Maintaining a positive working environment for employees is beneficial for the people and the business. It boosts morale, productivity and communication. Running a business often gets caught up in the numbers and the logistics, but any successful company is built on its internal human operations. Today’s industry is progressing at a rapid rate, so make sure you take the right measures to stop and appreciate the people that are working for you.
- The physical environment
The floor plan and interior design of any workspace will often have a dramatic effect on worker positivity and productivity. There are numerous studies and books written on this psycho-physical impact. Ultimately though, it is key to understand that there is no universal rule for how a physical work environment should be setup. Some people are more introverted and need removed, quiet space to foster their ideas and their mood. Others are fuelled through vocalising their thoughts and bouncing off others. Ensure you listen to what staff want, and find a balance between open space and individual space. Opting for a company such as Servcorp gives you great flexibility in setting up an office space anywhere in the world and allow you to pick a work space that is adaptable to your needs.
There is increasing demands these days to balance home and work life, as well as the demands of globalisation pressure businesses needs to overcome regional and time restrictions. Giving staff the opportunity to embrace this flexibility will grant them a feeling of autonomy, empowerment and trust in their work environment. Staff can no longer be expected to work the traditional 9-5 hours. Understanding this are navigating deadlines and tasks accordingly will foster positive worker morale.
Listen to your staff. Allow them to share their own ideas and empower them to make decisions that test their leadership. Build a workplace to be as inviting as possible to foster these skills. Happy staff members are generally those who are kept in the big picture of their workplace or company, not just a means to getting a job done. Connection to the direction of an organisation through contribution and collaboration develops trust as well as interpersonal relations to maintain happy staff in the long term.
It doesn’t have to be all about the money. Income is important, but ensure that staff feel rewarded in other ways that don’t necessarily have to break the bank. Granting employee benefits such as phone plans, gym memberships, or just free snacks are base level measures to show an appreciation and support for staff. Saying thank you also goes a long way. Recognising a productive or successful staff member fosters a work environment that is happy and celebratory for even the smaller feats, rather than focusing on unhelpful criticism.
On a more logistical side of things, having clear and concise goals and policies for staff generates mutual understanding for how to act and behave towards others. Make it clear in the first instance that there will be no tolerance of discrimination towards gender, sexuality, disability, race etc. and that diversity in any form is to be treated with respect. No staff member wants to feel attacked or silenced. Giving voice to alternative perspective and respecting other opinions boosts wellbeing as well as creativity and productivity. If these boundaries are crossed ensure that staff feel comfortable expressing an issue and that there are resources in place foster welfare and safety accordingly.
Give staff members the space to socialise. You don’t need go for the traditional water cooler gossip station, but make sure there is time allocated for taking a break and getting to know colleagues on a basis other than work. Stepping away from the official environment will avoid the competitive silo effect that upsets so many workplaces and their overall positivity.