Ways To Create a Positive Work Environment
In this article, you’ll find tips and insights to help you create a positive work environment. Use these tips as guidelines and modify them to meet your needs.
Each tip is simple and effective. Use the ones that make sense for you. Once you decide on which ones you like, then the next key is to take action. As you put a process in place, fine-tune it until it is just right for your business.
Let’s get started!
1. Determine What You Want:
The first step to creating a positive work environment is to determine what you want. What does a positive work environment look like to you?
Do you want employees to respect each other? Do you want everyone to be motivated? Do you want good communication within the company?
You won’t create a positive work environment unless you know what you want and put a plan in place.
You may not know what a positive work environment looks like at this point. But, once you go over the tips and insights in the article, you’ll gain a better understanding. Then, you’ll start to develop ideas suited for your workplace.
2. Build a Strong Work Relationship With Your Workforce:
Creating a positive workforce starts with you and nothing else. If you are in charge, then it’s up to you to make the adjustments. Change starts with you. First, you have to change your mindset towards your workplace, how you act, and how you feel about your employees.
Does it take a lot of thought and planning? Yes, it does! Building a relationship with your workforce is time-consuming and takes effort. But, it’s also very rewarding and builds a strong company that will help you compete in the long run with superior talent and a hard-working, loyal workforce.
3. Put Your Workforce at the Top of Your List:
Understanding that your employees are the ones that keep your company in operation is an important fact. When you think about it, your employees are just as important as your customers.
Companies are always aiming to ensure that their customer service is the best it can be and may neglect their employees. Therefore, put your workforce higher up on your priority list. This shift in thinking alone will improve your work environment. Your employees will sense it and work harder for you because you genuinely care about them.
4. Look at Your Work Environment:
It’s difficult to create a positive workspace without first understanding the present state of your operations.
One of the first steps you want to take is to identify the current state of your workplace. You want to see if there is any negativity and if so, how much is present?
To get an accurate assessment of what’s going on, you’ll need to spend some time in operations. But, unfortunately, you can’t identify what’s going on in your company by sitting at your desk. So instead, you have to visit your workforce.
For example, suppose you visit the production area. Everyone knows you’re the boss, and they’ll be on their best behavior. Instead, you could have random half-hour visits for a casual chat with your managers and employees on the floor. When people get used to you coming down, they become comfortable with your visits versus being on their best behavior during your presence.
Take notes during your visit so that you’ll be able to compile a list later on and come up with improvements.
5. Discourage Complaining:
Not all complaining is bad. The type of complaining that is flat-out whining is negative behavior. On the other hand, some complaints can result in a resolution to a problem.
Therefore, you could change the term for a complaint to a Solution Based Concern. Call it an S.B.C. or whatever you want.
It works because you can’t do any of the following:
- You can’t whine.
- You can’t bring down another employee.
- You can’t criticize others.
You do Have to:
- Only focus on the problem.
- Come up with at least one constructive solution.
Here’s an example of how a conversation could play out:
The scene is a warehouse that ships out automotive parts. The conversation is between a forklift driver and his supervisor:
This is ridiculous. You have to do something. I’m sick of it. I have five trucks to load, and Joe walks away and takes his lunch when we are busy! It’s like he’s royalty! He’s not a team player! I have impatient drivers giving me dirty looks because I can’t keep up.
You need to calm down. I’ll monitor the situation and if necessary. I will look into this.
Using The S.B.C. Method:
We have a situation I’d like to talk to you about. The problem is we have five trucks to be loaded, and we are short-staffed. Each driver has to be loaded now to make their delivery time. On our end, we need to take our breaks.
I have a suggestion. I think it’s best to look at our truck times in the morning. We schedule our breaks at different times of the day or have an additional driver come over from receiving during our break times to cover the rush. And we do the same for them.
Would you like to try it, or do you have a better solution?
Before making any permanent changes, let’s try it. I’ll jump on a lift truck and help you load. If it works out then, we’ll fine-tune and put a permanent solution in place. Sound Good? Okay, let’s try your solution.
The end result is to get the trucks out during the rush without one person scrambling. The first conversation uses negativity, and the problem is swept under the rug. The second conversation uses a solution-focused approach, and the problem is worked on within minutes.
6. Minimize Workplace Gossip:
Gossip has no place in your workforce. If you let it develop, you will have a big problem in your company that will be hard to control. So, you have to minimize it.
Gossip doesn’t do anyone any good. It distracts your employees. Excessive gossip will promote negativity and can transform a positive workforce into a negative one. See How To Deal With Work Gossip as an Employee or the Boss for tips and insights.
7. Appreciate People:
Showing appreciation for people goes a long way to promoting a positive atmosphere in the workplace. Appreciate people for what they do and for being part of your team.
Encourage your managers to also appreciate their team members. However, when it comes to appreciation, you want to make sure it’s genuine. Therefore, it’s important to look for opportunities to let employees know that you appreciate them.
For appreciation ideas for your employees, look at my article, Employee Appreciation Ideas To Impress Your Staff.
8. Share Your Vision:
When you share your vision and plans for your company with your employees, it helps put everybody on the same page. However, if you only know what’s going on, it’s difficult for employees to understand your goals. They can only assume, but they won’t know for sure.
When employees don’t know the end goal, they’re frustrated when changes occur. They don’t focus on making a change. Instead, they’re concentrating on why they need to make changes to their process. When they understand the end goal, and when a change comes in, you can let them know that this change is necessary to reach the end goal and give a reason.
Many people will be on board because they understand, and this process will reduce negativity among your team members.
