplace.
This list may include their expected salary, their preferred work schedule, office appearance, team attitudes, and other requirements.
One thing that’s constantly on this list is a positive work environment. The kind of environment that encourages them to work.
A study by CareerPlug showed that seventy-one percent of individuals would leave a toxic work environment irrespective of their salary.
Hence, if you’re looking to recruit the best talents, part of your employee branding efforts would be to ensure that you portray a work environment where employees can learn, grow and thrive happily in.
In this blog, we would look at the employee and business benefits of creating a positive work environment. We would also list 5 ways you can create a positive work environment as well as specific examples that explain each of these methods.
Let’s get started.
Benefits of creating a positive work environment
The benefits of creating a positive work environment can be classified into benefits for the organization and benefits for the employee.
The benefits of creating a positive work environment for the organization are;
- Increased employee Productivity
- Increased employee retention
- Better work culture
- Attracting the right talent
The benefits of creating a positive work environment for the employee are:
- A flexible work schedule for the individual
- More Opportunities for Growth
- Increased opportunities to learn
- Better collaboration with other employees
There are more benefits depending on the personal needs and situations of the employees.
However, let’s look at how you can create a healthy work environment and reap all these benefits.
How to Create a Positive work environment
1. Better Performance Management
One major way to set the pace for a positive work environment is good employee performance management.
Using performance management software always trumps manual methods. It is a good way to ensure that your employees are productive and that performance feedback is data-backed, kind, and objective. It also ensures that employees can set goals, meet their targets and have a sense of fulfillment.
Many employees get frustrated because performance feedback is brutal, hurtful, and discouraging rather than motivating. While there’s the fact that you are not your work and so shouldn’t take bad feedback personally, it’s no doubt that people always get too attached to their work and can easily get hurt especially when their performance is assessed terribly.
For instance, Employee A may prefer to receive performance feedback personally and in detail, Employee B may want it vague, not minding who else is there, and may even take it personally if given alone.
Hence, when you have a diverse team, you should seek ways to be fair and objective in performance management.
You must pay attention to the reactions of your employees.
To ensure an inclusive workplace, you can talk to your employees about what software they prefer for performance management. This is still subject to the resources of the organization and the decision of the executive of your organization.
Consulting with your employees would make them willing to work with the eventual software you choose and would also give them a sense of belonging and acceptance in the organization.
2. Rewards and Incentives
Rewards and Incentives are the best ways to motivate employees to put in their best work. A lot of people do better when they know that their work is seen and that you appreciate their efforts.
You can use a rewards platform to automate and spice up your employee recognition program. With a reward platform, you can reward your employees even if you have a hybrid or remote workforce. Employees can also customize their preferred rewards, choose what matters most to them and have fun while doing that. It is intentional and sparks creativity even in your employees.
Rewards should not only be for big or measurable efforts such as increasing the company’s revenue by a huge amount.
It should also be for seemingly small things such as kind behavior, correctly checking in and out of the time tracking app, attending company events, and other small gestures.
For example, a friend told me about a company she worked for where a new employee got a reward for changing her LinkedIn headline as quickly as possible to reflect her new role at the company.
That was small but then it set the pace for doing great work in the future.
Rewards don’t only improve employee loyalty, they also allow employees to treat one another with kindness and support.
The goal is that you build a work culture of rewards even among employees and smaller teams. People are more likely to reward others when they’re rewarded themselves.
3. Diversity and Inclusion
A positive work environment upholds diversity and inclusivity. We’re all different individuals and employees can never really feel comfortable unless you show them that their differences are accommodated in your organization and they can be themselves irrespective of their gender, social status, race, color, or religion.
You should go out of your way to ensure that you accept people who are sometimes marginalized in society.
People of color, individuals with disabilities, and different sexual orientations should be given a fair chance in your recruitment and recognition process.
Also, make sure to be loud about the fact that everyone is welcome. Other employees should not make snide remarks about someone else’s differences and should be oriented on treating everyone the same way they’d like to be treated.
Everyone loves a place where their ideas are welcomed and accepted. Hence, encourage everyone to share their opinions, be innovative and look out for different perspectives, new views, and ideas.You can only build a positive work environment when you encourage variety and ingenuity.
4. Employee Learning and Growth
A lot of organizations are scared of investing in employee learning and development because they harbor that secret fear that employees may gain so much knowledge and then leave the company to work somewhere else.
While this may happen sometimes, ironically, people tend to stay in organizations where they can learn and grow. An easy way for employee retention is making sure that employees are advancing and also promoting them to a role that fits the skills and knowledge they have acquired.
Employees don’t like stagnation. Hence, you must create avenues for growth and simultaneous promotions.
These learning and growth programs may be in the form of older employees training junior employees or even inviting industry experts to train in-house employees.
You can organize workshops, boot camps, seminars, and symposiums for the sole purpose of learning, asking and answering questions, and growing.
Also, ensure to provide employees with resources that make their work easy. This would include website extensions, newsletters, blogs, podcasts, groups to join, and even links to events organized outside the company.
5. Employee Mental Health
A balanced work life cannot be overemphasized. This was what inspired the remote culture that lots of organizations have now. The need to balance work and life is inherent in every employee. A lot of employees spend so much time at work and have little time for themselves, their families, and their friends.
It is detrimental in the long run and would only build a toxic work environment.
Hence, it is important to pay attention to employee mental health. You can have an in-house therapist or invite mental health experts to speak to employees on great ways to achieve that balance.
However, making their work schedule more flexible aids a lot. Many organizations have adopted a four-day workweek just to give more time for rest and social activities.
If you can’t do that, you can adopt a hybrid culture, and organize social activities such as sports, parties, meet and greet, and any other event that wouldn’t be about work. You can also incorporate things like birthday celebrations, lunch, and any other event that can ease the tension in the work environment.
Encourage employees to be friends with each other, hang out, and check up on each other. Plan for paid vacations, sick leaves, and even gifts during special events. Make sure everyone feels seen, loved, and safe.
The results are mind-blowing, employee retention is sure and business growth will not be stopped.
Create a work environment that employees love
Now, it’s up to you. You have all the information you need to retain your employees.
Choosing the best project management system, giving rewards, and promoting diversity, good mental health, and growth are simple but effective ways to create a positive work environment.
Brainstorm the best ways to go about incorporating these methods with your team and get to work right away.
Everyone deserves to look forward to going to work.