A healthy workplace environment is one where employees are comfortable doing their jobs. It’s a physical space where people feel satisfied and safe.
It’s also an emotional space where people feel at ease with being themselves.
There are a myriad of reasons why you, as a business owner, should prioritize creating an engaging workplace environment, including these four most important ones:
- It increases productivity and reduces absenteeism.
- Happy employees act as ambassadors for your brand.
- It improves your chances of attracting and retaining talent.
- Engaged employees are more likely to succeed at implementing strategic initiatives.
How to Create a Good Workplace Environment
It’s the job of every business owner to ensure that they provide an environment that keeps their employees satisfied and focused.
“Becoming happy” isn’t something you can put entirely in the hands of your staff. Obviously, they have a role to play, but taking some of the responsibility will help you create an excellent workplace environment.
Let’s take a look at what you can start doing.
1. Reward Your Staff Appropriately
Making sure that your employees are fairly paid for their hard work is one of the easiest ways to create a good workplace environment.
The first step is to consult trusted information sources like Payscale to find a payment baseline for your employees.
Once all of your staff members are earning a basic salary appropriate to their position and experience, start thinking about incentive-based bonuses.
From profit-sharing for senior members of staff to “mission bonuses” for roles that are output-focused, there are many different ways you can reward your team for a job well done.
2. Discourage “Rankism”
Even though it’s often good practice to maintain some form of hierarchy in an organization, it’s important that members of staff aren’t made to feel inferior to any of their colleagues.
A culture of superiority can suppress the creativity of “lower-ranking” or junior employees. They may feel that they can’t express themselves when managers disregard or belittle their contributions.
This is an insidious problem that can be as difficult to spot as it would be to resolve. Do whatever you can to create a culture of inclusivity in your company right from the start.
3. Be Sensitive to Stress
No workplace is immune to pressure. Even the healthiest workplace environment is going to place employees in intense situations that could lead to the accumulation of stress. It’s an unavoidable aspect of many jobs, and it’s not necessarily something we have to avoid.
What you should be doing your utmost to avoid, however, is exposing your staff to prolonged periods of pressure without relief or support. Go out of your way to encourage everyone in your company not to ignore any symptoms of stress they may be experiencing.
Be sensitive to the needs of staff members who consistently face tough deadlines or work in high-stakes environments.
Make it clear to them that you have their best interests at heart and do what you can to relieve them from the emotional impact of stress.
4. Focus on the Needs of Individuals
Wherever possible, meet your employees’ unique needs.
Some staff members may enjoy being managed. They may prefer to know what their daily deadlines are. They may thrive in an environment where their outputs are monitored by a supervisor.
Other members of staff may prefer a more hands-off approach to being managed. They may enjoy understanding their role in the “big picture” and being trusted to deliver what’s necessary to make it happen.
Then there are the differences regarding what kind of an office setup helps individuals be most productive. For example, some might prefer listening to music to boost productivity, while others might need a quiet environment.
If you have your staff working together in an open-space environment, you can provide noise-canceling headphones for the latter. It would be a simple and effective way to show your dedication to creating a great workplace environment for everyone.
These are just some examples of how different employees have different needs when it comes to creating a “good” workplace environment. There are dozens of reasonable ways to make an effort to cater to the unique needs of each of your staff members.
Make sure to sit down with your people to find out if it’s possible to create an environment that suits their individual needs.
Some Final Thoughts
It’s impossible to pinpoint the exact qualities of a good workplace environment. What one company thinks of as “good” may not work for another company at all.
The attitudes and dynamics between senior staff members often dictate how a company’s culture influences the workplace environment. This is a strange, abstract process that can be challenging to identify and equally difficult to shape.
Rather than proactively trying to enforce the exact model of what you consider a healthy workplace, implement the basics, then be vigilant and respond decisively to issues as they arise.
Lastly, implement an open-door policy at your company and urge everyone involved in your business to discuss anything that’s making them unhappy or uncomfortable.