A key facet of any successful company lies in the working environment. A company will ultimately be limited in its successes if employers find the workplace unpleasant, negative or stressful. Yet fostering and maintaining a positive work environment can be tricky, especially when finding a balance and not ending up being underproductive and unprofessional.
Here are some tips to get that balance right.
1. Remember Everyone Is Human
Human beings are inherently flawed – they are not machines or resources for your company. Accept some level of mistakes and oversights, or risk feeling constantly frustrated at the work produced, even if everyone is genuinely trying their best. Make sure you allow some flexibility and work/life balance for your employees to avoid them resenting their work. A level of respect back and forth is key to a pleasant office environment.
2. Recognise and Draw Attention to Achievements
People will be less likely to want to work hard if their achievements are not celebrated. If the only time attention is drawn to somebody’s work is when it’s negative, people won’t see any motivation to give something there all. Make sure you notice hard work – and let people know their efforts are not in vain.
3. Don’t Micromanage
Giving employees some level of independence is hugely important. It will make them feel trusted to do a good job, rather than unimportant and like their views don’t matter. In turn, this will allow creativity to flourish. When empowered in this way, employees are likely to work both harder and smarter.
4. Avoid Scare Tactics
An environment of fear is one of the worst places to work productively and positively. Try to instill in employees that mistakes are just opportunities and that taking risks should not be frightening. The ability to try and fail without fear will undoubtedly result in some surprising and innovative successes.
5. Be a Mentor
If you aren’t micromanaging and are allowing your employees more freedom with their work, you’ll likely have more time on your hands, too. Use this time both to innovate new ideas, and act as a coach to your employees. Offer your expertise and advice without over-asserting authority, and instill confidence in your team.
6. Invest in Training
One of the best uses for company budget is in training. Workplace success depends on individual employee success, and the best way to allow employees to flourish is by giving them what they need in a consistent way.
7. Check in with Employees
If you’re feeling unsure about the workplace environment, you can always ask. Reviewing what employees think and working things around them will keep them both happy and productive. Feeling like your opinions matter and issues will be taken into account is key to feeling positive about your work environment.
About the author: Annie Walton Doyle writes for Inspiring Interns, which specializes in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs.