two business professionals in a positive work environment smiling looking at computer screen

How to Create a More Positive Work Environment

There are many factors that contribute to what an employee dislikes about their place of employment. Maybe the job has a strict sales quota. The hours could be long and the lunch break short. However, one of the main factors that determine whether an employee is satisfied with their job is their company's culture. Don't believe me? Well, imagine a company where all the employees are antisocial and bitter, the boss is strict and unappreciative, and the environment is tense. Even if you had short hours, a long lunchbreak, and no quota, I’m willing to bet you wouldn’t want to work there for very long.

In fact, research from the Harvard Business Review suggests that a company culture consisting of fear instead of positivity will lead to employee disengagement over the long term. Lower engagement=lower productivity. However, higher engagement in work leads to employees feeling more valued, respected, and secure in their position. So, if you’re looking for positive work environment benefits, read on! 

multicultural hands clapping

1. Show Appreciation

It's always a relief to finally close on a sale, meet a deadline, or complete a major project. But not being acknowledged for our achievements can certainly take away some of our glory, and even lessen an employee’s motivation. In fact, a statistic from Tinypulse revealed that 69% of employees felt that they would be motivated to work much harder if they knew their efforts would be acknowledged.

So, one of the easiest things you can do as a boss or fellow employee is to thank someone for their effort. A simple thank you is not only polite, but a nod of gratitude. If you want to up the appreciation a notch, offer positive feedback on their work. After thanking them, offer a sentence on how useful their project will be, or that a certain section was well thought-out and helped the company. This will not only act as positive reinforcement but will also make them feel like they contributed to something bigger than their own work.

animated woman holding a sign with a light bulb on it

2. Increase Engagement

If you are a manager, it’s your responsibility to delegate tasks to those who answer directly to you. But micromanaging an employee is a recipe for resentment and disengagement, especially if they feel uncomfortable/unable sharing their opinion over their own tasks. Each employee has a role to play in the running of the company, and each person holds unique insight into an area of the company that others will not. Letting them share their opinions and offer feedback on decisions will increase employee engagement.

According to a survey run by the Harvard Business Review, organizations that are highly engaged have significantly lower levels of absenteeism and turnover in staff, with a 22% higher productivity rate. Giving your employees a voice, no matter how small their position, will create a strong sense of empowerment for them. In return, they will vamp up their productivity and be a greater asset to the company.

collage of OptimumHQ employees showcasing a positive work environment: dogs in the office, wearing football jerseys, catering lunch for employees

3. Incorporate Fun

The average employee spends around 2,000 hours a year at work. That’s a crazy number, right? This is time spent away from their family and loved ones. But you don’t have to keep work and family separate. Whether you’re a business owner or an intern, being part of a company family will make work seems less like...well, work. Implementing fun activities will not only create a more friendly, relaxed environment, but will create a bond among your coworkers.

Whether you’re celebrating someone’s birthday with treats, having a puppy playdate at the office, a themed potluck day, hosting a team building activity, going to happy hour as a group, or just throwing a football around the office or having a friendly Nerf fight for a few minutes, all of these activities contribute to an overall feeling of belonging. Employees who are actively engaged will feel more invested in the company as a whole – not like they’re just punching a clock and being an unnamed cog in the machine.

Here at OptimumHQ, one of our mottos is “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.” We incorporate fun and group activities daily, which makes our team more connected and therefore able to work better together, more productively.

What are you doing at work to create a more positive work environment?

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