The kind of workplace environment you allow for your employees as a leader plays a very crucial role since it can greatly influence how they feel about their jobs. No worker can truly thrive in a toxic working environment – sooner or later, you will observe that they look for opportunities elsewhere with positive workplace atmosphere and leave. An employer who fosters a positive workplace environment and consistently encourages workers is the kind of leader every employees desires.
Workers who love their jobs, enjoy their peers and look forward to the workday are more likely to do whatever they can to help the business, company or organization thrive. This makes cultivating positivity in the workplace have huge intangible dividends that boost the business, organization or company’s bottom line. A positive workplace culture affirms the value, dignity and worth of each employee, which benefits both the individual and the business, company or organization.
Have you ever thought about the answers that you will get if you were to conduct a survey asking your workers if they were happy to come to work? Every employer who is not sure of what their staff think about their jobs and work environment has serious problems on their hands to work on. Without a positive workplace environment, your company’s reputation and success are on shaky grounds.
Having a friendly, safe, comfortable environment for your workers is extremely important since one third of their lives are spent at the workplace. It will surprise most leaders to know that a strong, positive and conducive workplace where growth opportunities are assured is more often than not important to employees than their salaries.
Characteristics of a positive work environment include:
- Employee safety
- Growth opportunities
- Positive reinforcement
- Goal attainment
- Productive atmosphere
- Open and honest communication
Environments with the nature as the characteristics above become the most conducive when it comes to a successful workforce since they encourage workers to perform to their highest ability. There are a lot of positive effects that is seen not only in the welfare of your employees in a positive work environment. The positive energy and aura causes workers to be happy and when people are happy about their working environment and are eager to go to their workplaces daily, the likelihood to be more productive is assured.
Just as negative energy is contagious and can cause more harm than good like depression and burnout, a positive energy produces good vibes that is contagious and leads to self-motivation, focus that helps reduce mistakes to the very minimal, willing workers who go the extra mile to bring about the best results, and contentment that gives them the hope to stay on and grow with the business, company or organization.
As a coach who works mostly with those in the corporate, and entrepreneurs, I get countless testimonies from leaders who followed practical steps given them on making their companies, businesses or organizations a positive environment that support employee growth and make employees feel safe and comfortable. Your employees represent your business, company or organization and its reputation depends on their conduct and how they project the company or organization to clients and the public at large. The human skills you employ as a leader in keeping your team aligned with goals and the keenness to come to work every day is key.
According to Harvard Business Review, cutthroat, competitive corporate cultures stymie productivity, whereas, supportive work environments create conditions for business growth. Workers who take pride in what they do and where they work want to see the company flourish. They ask what more they can do to help the company move forward. Highly motivated employees are goal oriented and laser focused on measurable results. They welcome high standards and push themselves to reach key performance indicators on schedule.
Productivity is also higher in work settings where managers see their subordinates as individuals, not workhorses who should eat lunch at their desks and work overtime. Pushing workers to do more and more can backfire. According to a survey conducted by Built In, 94 percent of employees with positive feelings toward their supervisor reported feeling passionate about performing their job duties, while 77 percent of employees who did not like their supervisor wanted to quit.
The importance of workplace environment is also connected to creativity and economic survival. Successful organizations are agile, able to adapt to changing consumer preferences and innovative in launching new product lines. Employees in a positive workplace are energized and imaginative. They like to brainstorm, experiment, try new approaches and disrupt the status quo. Negative work environments stifle creativity and originality. Employees are afraid of proposing ideas that may not work, thus the company suffers from lack of imagination and reluctance to change or innovate.
A positive workplace goes beyond providing regular breaks, a break room with vending machines, and an annual employee appreciation breakfast. Business News Daily suggests that employees are more likely to have a positive attitude about work if the company culture is flexible and respects work-life balance. Employees also need adequate support, training, resources and space to perform their job. Mood is also influenced by overall workplace conditions such as safety features, adequate lighting and comfortable temperatures throughout the building.
Many of the factors that affect job performance are intrinsic. After basic needs are met for a regular paycheck and a steady job, employees want to feel that they are doing meaningful work that matters to the company. Management style also affects how employees feel about coming to work. Being micromanaged, berated and belittled creates resistance, resentment and passive-aggressive behavior. By contrast, a supportive manager who invites employee input, offers constructive feedback and consistently acknowledges employee contributions evokes trust and positivity – Chron.
Care should be taken as team leaders, and followers when it comes to maintaining a positive workplace environment. Clarity in communication, openness, empathy, understanding and appreciation are some of the skills that must be part of your company, business or organization’s work culture.
Here are 4 points from Chron that reminds leaders to keep a positive workplace:
- BETTER COMMUNICATION
Positive working environments facilitate open and honest communication at all levels of the organization. Clear lines of communication clarify job expectations and roles. Indeed Career Guide indicates that healthy office cultures invite dialogue. Employees feel it’s safe to ask questions and share candid information about how work is progressing. Managers know how to tactfully coach and mentor employees on their job performance to help them learn and grow with the company. Outputs improve along with quality of work when an employee receives helpful supervision.
When employees feel that management is open to ideas, they are more apt to point out inefficiencies and offer possible solutions. Rumors and misinformation are less of a problem when management is transparent about organizational changes, such as restructuring or pending mergers. Conflicts are acknowledged, discussed and resolved before tension builds, and the situation escalates.
- HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
Positive relationships with supervisors and colleagues are critical to mental and physical health. Supportive connections are characterized by empathy, mutual regard, appreciation and understanding. Employees in a positive work environment suffer fewer work-related health problems and have better attendance records. They practice self-care and use their breaks to relax and reduce stress.
When employees do not feel valued or respected in the workplace, they can suffer real physical and emotional symptoms. Resources to Recovery, or RtoR, explains that being in a negative environment can lead to feelings of anxiety, sadness, depression and apathy. High levels of stress, sweaty palms and a racing heart increases the odds of heart disease and other stress-related illnesses that can be fatal over time. Unhappy employees may self-medicate with alcohol to numb their feelings and cope with the hostility and negativity at work.
- COLLABORATIVE TEAMWORK
Teamwork is the backbone of organizational operations. The importance of work environment in an organization can be seen in how teams function. Members of a team with a positive attitude pull together in the same direction and have each other’s backs. Collective goals become more important than individual recognition. In a positive work environment, teams flourish because they enjoy their interactions and value cooperation over competition. By contrast, teams in a toxic work environment may suffer from inertia, poor communication, rivalry, backstabbing and pessimism.
- LOWER RATES OF BURNOUT
Burnout occurs less often in supportive, nurturing work environments where individuals and relationships are considered important. Engaged employees with an upbeat outlook on life are more resilient and able to cope with disappointments, problems or setbacks. They have a built-in support system at work which is there for them if they need to talk, and coworkers are more willing to lend a hand when the work builds up.
The aim of every business, company or organization is to make the necessary impact and improve the lives of their clients and potential ones whether it is products or services they offer. The key to achieving this purpose lies in the right atmosphere for the work environment and this must of necessity be a positive one. Leaders and workers alike must strive to maintain a positive workplace environment that generates contagious positive vibes, leading to positive outcomes in the execution of duties that produces positive results.
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