The Power of a Positive Work Environment
As a human resources (HR) director, managing employees and maintaining a healthy workplace is part of your job. However, it’s always important to reflect on your procedures and look for ways to improve. Creating a positive work environment can significantly impact your employees’ experience and your organizational goals.
In many cases, communication, turnover, productivity and profitability issues can be solved simply by implementing strategies to boost employee happiness. Employees who love their job and look forward to coming to work are more likely to do their part to help your company succeed. Below, we’ll highlight the power of positivity at work and discuss tips for developing this type of environment at your company or organization.
What Does a Positive Work Environment Look Like?
Company leaders may have different views on what exactly makes up a positive work environment. Is it a good work-life balance? A productive atmosphere? Open and honest communication? Some would say it’s all of the above — and they’d be right. A positive work environment is built on support, trust, accountability and overall healthy work culture.
However, every team’s dynamic is different, and promoting a successful workforce may require unique ways to make employees feel safe and comfortable. Let’s take a look at some common characteristics of a positive working environment.
- Clear communication: Asking questions, receiving feedback and brainstorming ideas with colleagues are all a part of healthy communication in the workplace. Clear communication between all members of an organization helps grow professional relationships and improves overall work quality.
- Positive reinforcement: Praising employees for good work can help foster a positive work environment for all. Positive reinforcement can include tangible benefits, such as pay raises, bonuses, catered lunches or other perks.
- Compassionate team members: Maintaining a level of empathy, respect and understanding between all employees can help foster collaboration and make your team members feel heard, supported and valued in the workplace.
- Growth opportunities: Encouraging your team to grow their individual strengths and skills can help them find contentment and satisfaction in their job. Empowering your employees to advance in their field can boost their motivation and productivity.
- Positive thinking: Promoting a positive mindset in the workplace can help spread good attitudes and help your employees overcome challenges and obstacles with an optimistic outlook.
- Good work-life balance: A healthy balance between a personal and professional life is essential. A positive working environment encourages team members to find fulfillment in their lives outside of their job.
5 Benefits of a Positive Work Environment
Implementing steps to foster a positive work environment can lead to personal and professional employee success. When employees come to work excited to take on the day and be a part of a collaborative team, it can take your company to the next level. Here are some workplace positivity benefits.
1. Increases Productivity
Employee happiness and productivity go hand in hand. Studies show that happiness in the workplace increases productivity by 12%. When your employees are happy, they’re more equipped and motivated to complete tasks efficiently and engage with others on the team. By creating a positive work environment, you can help your employees and organization progress successfully.
2. Improves Employee Engagement and Growth
In addition to productivity, a positive workplace can also lead to more engagement among your employees. Research shows that engaged teams drive 21% more profitability for companies. With low engagement, your company can lose valuable employees — which negatively impacts your bottom line.
In fact, disengaged employees cost companies approximately $550 billion a year in the U.S. alone. Promoting a healthy workplace can help build loyalty, comfort and trust among your team members and boost their engagement. Eventually, this engagement can lead to more opportunities for career advancement and motivate employees to improve.
3. Promotes Collaboration
Teamwork is often the foundation of company success. When your employees feel motivated and supported on an individual level, they may naturally begin to support and encourage others in the workplace. Just as a good mood tends to spread, interaction and cooperation can create strong professional bonds between coworkers and lead to improved relationships all around. The better your team can collaborate, innovate and share ideas, the better chance your company has of achieving its goals.
4. Increases Retention
Did you know that 96% of employees feel empathy is one of the key ways to increase employee retention? Establishing a healthy, positive workplace that values making employees feel appreciated, respected and understood can help drive retention and prevent your talented workers from looking for a new job.
As you well know, high turnover rates can lead to expensive costs, low morale and wasted resources. Showing empathy to your team members and providing them with incentives to grow with your company can help you increase your retention rates.
5. Supports Better Wellbeing
It’s no secret that many employees today suffer from stress and burnout. According to The American Institute of Stress, almost 85% of employees in the U.S. experience workplace stress, and 25% of respondents report it as the number one stressor in their lives.
Creating an environment where your employees feel comfortable opening up, being honest and asking for help can make it easier for them to manage stress and anxiety, avoid symptoms of burnout and minimize absenteeism that leads to lost productivity. Most importantly, a positive work environment supports your employees’ physical and emotional wellbeing by empowering them to maintain a work-life balance.
How to Create a Positive Work Environment
Now that you know the benefits of a positive work environment, how do you create it? While implementing these changes and establishing new policies at your company may seem challenging, it doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Let’s look at how you can start small and create positivity in the workplace.
- Make a strong first impression: During training and onboarding, ensure your new hires receive a warm welcome. Give them a tour, make introductions and help them feel at home to create a lasting impression of your company culture.
- Encourage connection and collaboration: Help your employees feel part of a team by encouraging them to work together and build positive connections with mutual respect and trust.
- Back up your values with actions: Organizational values do not mean much if you can’t back them up with the right behaviors. Be sure to put your company values and vision into practice to show your employees you mean what you say.
- Prioritize diversity and inclusion: A healthy workplace environment values people of all cultures, ethnicities, genders and religions. Promoting diversity is key to a positive company culture because it invites different perspectives and experiences, which can make employees feel more comfortable and create a forward-thinking company.
- Conduct regular check-ins: Your employees’ wellbeing is key to a positive, successful workplace. Be sure to conduct consistent check-ins with all team members to show care and attention. These small acts of communication can boost productivity and help employees feel supported.
- Create a welcoming space: Look at your physical space and how it might affect your employees’ moods. Consider providing more natural lighting, comfortable chairs, open-plan workspaces, or collaborative rooms where employees can build social connections and be more productive.
A Positive Work Environment Begins With You
Even the most connected and successful businesses have room for improvement. Creating a positive work environment requires looking at every aspect of your company and finding ways to help employees feel more engaged with your organizational values and goals. At Exude, we know how important it is for you to achieve greater business results while supporting your hardworking employees to feel their best.
Our team of knowledgeable experts will invest the time and resources your company needs to improve:
With Exude, you can benefit from our holistic consulting services to bring your company to the next level. Our mission is to support yours. To learn more about our solutions, get in touch with us today.