Though I don’t have any employees in my business, I have many clients who do. And managing their staff is always high on the list of topics we discuss in our coaching sessions. Keeping employees happy while also ensuring their business runs successfully can feel challenging at times. That’s why we often discuss ways in which to improve the work environment.
The work environment that a business has in place will have a significant impact on not only how well a team works together. But also the quality of the work they produce. If the workplace feels negative and draining and it doesn’t support your team in helping them perform to the best of their ability, that’s not good for them and it’s not good for the business either.
There isn’t a one-size-fits all answer to improving workplace environment. Here’s ten things to consider if you want to create a more positive and productive work environment.
One – Make Feedback Constructive
It’s important that your employees get feedback from their managers and supervisors, but you should be very careful about how that is done. If you want them to carry on working in a way that’s going to be productive and constantly looking to improve, you need them to buy into the feedback process. You’ll find it easier to achieve that if you’re willing to give them more constructive feedback and highlight the pros and the things they’re doing well and not just the things that you feel they need to improve at.
Two – Establish Strong Lines of Communication
Strong lines of communication are beneficial to everyone inside your business. The last thing you want is the stress that comes with a breakdown in communication. It makes life difficult for everyone and confusion will start to take over the workplace; that’s definitely not something you want to happen to your business. Establish your lines of communication and make it clear to your team how they should stay in touch and relay messages to one another. It’ll make a big difference in the long run in how the business operates.
Three – Trust Your Team and Their Talents
You have to put your trust in your team if you want to get the most out of them and if you want to create a positive work environment. When people feel like they’re not trusted and that they’re being micromanaged every step of the way, it really damages their confidence and their work performance. If you want to get the most from people, you really have to just set them free and ensure they have the space in which to perform to the best of their abilities. That’s not going to happen if they feel as if you’re constantly breathing down their neck.
Four – Reward Good Work
When people perform well and do their best work, that’s something that you should always try to reward and recognize. You don’t necessarily have to give out prizes or anything like that, but it can be helpful to reward people for the good work they’re doing and to show people that their work is appreciated. It might be a case of giving extra time off if expectations are exceeded. Even if you don’t go that far and just recognize their effort and work, that’ll make a difference too. People don’t want to feel overlooked.
Five – Keep an Eye on Employee Mental Health
One thing that more and more businesses are doing nowadays is paying attention to the mental health and wellbeing of their employees. If that’s something that you haven’t been doing before now, that’s something that should probably change. Things like employee mental health matter because you want to make sure that your team members are in the right frame of mind, and you also want it to be clear to them that you care about them and their wellbeing in the workplace. You want to make them feel supported in these matters.
Six – Create an Open Platform for New Ideas
Any business that wants to succeed in the long-term is going to need to innovate and come up with new ideas. One winning idea won’t sustain the business forever. Times change and new ideas need to be brought to the table. That’s why you should try to create an open platform for new ideas inside your business. You want to make sure that everyone feels able to express those ideas, no matter how junior their position might be. You can never predict where the best ideas are going to come from.
Seven – Provide Opportunities for Career Development
It’s important that people feel like they’re going to be rewarded for staying loyal to your business via career development. You want to make sure that your team sees a path in front of them through which they can progress their careers. People are far more likely to be motivated and to put in their best work when they feel like they’re bettering themselves and progressing their careers through doing so. So try to do what you can to provide those opportunities for development and growth.
Eight – Own Your Values
Every business has its own set of values, and that can only be a good thing. Customers like it when the brands they buy from have a unique set of values. And it’s vital that those values are embodied clearly. People want to see that and it benefits your team and general workplace as well. That’s because when you take a close look at your values and you’re clear about what they are and what they mean, it’s easier for your entire team to really buy into them in a wholehearted way.
Nine – Ensure the Physical Space is Suitable
It’s definitely important that you have the physical space available to your team that’ll help them do their best work. If they don’t have an open space where they can share ideas, communicate and work to the best of their abilities, the outcomes might suffer. So if you feel like the workplace needs something new or a fresh approach to its layout might help, that’s something that you can start to work on. People are shaped by their environment after all.
Ten – Have a Little Fun
Having a little fun in the workplace is never a bad thing. Not everything has to be completely serious all the time. Allowing things to be a little more laid back and relaxed can make a real difference. So don’t hesitate to have some fun or to take it easy sometimes. You want to create a workplace that people enjoy being in; that’s how you ultimately get the most from people.
Even though creating a positive and productive work environment isn’t a one-size-fits all, having some fresh ideas is always helpful.
If you feel that your workplace is lacking something at the moment and you need to create a better space for your employees, be sure to make the most of the tips above.