9. Get Feedback:
Getting feedback from your employees has two advantages:
Advantage Number One:
You’ll be able to identify key points and what causes negativity in your company. You’ll be getting information from the front lines, which is the most important information because it’s coming right from the source. Don’t be afraid to get feedback from your employees just because they may ask for things. It doesn’t mean that you have to fulfill the request. The whole process is to get enough information to see problem areas and act on those that need attention.
Advantage Number Two:
When you get feedback from your employees, you’re making them part of the process. It makes them feel part of the team and allows them to be heard. You must get feedback tailored around their needs instead of the needs of the company. When you’re focused on your employees, it benefits the company as a whole.
If you’re sending out a survey, you want to make it user-friendly. And offer an option for the survey to be anonymous so that people can say what’s on their mind without fear of repercussion.
10. Start an Awareness Campaign:
Starting a campaign in your company is a good way to get the word around to promote a positive work environment.
You may come up with posters and place them in populated areas in the workplace. You could also send out a message once a week focused on one message to bring awareness.
For example, this week’s message could be something like the following:
This week let’s focus on respecting one another. We are all working together, so let’s make respect a habit starting now.
The least we can do in our company is respect one another we all deserve that. As the company owner, I respect each and every one of you; please pass it forward.
You could create a tasteful background, send it out as an email, and paste flyers in busy areas. You could also go for a walk and talk to people in your workforce and prove that you really respect them.
Next week, focus on another topic, send out another email blast, and put up posters in the workplace. You don’t have to do this weekly. If you prefer, do it once a month.
The ideas are endless to bring awareness. You’ll also want to monitor results to see what’s working. Then, do less of what’s not working and more of what is.
11. Good Training Keeps Negativity Away:
Training is an important part of contributing to a positive work experience. If people know what to do, they’ll do a better job and be less stressed out.
If they don’t know what to do, they will struggle. Therefore, it’s important to ensure your employees are trained and have the necessary tools to do a good job.
With the right training and tools, you’re promoting a healthy work environment.
12. Create a Comfortable Work Environment:
Making your employees comfortable is an important part of creating a good work environment. That doesn’t mean that you have to give your employees a couch and T.V. to do their work or that they have to stand for their entire eight-hour shift unless it’s part of the job.
What you want is a balance. Make employees as comfortable as possible without compromising their job functions. Comfortable employees are happier, and that happiness spreads, contributing to a better workplace.
13. Promote Diversity:
When you promote a diverse workforce, you’re sending the message that everybody’s welcome and everyone’s equal. Ensure you have equal opportunity for promotions. Promotions should be based on talent, dedication, and job qualifications.
With a diverse workforce, you’ll also benefit from an expanded perspective a wider talent pool, and you can expect more innovation. This is all due to people of different cultures bringing in their life experiences to benefit your company.
14. Encourage Open Door Policies:
Encouraging an open door policy in your company offers the opportunity for everyone to become a team member. When you make yourself approachable to all members of your team, you’re showing strong leadership.
Does that mean that any employee can come to see you anytime? I would say yes and no. An open-door policy doesn’t mean employees are barging into your office when you’re in a meeting or in the middle of something. It means your approachable.
Employees should go through the chain of command. So, for example, an employee doesn’t go to the CEO because their vacation was denied. Instead, they speak with their supervisor. If the issue goes unresolved, then they can move up the chain of command.
Each department head should offer an open-door policy to the team members. That way, their team can come to them with any issue they have, and it’s up to the boss to deal with the issues.
15. Encourage Coaching:
Coaching is an important part of team building. When you Focus on coaching, it strengthens your team, resulting in a stronger company. It’s important that coaching is ongoing.
The key to coaching is ensuring that you or your managers know where you want employees to improve. It’s important to coach, but it’s more important to know the purpose of the coaching.
A few examples include:
- Improve employee communication skills across the company.
- Improving job skills.
- Improve employee team-building skills.
- Confidence-building exercises.
- You may be looking to promote a certain employee and get them ready.
- Building leadership skills.
- You may be coaching an employee for your replacement if you’re moving up.
Coaching is an important part of building a strong workforce. Whether you have a staff of a few people or your company employs thousands, coaching is a way to build a strong workforce and spread a positive vibe across the company.
16. Host Company Events:
Events Related to Employees:
Company events are a great way to get employees together for social and team-building activities.
If I were to create a social event for my employees, I would focus on the employees instead of the company. I’m not going to create a company presentation during an event designed to be for the employees. It’s a time to strengthen work relationships and spend time with their colleagues.
You could even create a committee that would develop ideas based on employee feedback to create attractive company events.
Events Related to the Company:
When the event is company-related, I would have presentations related to the company’s vision expansion and future plans.
When employees know future plans, developments, and progress, they feel closer to the company. They feel appreciation that they’re in the loop of what’s going on. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you have to reveal your tax returns for the previous year or confidential information. But, for public information, your employee should be the first to know what’s going on.
If you sent out a press release about a new partnership and your employees heard it on the news instead of hearing it from you, how do you think your employees would feel about that? It’s much better to think of them as part of the family.
17. Develop a Strong Workplace Culture:
Your business is important, and you are in control. It’s up to you to develop a workplace culture that aligns with your goals, vision, and mission.
You can use any of the information in this article to build a company culture you believe in and support.
One of the keys to building a company culture is to define what you want. Without a target in mind, you’ll never reach your destination.
Now you have a few ideas to remove negativity and increase positivity in your workplace. First, I suggest you select the tips that appeal to you. Then, focus on one at a time and make a plan to put it in place. Once completed, move on to the next tip.
You’ll find more ideas will come to you while making your workplace a better and positive place to work.