Positive Work Environment

Your employees are like family. Chances are, you see them just as much, if not more, than your loved ones.  And, as with your home, you want to give your employees a positive environment that not only cultivates success, but also harmony.

There are several things you can do to create a positive work environment.  Here are 8 things you can do:

1. Build Trust
Trust is the basic foundation for all relationships and building an environment of trust is one of the most important things you can do to create a positive work environment. Model to your staff that you are reliable, responsible, and accountable, and that they can rely on you for consistency. And let them know you expect the same from them. Challenging and uncomfortable situations especially require honesty. Confidentiality is critical in all aspects of your job.  Never discuss one employee with another, except in positive terms.

2. Open and Positive Communication
In order to create a positive work environment each employee needs to feel valued. This is best accomplished through your listening to each person and honoring each one for what he or has to say. By doing this you will show that you value and respect every individual.

 3. Create a Team Environment
One of our basic human needs is to feel we belong to something bigger than ourselves, and for many people that need is met by being part of a supportive work group. As a supervisor, part of your job is to create a feeling of unity among your staff.  To foster this team feeling you must convey to the entire staff that every person plays an important role. Encourage an attitude of cooperation rather than competition. There are many group exercises or  “team building” activities designed to foster this kind of unity.

4. Give Recognition and Appreciation
Whenever you can, catch some one “doing the right thing,” and make sure they and others know about it. Give recognition and appreciation to everyone at every opportunity.  When verbalizing appreciation try to make it as personal as possible. Rather than just saying something vague like “good job”, be specific about the personal quality or skill your team member brought to the task.

 5. Give Credit and Take Responsibility
Always give credit for success to your staff, and take responsibility when things don’t go well. As the boss it’s your job to make sure your staff is well trained, capable and competent. If for some reason they fail to perform their job in the expected manner, it’s your responsibility to ensure they receive further direction and training so they will perform up to standards.

 6. Be Approachable
Always present an attitude of approachability to your staff and customers. Indicate by your manner that you are available and happy to speak with people from all levels and positions. Also, always be prepared to listen to whatever they want to share with you, and validate what you’ve heard. Act in a friendly manner, call people by name, be approachable, and show interest in what’s going on. Lastly, have an open door policy, where anyone at any level is welcome to come talk with you if they feel the need. And when they do speak with you, be aware of your body language – turn away from your computer or task to look your employee in the eye. Indicate in everything you do that you respect and care about them and what they are saying.

 7. Provide A Positive Physical Environment
If at all possible, ensure that the physical environment in your workplace is clean, bright, attractive, and cheerful. Make sure it has as much natural light as possible, and that each staff member has room for their own personal space.

 8. Make It Fun
Everyone wants to be where people are having fun, so make your workplace feel happy and festive. Find reasons to celebrate together, such as birthdays, birth of a baby or grandchild, moving into a new house, etc., and having small parties to celebrate these events.  Ask your employees what would be fun for them and then implement what is feasible.  Also finding ways to “play” when doing tasks that may be otherwise mundane can boost morale and help spread a positive attitude.

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