The influence a positive environment has on us is immense. We tend to feel better and naturally perform better. Our workspace is no different. Suppose you want to create the best workplace on earth, what would it be like?
A great work environment is a driver of success for the organization. It’s important for increasing employee engagement and reflects their loyalty towards the company. And what factors make a workplace ‘positive’? When several factors such as effective communication, fair compensation, recognition, growth opportunities, and striking a work-life balance are at play, it boosts the motivation of employees, creating a fun environment where people feel the urge to perform better.
As a result, such an ecosystem induces higher productivity and decreases turnover rates.
1. Communication and Collaboration
Communication is vital in any area of work. It serves as a source of clarity between the different entities within the organization.
As the popular saying goes, “teamwork makes the dream work”, teamwork and synergy make the secret sauce for any team to run smoothly.
It gives an individual clarity on the vision of the company at large. Naturally, they can plan their individual goals around them in a way that contributes to both.
Thus, many companies make use of tools like Blink and ProofHub to bring everything under one system so everyone is in tune with each other’s progress. It makes it easier for team members to access projects and work in an organized manner on them.
Moreover, a robust communicative system sits at the very top of the pyramid. If there’s a lack of effective communication, it can hinder the process of organizational goals and eventually other essential elements.
Healthy communication also leads to effective collaboration among the members of the organization. When communication among employees is flawless, it can lead to a sense of integrity among them.
2. Give employees more control over their work
It’s no secret that everyone wants their efforts to be acknowledged. If you put in your 100% towards your work and no one recognizes the effort, it can be a bummer.
Employee appreciation is no stranger to this. The more an employee feels appreciated for their work, the more they are inclined towards performing better and contributing toward an organization’s goals. And the best way to achieve this is to give employees more autonomy over their work.
According to a study, an employee who has been recognized for their work is 63% more likely to stay in the company.
In a way, this also reinforces the behavior which contributes to optimal performance by the employee.
For example, Walt Disney has great employee recognition programs that one can implement like Disney Legacy Awards, Disney Legends, and #CastCompliment.
These are great examples of recognition programs. There is not only the chance to engage in peer recognition but also to get noticed by their supervisors.
Implementing constructively planned recognition programs can help retain highly skilled and talented employees within the organization.
3. Professional Development And Growth Opportunities
Any opportunity that generates growth opportunities can boost an employee’s learning.
Any organization that provides opportunities that not only focus on professional goals but also an individual’s plans are more likely to be successful and high-performing. They are also more likely to retain the skilled employees that are drivers of that success.
Hirebook is a great example of a tool that managers can use to encourage their teams’ productivity.
Those who are keen on striving for growth through tackling challenges will be more motivated to be productive.
4. Work-life Balance
All work and no play can turn anyone into a robot. If all you do is engage in work with no room for personal life, it can do more harm than good. It can also create a negative impact on the individual’s performance.
Promoting a healthy work-life balance can make the employee feel cared for by the company. Moreover, happy employees are more likely to be motivated to perform their best at work.
In a study, it was shockingly found that over 94% of people working in professional services work for over 50 hours per week. As a result, this cuts down time spent on personal hobbies, with family, or other activities that can boost one’s overall health.
Additionally, organizations that promote a flexible work-life balance are preferred by job seekers over those who don’t.
Statistics by Zippia show that for 57% of job seekers, a poor work-life balance is a negative point while looking for a new job.
Thus, this is one of the most important drivers of a great working experience. Because without a sound employee, there’s more chance of instability in the organization.
5. Fair Compensation And Benefits
Communication, work-life balance and appreciation are on one end of the spectrum—benefits and compensation on the other. No one can deny their role in motivating an employee.
For 57% of the US population, benefits and perks are essential drivers when accepting a new job.
Plus, to retain highly talented individuals, they must get the equivalent pay and perks for the skills they bring to the table.
Not to mention, these two are direct influences on how motivated an employee is going to be. This increases job satisfaction and decreases turnover rates. Additionally, it also improves employee engagement.
Google is an apt example of this. Apart from a pristine work environment, employees also get free food, health and wellness perks, flexible working schedules, paid time off and more.
How To Create A Great Work Environment
Understanding the key drivers of a fulfilling work environment is as important as knowing how to create one. While the employees pour in their talent and skills, the organization has to foster an atmosphere that creates successful opportunities.
An MIT-Harvard joint action research initiative has come up with a toolkit for employer and worker well-being that focuses on improving social relationships, placing autonomy in the hands of employees, and reducing excessive work demands.
Such initiatives can help tackle workplace burnout and lower turnover rates.
Here are some ways in which companies can foster a great work environment in your organization:
1. Assess The Current Work Environment
The first step is to take a look at your current work environment and evaluate it. For instance, what does the workspace look like?
If it’s a healthy and collaborative atmosphere, it’s more likely to promote engagement among the employees. Apart from this, good physical space with breakout rooms, dining rooms, private meeting rooms, etc. can be beneficial.
While some spaces are optimal for certain employees, others have different preferences.
Through surveys, you can ensure that each employee’s needs are met and they have the liberty to work in an area that improves their performance.
2. Get Employee Feedback
Feedback is an important element especially if you want to know whether what you’re doing is working well or not. This gives the employees a feeling that you care for them and allows them to give honest feedback on relevant concerns.
Whether you want to personally speak to your employees or use anonymous surveys, there are a lot of ways you can use it to get feedback. A tool like Zonka Feedback is a great example that can be implemented within other company practices.
Encourage a space that allows individuals of the organization to give their feedback and create an openly communicative space.
Netflix is a great example that uses employee feedback to constantly improve the workspace. It’s known to be an organization that runs on a feedback culture to consistently improve working conditions to fit the employee’s needs.
3. Implement Changes
Once you have an understanding of what needs to be changed within the organization, it’s imperative to implement the necessary changes.
Feedbacks are a way to look at points that can help the company drive for success more efficiently. This gives you the chance to work on improving the workspace. It also makes your employees feel heard by giving their feedback.
4. Continuously Evaluate And Improve
It does not stop at listening for feedback and making those changes. Workspaces are dynamic.
For instance, no one had predicted the pandemic. But in that situation, it was essential to evaluate the work environment and make improvements when needed
Similarly, it’s important to make assessments to know when improvements are needed. As employees grow, the organization’s goals change and so do the requirements.
It’s a constant process. Just as the company’s goals keep evolving, so do the requirements of the people within. Thus, a continuous evaluation and improvement process is optimal for creating a great working environment.
5. Rely On Data
This might be one of the least popular methods but is the most effective one out of all. A data-driven decision-making system collects and analyzes data to give you insightful information to make important decisions.
Real-time data helps you make decisions toward the right step that will help implement better solutions to achieve organizational goals.
The Bottom Line
While it might seem easy, creating an optimal work environment takes a lot of planning. It requires evaluating your goals and aligning them with the needs of your employees.
A positive work environment is bound to increase employee engagement and improve job satisfaction and overall affinity towards the organization. It gives the employees an atmosphere to work in liberation while focusing on both personal and professional goals.
Understanding and implementing the above key drivers and making relevant changes can prove to be beneficial for every organization. In the end, it is the employee that will help reach goals successfully.