Gone are the days when cut-throat, high pressure work environments are thought to be the only way of meeting objectives and staying competitive. A growing amount of research is showing how positive work environments are better for you, your employees, and your bottom line.
As a manager or business owner, the task of keeping up morale often falls on your shoulders, but you may not know how many resources you have at your disposal. Your team members look to you for guidance, support, and approval. It only takes one person to ignite a change in your work environment, and as a leader, you hold the most influence.
Here’s how you can help create a positive work culture and improve performance, communication, and overall satisfaction in your workplace:
Find Meaning in Your Work
People crave meaning, and this is one aspect of a job that no level of pay can ever replace. No matter what your industry, finding meaning in your work is essential to keeping employees engaged and inspired.
You can help employees find meaning in the work they do by helping them with the following:
- Show your team your values and ideals
- Ask them why they do what they do
- Show them how others are affected by the work you do
- Allow employees to work within their natural talents
By being clear about what values your company upholds, your staff will naturally find more meaning in their work.
If your team has been working hard on a deadline, or you’ve recently accomplished a big goal, then show your appreciation by celebrating. This shows a more sincere form of recognition than a simple “good job,” and will increase motivation and camaraderie.
Celebrating team members work anniversaries or other milestones is another way of showing you appreciate what they contribute.
Use Positive Office Design
There’s enough research backing how our surroundings affect our moods that it’s worth considering your work environment. Is your work space uplifting, or lacking in that department?
Make some of these changes to keep your staff looking forward to come to work:
- Bright Colours:
Choose optimistic colours known for easing the mind and sparking creativity such as orange, blue, white, or green. These can be used on walls, accent colours, or even furniture.
- Good Lighting:
Take advantage of natural light sources or upgrade your bulbs and fixtures to ensure adequate lighting over all work areas.
- Better Break Areas:
Give your team a decent place to decompress and recharge with comfortable seating, tables, and a quality kitchen area.
- Positive Spaces:
You can keep a “shout-out” board or motivational articles, images, or quotes in team work areas or breakrooms.
Show Team Members Their Value
The great thing about working with a team is that each member contributes something unique to your business. Recognize and appreciate the different skills of your individual employees, and they’ll reward you by going above and beyond.
Get to know them – show them you care about them as people, not just employees
Support their goals – find our their career (or personal) goals and help where you can
Be inclusive – make your employees feel included by considering everyones input and not just higher-ups
Offset the Negative
It’s human nature to dwell on criticism or negative information, especially when it comes from someone who we’re trying to impress (the boss). If you balance the negatives with positives, you can reduce stress and anxiety that can negatively effect job performance.
You don’t want to discourage your employee from taking risks and giving it their best effort, so make sure you find a couple of positives things to say between criticism and unfavorable outcomes.
Lead by Example
Showing up to work in a bad mood, but expecting others to change or not be affected by it just doesn’t work. You can boost morale at work by simply showing up in a good mood and making sure your interactions with your team begin and end on a positive note. There are many other ways you can inspire your employees and create the kind of culture you want by leading by example, including:
- Hold yourself to the same standards
- Don’t pass the blame onto others
- Roll up your sleeves and work alongside your employees
- Show honesty when working with clients and different team members
So, if you want your employees to start caring more about the success and vision of your company, start by creating a positive work culture. As a leader, bringing a good attitude to work is incredibly powerful. Remember, a happy team is always a precursor to being engaged and successful.