A healthy work environment is more relevant now than ever with changes within the working culture and environment. How can we do our best to keep the team happy and motivated, wherever they are based? We are all raised in different environments. Combined with our genes, different personalities with their own ways of behaviours and reactions are created. After we become “grown-ups” this is continued with our work environment. Different work environments result in different ways of cooperation and productivity which translates to different levels of profit for businesses.
If you are an HR Manager, CEO or anyone in the company, try and answer this: Are your employees happy? Well, this isn’t necessarily a yes or no answer. What have you done to contribute to this “happiness” or “satisfaction” (name it however you like) and do you need to do more of that?
Ping-Pong tables, free fruit, unlimited espressos, day off a month, and option to work a few days from home can do the trick sometimes, but, the work culture originates from the higher-level roles. How are you and the other managers in your company treating your employees? When was the last time you sat down with those fresh interns or senior staff? We sometimes neglect the long term employees, but we shouldn’t, because as their life changes what is important to them also changes.
Happier employees are more likely to exceed expectations; your entire office has the potential to get more done. Moreover, happier employees are more likely to stay with you, thus keeping projects moving productively and consistently.
Watch out for hierarchy in your work environment!
There is one in every office but when hierarchy is overly enforced it can result in the lower-level employees feeling like they are not being given the same opportunities. When your team members are able to vocalise their views, they will be more likely to feel open to discuss their creative ideas. Even if that comes from an intern who hasn’t got your level of experience, they see our world through different eyes and they will give you an alternative perspective which should be considered.
Regardless of whether or not your employees get along, they are going to discuss work-related topics. If most of them are feeling unhappy and demotivated, it will negatively impact employees who are not yet affected from the current unhealthy work environment. The more that you, as a manager, try and create a positive work environment, the better off all of your employees will be.
Negative working conditions can lead to increased team-conflict, hostility, fears of dismissal, stress and unhappiness. In addition, there could be attendance issues (lateness, early finishes, lower productivity), as well as lack of concentration and motivation.
Engaged workers create a 20 percent increase in productivity and are nearly 90 percent more likely to stay with their employer (“Managing Human Resources”, Corporate Executive Board). Moreover, organisations with a positive workplace also experience lower absenteeism and fewer Employment Opportunity complaints.
If you are now thinking that your office is not productive enough and that you need some action, DO NOT make things stricter. Having guidelines is good but too many can cause people to have negative feelings about working with you which is not the outcome you want.
A positive work environment can improve relationships between co-workers; a friendly and non-judgmental atmosphere will result in more discussions and ideas being expressed. Thus, more opportunities for you to gain business and improve internal relationships.
All the best,