Promoting a positive work environment

Creating and maintaining a positive work environment should remain high on every business owner’s agenda.

Today, providing nine to five office roles with a competitive salary will no longer cut it. Employees are, rightly so, weighing up other benefits and factors that contribute towards their satisfaction and well-being when it comes to choosing their next role.

As an employer, it’s in our best interests to create an attractive work environment. Staff are the driving force behind a business and they are more motivated by a positive working environment and development opportunities, than a large pay check or other financial rewards.

Happy, satisfied staff are more efficient, more productive and more likely to stay with your business. Having a stable workforce and high staff retention creates stability for your company, resulting in a robust platform on which to grow. Don’t forget, if staff are happy, they will spread the word and it could prove to be a successful recruitment strategy.

There are a number of things we can do as business leaders, to ensure that we promote a positive work environment and they don’t have to be expensive perks. Early finishes, longer lunch breaks, overtime and time back are simple things which would be greatly appreciated by your workforce.

Another example is to offer a remote work policy and flexible working because some people just aren’t suited to a traditional, 9-5 office environment. It might be that they’re more productive at home, that they want to start and finish later, outside of normal working hours, or that remote working fits in better with childcare arrangements.

Whatever the situation, incorporating flexible working into your business is easier than you think and can allow you to tap into another pool of talented people you maybe hadn’t looked at before.

Remote employees can still feel part of the team with regular meetings, emails and phone calls and there are other opportunities to encourage bonding such as team building exercises. Regular team building sessions and social activities outside of work can really help to make your workforce interact. It can promote team work, where people’s strengths and weaknesses become visible, and a comfortable atmosphere where people feel free to collaborate and share their ideas.

While co-operation is key, squandering independence and micro-management is a pet hate of employees. It’s inevitable to check in with staff and you should absolutely let people know that support is there if people need it. However, there’s a fine line between showing support and being overbearing. By operating an open-door policy, you’re putting the onus on staff to come to you with any problems and demonstrating that no problem is too small.

Trusting employees to come to you, and letting them get on with their jobs, promotes a more positive environment which is in everyone’s best interests.

In order to operate a constructive workplace, the physical set-up of your office is just as important. If you say have an open-door policy, quite literally leave your office door open. Don’t create that barrier between you and your employees unless there’s a necessary situation to do so. Have an open plan office, where departments are in clear view and people can talk to one another freely.

Finally, make sure you let people know when they are doing a good job and avoid public shaming. No one wants to work in a toxic environment where every mistake is made public. The result could be a serious lack in confidence and could stop people coming to you with problems in the future.

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