How to Create A Positive Working Environment for Your Business
Research shows that a more active work environment can increase productivity. As an article in “Harvard Business Review” stated:
A large number of studies on positive organizational psychology have shown that not only a bad working environment can have long-term harmful effects on productivity, but a positive environment will bring huge benefits to employers, employees and profits.
These benefits come in the following forms:
Employees who work in a positive environment tend to participate more actively and do better.
A positive work environment has lower absenteeism.
When people work in a good working environment, they are less likely to leave, which means that the turnover rate of enterprises is reduced.
In an active workplace, people are less stressed, which means that if you provide employees with health insurance, medical expenses will be lower.
Active employees provide customers with a better experience, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and return rate.
Of course, in addition to profits, there are less obvious returns. When you create or manage a business, you are responsible for creating an environment in which dozens or hundreds of people will spend most of their lives.
You can choose that kind of experience. Do you want to use a culture full of blame and shirk responsibility to make it scary and untrusted? I doubt it. You may want people to like to go to work, feel proud and full of loyalty to work for you, and build close relationships with colleagues.
How do i do this? We will introduce 12 tried and tested technologies in the next section.
What can create a positive working environment
Now that we know why it is important to create a positive work environment, let’s take a look at how to achieve this goal. In this section, you will find 12 techniques for cultivating a positive work environment to make employees feel happy, valuable and fully involved.
1. Improve the physical working environment
What is the color temperature of your office lighting? It’s okay if you don’t know-this is not what most business owners think of. But research shows that cool-toned light can improve people’s work efficiency, while warm-toned light can make people feel more comfortable and relaxed.
Therefore, consider using cooler lights in the main work area and warmer lights in the lounge or cafeteria. Cool light can be achieved by increasing the amount of natural light or installing a special “blue” bulb, and orange or yellow bulbs can be used to produce warm light.
Also consider issues such as air quality-regularly check the air conditioning or heating system, are the filters clean? Poor air quality affects employees’ concentration and reduces vitality.
2. Provide staff-friendly facilities
In addition to repairing the main working environment, it is also necessary to consider providing facilities aimed at improving health. For example, you can provide childcare services, gyms, yoga classes, healthy food and beverages, etc.
You might think these things sound expensive, but even with a small budget, some of them can be achieved. For example, even if you cannot build a fully equipped gym, you can build a conference room and install exercise mats and some basic equipment at low cost. There may even be some employees who can lead yoga or meditation classes during lunch, or you can hire a coach without spending a lot of money. Even if you can’t build a full cafeteria, you can order fruits and healthy snacks from local vendors.
There is a long way to go to do this. The important thing is not to have the most advanced equipment, but to show that you care that your employees are people, not just production tools, and try to provide facilities that promote their health.
3. Grant autonomy
One of the best ways to create a positive work environment is to provide employees with autonomy. Avoid giving them the space and freedom to make decisions, contribute ideas, manage their workload, and work without constant supervision. The result will be happier and more motivated employees creating a more positive working environment
Want some evidence? A study of 20,000 workers over two years found that those with more autonomy can get higher job satisfaction and happiness.
You may need to make such changes gradually. If people are used to close supervision, a sudden shift to full autonomy may cause confusion and loss of morale. But if you gradually relax the reins and let people take more responsibility for their work, you will see a positive impact on workplace culture.
4. Improve communication
For large and small businesses, poor communication is the source of many problems. A survey found that 86% of respondents attribute their job failures to lack of collaboration or ineffective communication.
When people do not know what is expected of them or the direction of the company, they will struggle and leave. When they do not communicate well with each other, misunderstandings arise and the work environment is not very positive.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to improve communication, from using technical tools to establishing feedback mechanisms and practicing conflict resolution. To learn about all these technologies, read this tutorial:
5. Create training and development opportunities
Guess what? If your employees lack opportunities to learn and develop skills, your employees will not have a positive attitude towards work.
Let them know that you value them and want to help them improve and advance in their careers. On the other hand, you will have a happier workforce. A survey found that having a learning culture in an organization is the number one motivation for employee participation and loyalty.
Training does not have to be expensive. Of course, if you have a budget, you can hire expensive training companies or sponsor college tuition for employees. But if you don’t have one, you can pursue low-cost options such as internal training, mentoring, and affordable online training programs such as Envato Tuts+.
To learn more about all these options, and the steps involved in creating a personal skill list and training plan for each employee, please refer to the following tutorials:
How to develop an excellent employee training plan (small business)
6. Recognizing achievements
When people do a good job, they want recognition. In a workplace culture, if managers and colleagues can regularly recognize the achievements of others, then this is likely to be a positive workplace.
Despite this, you have to be careful how to do it. An interesting Harvard Business School study found that an industrial company attendance reward program caused an overall decrease in productivity by 1.4%. Some employees have found ways to play tricks and won awards. At this time, employees who are perfectly present will become negative because they see other people only doing what they believe to be normal behaviors and winning.
Lesson: Design your identification program carefully, not only to consider the impact on the identified group, but also to consider the impact on those who are not identified.
For details on this and other HR issues, please refer to the following tutorials:
15 HR foundations that are vital to every small business owner
7. Give tangible rewards
Studies have shown that many employees are not primarily motivated by money, but this does not mean that money is not important. Appropriate rewards for their work are a way of respecting what they have done, and it is also a way of conveying their value as employees. Getting a raise or bonus is almost guaranteed to put a smile on your face!
Need to realize that it is important to do this in the right way. If you are only raising salaries generally, you may have sent this signal: performance is not important, which will depress the motivation of your top employees. It is best to link salary to performance, and use salary increases and bonuses as tools to reward employees with good performance. You can also link it to the company’s overall performance, for example, by initiating a profit-sharing plan to benefit employees when their business is good.
For more information on offering competitive compensation, see the following tutorials:
How to provide competitive compensation and benefits for small businesses
8. Allow flexible work arrangements
Work-life balance is a hot topic in business, and for good reason. When people have a good balance between work and other aspects of life, they tend to perform better, be in better physical condition, and be more active in work.
There are many techniques to achieve work-life balance, but allowing employees to take advantage of flexible work arrangements is one of the most effective methods. Let people compare work and other tasks together so that they can do more important things, so that you can help them live a more fulfilling and richer life, and contribute to a positive work environment.
For more details, please refer to the following tutorials:
How to improve work-life balance in small businesses
9. Encourage strengthening of relationships
We are social creatures (even those with introverts), and we thrive when we establish strong and healthy relationships with other members of our group. Therefore, encouraging employees to develop friendships will have a positive impact on the work environment, which is not surprising.
Of course, this is not easy. You can’t force people to like each other. But you can create opportunities to develop friendships. For example, you can arrange events and outings, or encourage employees to meet in other informal settings outside of work. You can pay for lunch for the team (or group) at the top local restaurant (to make them more relaxed, it is best not to attend the experience)
Try to arrange various activities to attract different people. For example, the drinks after get off work on Friday are great, but we must also try to cater to those who do not drink or have family burdens that make it difficult for them to stay out late.
10. Cultivating diversity and inclusion
How can you have a positive work environment when certain types of people are excluded or feel unwelcome?
Make sure that your efforts to create a better workplace take into account the needs of all employees, regardless of age, race, gender, and other diversity.
It may not be easy at first, but in the long run, it will create a more active and inclusive workplace. This is a big topic, but you can find more information on this in our series of tutorials on increasing the diversity of your business.
11. Tell them why
Research shows that meaning and purpose are important to foster a positive work environment. In work and life, when people have a vision and a sense of mission for the future, they will be happier and more engaged.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that employees know how well their work matches their future vision. This means not only communicating the strategy with them, but also aligning their personal goals with the larger company goals so that everyone can see their contribution. If they understand this, they are likely to be more active in their work.
For example, when maintaining and updating a computer system, it may seem abstract and meaningless, but if employees understand that the health of the system is essential for the company to achieve its goals, and many employees and customers rely on it, then this Work has more meaning and purpose, and employees are more likely to treat it with a positive attitude.
In this tutorial, I have listed some common tips for creating a positive work environment. These technologies can be applied in various companies and industries.
But there are always special things that can improve your specific business environment. The best way to find these things is to listen to your employees. Instead of giving them what you think they want, instead, ask them what they want.
You can accomplish this activity through regular employee surveys, informal feedback meetings, anonymous suggestions, and other techniques. Your employees are the people who experience your workplace every day. They know best how to improve the working environment, so listen to them and let their suggestions guide you to improve the working environment.
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