Create A Positive Work Environment in 7 Powerful Steps
Workplace culture is changing. Employees are searching for more than just a steady income — they’re looking for an organization that encourages their professional growth, prioritizes a positive workplace environment, and values the employee experience.
When your team is happy and motivated, you’ll feel a meaningful shift in their work quality and overall productivity. Before we dive into the 7 ways we can create this effective change within our own teams, it’s important to understand why creating a positive work environment is critical for success.
Why Is A Positive Work Environment Important?
A positive work environment is a space that empowers a team to perform at the highest level. When you align the goals of the company with an employee’s core values and desires, you’ll build a workplace culture that inspires everyone to be at their best.
According to a survey conducted by Deloitte, 94% of executives and 88% of employees agree that company culture is the key to success.
To be able to meet and exceed the desired bottom line and fulfill the mission your organization has set out to achieve, your team must be in an environment that sets them up for success.
How Does A Positive Work Environment Affect Your Team?
Nurturing a dynamic working environment can help your team get to a place where they actively look forward to coming to work.
Your workforce will more likely understand how much they’re valued and have confidence they’ll receive the support they need to not only master the essential functions of their position but proactively go above and beyond for the organization.
Let’s take a look at other essential benefits of creating a positive work environment:
- High-quality performance – A positive work environment produces high-performers who think independently and exercise creative problem-solving. They have the potential to become impactful leaders within the organization because of the opportunities to step into their unique abilities. This allows you to set even bigger goals and achieve consistent results.
- Less turnover – The healthier your work culture, the less likely good employees will leave for another company that’s more aligned with their values. By keeping company culture high on the priority list, you can effectively retain your top talent.
- Motivated and engaged workforce – A motivated workforce means higher productivity. The team is properly equipped with the tools they need to complete their tasks efficiently.
- Work fulfillment – According to research from Business 2 Community, 1 in 3 employees stay in their current roles because they find the work meaningful. An essential part of creating a positive work environment is showcasing how their work is making an impact in the organization and how it serves a greater cause.
Step 1: A Positive Work Environment Starts At Recruitment
Cultivating an environment where your team thrives starts at the very beginning.
The recruitment process gives your ideal candidates a glimpse into your organization’s culture, your core values, and the importance of their role. It’s at this stage where you have an opportunity to attract the right people.
Negative recruitment practices can turn away the most competitive talent. To implement the best recruitment practices and ensure you’re prioritizing the candidate experience, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Ensure that the interview processes are organized, strategic, and on time.
- Try to keep the number of interviews down to a minimum. Only the applicable staff responsible for the hiring decision should be conducting the interviews.
- Keep the candidate updated throughout the process. Even if they’re no longer being considered for the position, it’s best practice to deliver a final “thank-you” message.
- Be clear with expectations and the next steps for those moving forward.
This will keep your top candidates buzzing about the potential role and the organization.
Step 2: A Positive Work Environment Prioritizes Onboarding
Once a hiring decision has been made, the onboarding experience is another critical aspect that contributes to a positive work environment. According to SaplingHR, employees are twice as likely to leave a position if they have a negative onboarding experience.
When a new employee leaves a position not long after they’ve joined, it can be a drain on morale, time, and resources.
Make sure to implement effective onboarding procedures for your new hires by:
- Prioritizing the person, not the paperwork. While there is plenty of required paperwork to do, administrative housekeeping should be strategically scheduled or kept to a minimum.
- Setting a clear timeline for a new hire’s training. 1-2 weeks may not be enough time for anyone to feel fully trained and confident in their position. Set your employee up for success by giving them a realistic timeline of their training period.
- Assigning a lead mentor/trainer. A dedicated leader for your new hire will help ensure they have someone to answer their questions, have regular check-ins, get acquainted with the rest of the team, and provide support until they’re operating independently.
Step 3: A Positive Work Environment Needs a Compelling Vision For The Future
To drive progress in your organization, your team needs to feel excited and energized about the company’s future. Most importantly, your team needs to clearly understand how their position serves the company’s vision so they feel motivated to make it a reality.
According to Indeed.com, creating a Vision Statement — a statement that defines the organization’s goals and expectations for growth — can increase the team’s sense of shared purpose.
A Vision/Mission Statement can be included in your:
- Employee handbook
- New hire onboarding packet
- Company’s Job/Recruitment Page
- Public Website
Step 4: A Positive Work Environment Has a Recognition System
Celebrating your employees demonstrates that you’re invested in their career growth and shows appreciation for all their hard work. It’s important to understand that effective recognition not only needs to be acknowledged privately (between a manager and an employee) but also recognized publicly.
Research from Quantum Workplace suggests that one of the top reasons why employees decide to leave their current company is because of the lack of recognition.
Employees who are recognized in meaningful ways tend to look favorably on the company, which leads to greater productivity, work fulfillment, and healthier relationships within the team. Recognition can also bolster your company’s culture by having an environment that clearly cares about their employee’s personal well-being versus gaining profits.
Step 5: A Positive Work Environment Ensures Effective Communication
Communication is key in the workplace. Effective interactions can help create solutions that help carry the momentum of the team. This means engaging with your employees instead of just informing them. Active listening and addressing their concerns will help make everyone feel more included and that their feedback matters.
It’s also important to have clear communication channels that make it easier to interact with one another.
An efficient communication system consists of:
- User-friendly platforms that easily get everyone on the same page
- Detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
- Regular check-ins to get the team aligned on solutions to various issues and provide any updates on upcoming/current projects
Step 6: A Positive Work Environment Offers Training and Growth Opportunities
According to research at Udemy, 42% of employees consider the opportunities to learn and grow to be a major factor in choosing where to work. Developing an employee’s growth can help them feel less stagnant and willing to stay with the company long-term.
You can engage your workforce by deploying different types of training opportunities for professional growth:
- Mentoring/Coaching – This allows for your existing team members to gain some supervisory experience and simultaneously create a dynamic where everyone is learning from each other.
- Cross-training – When the team is cross-trained in different areas of the organization, this helps minimize interruption to productivity. It also opens the door for everyone to expand their capabilities.
- External development – Investing in your team’s professional growth through outside training provides them with a clear growth track that allows them to thrive and fulfill their career goals.
- Soft Skills Development – Research at LinkedIn reveals that 91% of professionals are looking for candidates with soft skills such as collaboration, teamwork, problem-solving, adaptability, and creativity.
Step 7: A Positive Work Environment Prioritizes Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance has slowly been redefined since the COVID-19 pandemic as more people start to shift their priorities and their approach to work.
Employees value flexibility with schedules, work-from-home options, and the ability to spend more time with family. This also means not being expected to check emails after core working hours or continuously putting in overtime.
A positive work environment respects the team’s space and understands that personal matters take precedent. Allowing this type of flexibility will create a culture of compassion and appreciation.
A positive work environment is one of the most important aspects of the workplace that significantly impacts motivation, productivity, and retention.
The employee experience must be a top priority to ensure that a company can achieve — and exceed — its objectives efficiently. With these steps, you can create an environment where your team flourishes.