One of the most critical factors in employee satisfaction today is their work environment. People tend to feel stressed out and tense when they are dissatisfied with their work conditions or received income (as compared to the incurred stress). Just one person’s negativity can contaminate the entire working team, and make the employees unhappy and less productive. Thus, creating a positive work environment is something that business owners and managers need to consciously work on and improve.
What is a positive work environment? In a general sense, it is a working environment where employees feel motivated, healthy, satisfied, and feel that they are of value as a part of a team. Being in a positive work environment is important because people spend a good part of their lives at work. Both employees and company management benefit from it, due to the healthy competition among workers, and the absence of negativity – raging bosses, irritating sidetracks, irrational complaints, and gossip.
What characterizes a good work environment is the respect of diversities and various positions, and a high degree of trust among the staff. There is also a sense of openness and loyalty to the company, and reduced formation of cliques and clubs among employees. This motivates the employees to be more creative, innovative and productive, in order to contribute to collective goals.
Openness to Criticism
When working in a positive atmosphere, employees are more open to criticism, taking it constructively . They create positive peer pressure on one another, and seek to improve themselves through their own initiative. Having a trustful work relationship with coworkers also creates possibilities for turning those kinds of relationships into valuable friendships. Having close friends at the office is great, because one can not only get work-related help, but all sorts of advice also.
Business owners and managers provide their working staff with incentives – a cash advance or a vacation, and sick leaves when needed. Managers should get to know their employees to a certain extent, so as to know how to make them feel relaxed. A simple thing like surprising them with a coffee-mug with a printed picture, gift cards from established suppliers and big box stores, and other small acts of recognition can be a major incentive for their improvement. Leaders who treat their employees as human beings and not machines or just a mere working force, are considered good leaders. They reprimand their employees from a place of true desire to help them improve.
A negative and stressful work environment can have various harmful consequences for your employees, in terms of health and career. People try to stick to a job that makes them miserable, and suffocating frustrations arise from bureaucracy, long working hours, hostility and conflicts with coworkers, or supervisors. They agree to that, because leaving their job will put them in a place of economic uncertainty, and they will not be able to progress with their careers the way they planned. In other words, if employees cannot put on a happy face, the business will suffer in numerous ways, for the workers are the blood vessels to their company.
Trying to transform a negative work environment into a positive one is a difficult job. Changing ideals, accepted notions and behaviors requires time and patience. However, creating a positive work environment will be beneficial to both employees and employers, and can transfer from their professional to private life. It is the job of companies’ leaders, executives and managers, to make the first move, and the employees will eventually recognize that, and start following.