How to create a positive work environment

Published · 3 min read

With the level of business competition and pressure in this technologically advanced era, most companies around the world are failing miserably in managing to create a successful and engaged workforce.

What most seem to forget is that an organisation’s work environment has a significant impact on their employees’ engagement and productivity. According to a report by design firm Gensler, only one in four workers in most companies are in an optimal workplace environment.

Fortunately, most management teams in these companies have not given up hope. To make their employees happier, productive and more engaged, most have started putting more emphasis on providing them with a work environment that fosters engagement, productivity and innovation.

6 ways to improve employee productivity and the work environment

Times are changing, so there is no shortage of office software, wellness programmes, PR consultants and other approaches to solving office issues. Despite all that though, in reality, some of the best and most effective ways to boost employee engagement are those that are very simple and least expensive.

Therefore, before you head on to undertake some unending planning processes or lifetime software-deployment projects, give these straightforward but sure-fire tips a chance to help boost employee engagement.

1. Focus more on cultural fit when hiring new employees

Cultural fit might not seem like a vital aspect when it comes to hiring employees, but when you practice it, it is without a doubt one of the most effective and essential selection criteria.

When you consider hiring new staff more like a courtship rather than a primary recruitment process, you can save time and money down the road. Starting an interview by first screening your future employees to see if they fit into your company’s core values and norms help you make smart employment decisions.

You can determine who will be an excellent addition to your ‘family’ and is likely to energise other employees, therefore increasing motivation and productivity.

Training your employees is a great way to keep them engaged in your business
Training your employees is a great way to keep them engaged in your business

2. Train and coach employees

After screening and hiring new employees, you need to focus on training them and providing them with the skills required to tackle their responsibilities. Training immensely benefits both employers and employees, while also leading to employee efficiency and productivity.

3. Promote autonomy through less micromanaging

According to Robby Slaughter, a workplace and productivity expert at business improvement firm AccelaWork, the best way to increase business productivity is by having your managers back off.

The most effective way of encouraging productivity is through helping individual employees to take ownership of how they manage their time and the resources provided.

When you grant your workers the freedom of choice, allowing them to pick the time, method and job location helps create proof of their work ethic in a way that trying to control them cannot. It is a counterintuitive measure. When you manage less, you get better results.

4. Be open and transparent

Succeeding in any business requires proper communication chains from top-level management to the lowest level of control.

When you do not foster effective, two-way communication, your relationships end and the company fails. The managers that effectively communicate clear expectations and responsibilities to their employees get rewarded with an engaged and extra productive workforce.

Consider your employees as far as health and wellbeing is concerned
Consider your employees as far as health and wellbeing is concerned

5. Be compassionate and encourage self care

Between 1996 and 2000, the number of employees calling in sick due to stress and depression tripled. According to the research by the American Institute of Stress after these financially straining years, occupational pressures and fears are without a doubt, the leading source of stress for 60% of the working adults.

Additionally, its research showed that even if these employees showed up to work, they were physical, mentally and emotionally unhealthier. Therefore less productive.

By fostering a healthy, communicative company culture and encouraging team members to care for their mental, physical and emotional health, you increase productivity in your business.

You should also lead by example through modeling self-care through actions and not just talking. Show your employees that you value good sleep, work-life balance, fitness and relaxation.

6. Maintain a clean work environment

Employees need to work in a space that is not only healthily conducive but also psychologically productive. Fresh air and a clean office space promote creativity, focus and productivity. You are not distracted, and thus you give your full attention to the job at hand.

To make this a reality, invest in a regular cleaning service to keep the office space neat, ordered and clean, as well as having a high-quality functional air purifier to promote a healthy, clean work environment.

Final thoughts

Most of the methods aimed at increasing productivity at work listed above might seem very counterintuitive. However, statistics show when a company has happy and engaged employees, the business skyrockets and there is a maintained level of productivity.

You need not spend millions on high-end perks to foster this productive engagement, though. All you require is to put yourself in your workers’ shoes and ask yourself what you can do to improve your company’s work culture so it is more conducive to positive growth and productivity.

So, with all that said, make sure that you put in some time and effort in the coming months, and you will begin to see the fruits of your labour, with employee productivity on the rise.

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