The work space is not a homogenized one. Any group is going to have a broad range of needs and personalities. And despite the fact that each group is made up of unique—and sometimes conflicting—personality types, it is essential for that group to function in a way that works towards a common goal. Sure, employees contribute to and help maintain a positive work environment. Ultimately though, management sets the tone, raises the bar and brands the demeanor of the group—at least that’s how it should be. If you want to start creating a positive work environment, here are 10 steps to get you on your way:
1. Encourage Trust
If you want to nurture a positive work environment then trust should be the foundation of your workspace. Never discuss an employee with another employee unless you are highlighting his or her accomplishments. Here’s something else to consider: Employees who know they can trust their supervisor or manager to be discreet will be loyal. More than likely, they will thrive in their environment as a result, too.
2. Demonstrate Positive Communication
This may seem obvious, but it’s not: Listening to what coworkers have to say shows them that you respect them. Being open with staff and asking them to share ideas can assist you in creating a positive work environment. Managers should not only contribute their own ideas, but also ask employees for feedback. This will ensure that employees know that the company not only welcomes, but encourages open communication.
3. Encourage Staff to Be their Best
Maintaining high expectations and extending constructive criticism (or positive reinforcement) will encourage employees to rise to the occasion. This, too, should go without saying, but micromanagement, hyper-criticism or apathy only damage self-esteem and productivity.
4. Find ways to Create Team Spirit
Unity amongst coworkers allows everyone in the team to feel as if they belong and are valued. Staff will want to come to work each day and tardiness and absenteeism, generally speaking, will become issues of the past. We’re not asking you to do the “trust fall” or anything, but team spirit and creating a positive work environment does begin with reinforcing to each staff member that the role they play at work is significant.
5. Offer Recognition and Appreciation
Whenever you witness staff doing great things for the company, make sure others are aware of it. Recognition doesn’t have to be elaborate. Something as simple as a thank you will go a long way.
6. Offer Credit and Be Responsible
When things go well at your organization, always extend credit to your staff. And when things don’t go well, assume responsibility. It is unproductive, not to mention a morale killer, when employees are not given proper acknowledgment. Worse than that, though, is scapegoating your employees when things go wrong. Do this and be prepared for a mutiny or insidious sabotage.
7. Be Accessible
Creating a positive work environment begins by having an “open-door” policy. This will ensure that employees from all levels of the organization understand that they can come to you with any work issue. Closed office doors create barriers and reinforce hierarchy. Here’s something else you might try: When you arrive at work, stop by each employee’s space to say hello or good morning. Small things—positive body language and eye contact—go a long way.
8.Present an Encouraging Physical Environment
Keep the workplace setting clean and nice looking to promote a cheerful attitude. Little things such as natural light and personal space for each employee will help in creating a positive work environment.
9.Make Evaluations an Encouraging Experience.
Staff evaluations are a great opportunity to offer praise to employees for doing an excellent job. When going over where the employee may need further development, the meeting can still be made positive by focusing on what they are doing right instead of only what they are doing wrong.
10. Don’t Leave Out Fun!
Creating a positive work environment can begin by welcoming celebrations. Acknowledging an employee’s birthday is a great example of this. While you don’t have to have a cake, balloons and a catered buffet, a small token or just singing happy birthday or putting up a sign in the office is a sure way to make staff feel appreciated.