Why is it important to have and maintain a positive work environment? Is it always possible to manage this? If these are the kind of questions on your mind, here are a few thoughts for your consideration.
A positive work environment is doing things that help you think through and stay in charge of things. What you tell your subconscious mind on a regular basis is what the conscious minds will listen to. This is a proven fact from neurosciences and the roots of positive psychology. Hence as you create a positive work environment for yourself, those around you are also influenced. It rubs on to folks around you, whether they are your work colleagues or family.
Creating an environment of positivity at work is not just about staying positive. It goes much more and beyond. It is more of a start at a personal level before you can practice it at a work level. With more than 50% of your time every day spent at work or commuting to work, it becomes further important to keep your head above the surface.
A Gallup report found that the average week has moved up a notch to include about six working days instead of five to 46.7 hours a week. More than fifty percent of those surveyed agreed that they spend more than forty hours per week at work.
As you work at various job levels and may or may not be completely in control to make things happen your way at work, it becomes important for you to deal with disappointment, failures, and more. As you make your way through this chaos, the attitude that one carries in life can lay a strong foundation in looking up.
What are the benefits?
Benefits of Creating a Positive Work Environment
Research by Deloitte highlights the belief that a positive corporate culture can yield far better results as you try maintaining a positive work environment. More than 94% of senior leaders and 88% of surveyed employees were of this opinion. So, as you think though the importance of a positive work environment, think about it as an overarching umbrella that covers all facets under which everything falls.
What can you expect from a positive work environment? The same study by Deloitte suggests a 33% increase in employee happiness; reduction in taking unannounced sick leave; boosting employee productivity, morale, creativity, and profitability; and finally, an increase in employee retention by up to 42% in some cases. Overall this aims to increase your company's revenues by 33%. Awesome, isn't it?
So how do you do it?
How to Create and Maintain a Positive Work Environment
What makes a positive work environment? One part of keeping your chin up is to look at minor things that add to your success in the right direction. Of course, you could always think about a positive virtual work environment, too.
Here are our top recommendations of what you could do to maintain a positive work environment.
1. Encourage Employees Good Health
Research by the Mental Health Foundation suggests that 14.7% of employees surveyed were affected by mental health problems while at work. This number doubles for women than men. Keeping a focus on employees’ mental health as they work becomes an important target to get your values worth. It doesn't help much if your employees keep taking sick leave, at times unplanned and unannounced, which leads to a challenge at work with staff shortage. Please support them with various Employee Assistance Programs to manage their good health.
2. Working Environment that Increases Collaboration
How do you manage workplace interaction amongst employees of various teams? Break those functional silos through employee engagement initiatives and perhaps provide collaborative workspaces. With open workspaces, you would have provided a platform for team members to get together informally. As employee preferences change due to the pandemic, collaborative workspaces are in demand. Why? So that employees can work most efficiently, be at their best, and work effectively, giving a higher output.
Looking at ways to make employee workspaces comfortable is important. Research by the Association of Canadian Ergonomists suggests that it is critical to make things happen. How? By designing a work environment to meet the psychological and cognitive needs of your employees. How? Well, you could do this in many ways. For example, if your employees are mostly office workers, focusing on their health and comfort, you could introduce ergonomic office desks. Encourage good sitting postures by providing ergonomic chairs that reduce employees from neck aches and back pains.
3. A Positive Workplace Culture
A research by McKinsey & Company suggests that most workplaces that have clear and well-defined workplace values and culture can expect 60 to 200 percent increase returns. This is not as easy as it sounds. Don't be surprised to ignore the importance of organizational culture. While values differ personally, at an organizational level, it becomes important to align individual and company cultures.
4. Regular check-in
Don’t be surprised by the fact that employees feel more connected when their managers have regular check-ins. Regular connections with your teams are a great way to create and maintain a positive work environment. A research by Ernst &Young suggests that 39% of American employees feel more connected and are happier with regular check-ins. So what do good leaders do during regular check-in? Asking for employee's well-being, troubleshooting work issues, letting employees speak their minds, coaching them, and more are different things that one could attempt in a check-in. Take a look at the various team communication tools that your company can invest in.
5. Employee Development Opportunities
Making provisions for employee development is important to keep a positive work environment. Most surveys suggest that an opportunity to develop oneself is an important factor in an employee's mind. Yes, even during a remote work culture.
Employees are keen to develop and make the most of any work environment to achieve their success and build stories. This is also helpful for companies as employee success gives the company a greater result too.
As you look at creating and managing a positive work environment, don’t miss the opportunity to co-create it with your employees. Co-creation encourages ownership and won’t be disregarded as another thing to be done.
To summarize, and easier said than done, creating a positive work environment is possible. Deploy various mechanisms and provide platforms of development for employees, both informally and formally.
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