If you run a business or are in a managerial position, you should be taking steps to ensure that your team works in a positive working environment.
There are many ways to interpret this term, but it essentially refers to making their working lives better through promoting healthier living, reducing stress wherever possible and ensuring that they work in a place where they feel valued.
Regardless of how forward-thinking your workplace is, there is always room for improvement so let’s take a closer look at just a few of the ways that you can encourage a better working environment.
Give Positive Reinforcement
Too many managers think the best way to motivate their employees is through fear and intimidation, but the truth is that positive reinforcement is a much more effective technique for getting the best out of your team.
Many employees feel undervalued because they don’t receive enough praise so it is your job as a manager or employer to step in and make sure that they are encouraged for doing their job well. Showing gratitude is a simple thing, but it is still totally overlooked by many people at a senior level.
Reduce Stress Where Possible
Not only is stress highly damaging to people’s physical, emotional and mental health, it can also be very damaging to businesses. Studies have found that stress in the number one cause of absenteeism, so taking steps to reduce stress should be high up on your list of business priorities.
Encourage your team to take regular breaks throughout the day to recharge, and make sure they step away from their screens for a little while so they can take their minds off work for a few minutes. Long hours are another major cause of stress, so these should be cut down on as much as possible.
If there are other managers that you think are adding stress to the lives of employees, you should try to have a word with them to encourage them to change their approach.
Encourage a Healthier Lifestyle
Obviously, your business should have a health and safety policy in place including risk assessments, fall protection systems and emergency response procedures, to name a few. But the most innovative and forward-thinking companies go beyond the basics to encourage their employees to lead healthier lives.
For example, you could organise a fitness class on one evening after work by hiring a local yoga instructor to come in. Not only does yoga boost fitness, it has also been shown to reduce stress levels so it really is a win-win situation.
Another option is to set up a healthy treat day at work where one member of the team brings something in each week. Coming up with these kind of ideas can show your employees that you really care about their health and wellbeing which can only be a positive thing.
When a member of your team does a good job, it is important to celebrate their achievements and show them that you appreciate all their hard work. This can either be done on a one-to-one basis or in front of the rest of the team, but be careful not to overpraise one person as this can lead to resentment amongst other members of staff.
As well as celebrating achievements, you should also think about celebrating other aspects of employees’ lives such as birthdays. Again, this will really help to create a positive working environment. Sometimes, it is the little things that matter most.
Encourage a Good Level of Socialising
While you don’t want to go totally overboard, allowing a good level of socialising is a great way to encourage a close-knit team. With this in mind, you could also consider organising social events outside of the office where people can get to know each other more outside of a working environment.
If your team gets on well together, they are much more likely to produce their best work rather than if there is constant animosity between them.
Listen to Everyone’s Ideas
The worst kinds of managers don’t listen, think that their opinions are the only ones that matter and they simply dictate what they want their employees to do. Instead, you should encourage people to speak their minds and share their ideas.
During team meetings, if there is someone who is naturally less likely to speak up, it is worth asking them directly so that everyone has an input. Obviously, the final decision will ultimately be yours, but looking at different perspectives is always a good thing.