The ideal work environment

The work environment has a significant effect on employee motivation, job satisfaction and team morale. Employees are enthusiastic about reporting to work every day if the work environment is a positive one. The work environment includes a company’s location, facilities, culture, interactions between employees and employers, and growth opportunities, to name but a few.

Employers are keen to ask new employees about the type of work environment that they prefer during interviews, this is to ascertain an interviewees suitability for the job. For example, if you work in a fast paced, target driven sales environment a person that struggles under pressure, may not necessarily fit the bill.

Employers understand that if employees are uncomfortable within the work environment, their motivation, satisfaction, and performance levels will be low. Unhappy employees are quick to take alternative jobs and even worse they can spread negativity and animosity amongst the rest of the team.

Norwich has been voted the number 1 happiest city to work in in the UK with a staggering 77% of people saying they love their jobs! So what makes Norwich so special? Offices? People? Businesses?

Local Journalist Lauren Razavi says that Norwich is one of the few cities in the UK that still retains a strong identity and sense of community- people walk down the street and say hello to each other.

Well we can’t all be based in cheery Norwich. So how can you create a positive work environment for your employees? Here are the top characteristics of an ideal work environment.

Effective communication between employers and employees

Employees expect their leaders to not only communicate the company’s goals, objectives, strategies, and culture clearly, but also abide by them. A boss that doesn’t lead by example will often find anarchy amongst the ranks. It is important that any guidelines, rules and expectations are communicated straight away to avoid any bad habits forming. Employees also require open and transparent channels of communicating with their supervisors and managers.

Listening to the issues and concerns that matter to employees is important in building good and trustworthy relationships with them. Employers must provide a platform for employees to express their opinions. In addition, employers must act on the issues and suggestions made, otherwise, employees will stop participating in discussions if the company does not value their opinions and contributions.

Two-way communication is important in an organization because it ensures that all parties are on the same page concerning the organization’s mission. Unfortunately, many employers focus on giving instructions to employees rather than adopting a more collaborative approach. A more beneficial approach is to consider any ideas that may improve the company’s performance and incorporate these into the overall strategy. (Often the work force has a better understanding of processes and protocols than management as they are utilizing them every day and therefore are in a better position to optimize productivity).

Training and development programs

Employers dream of attracting and retaining the best talents in the job market. The reality is that such talents will only stay in an organization if they have opportunities to grow in their career. Employees are ready to change jobs when their current jobs do not offer any new challenges or opportunities for progression. If your employees are motivated individual but stagnating in their role, they will likely look elsewhere.

The best working environments have training and development programs for employees. If a company is prepared to invest time and money into training, their employees will feel rewarded and appreciated. When they can apply the skills and knowledge learned from such programs, their motivation and performance will improve. As an employer, you have a responsibility to prepare your staff for the changes in the industry. For instance, technology is always evolving. Training programs on how to use the latest technology are beneficial to your employees.

The training program should include soft skills that can improve interactions and relationships within the organization. For instance, training employees on interpersonal skills, team building, conflict resolution and effective communication will improve their interactions. Good relations among employees lead to higher levels of satisfaction and productivity.

Work-life balance

Employees often sacrifice their personal goals, needs, and interests to grow their careers. An ideal work environment should train and motivate employees to live a balanced life. Employees may be willing to work extra hours every day to earn a promotion or salary increment. However, the managers and supervisors have a responsibility of training employees on the benefits of work-life balance.

Some employees understand the importance of balancing their work with their personal life. Hence, they work for companies that allow them to take their annual leave and days off occasionally. Helping employees achieve the work-life balance improves their job satisfaction. They have time to take care of other important aspects of their lives, like family, hobbies, and spiritual pursuits among others.

Rewards and recognition for high performance

Employers can create a positive work environment by recognizing the efforts of employees to improve their performance. Employers work hard to complete their tasks within the given deadlines. Some go an extra mile and work for unpaid hours to ensure that their work is perfectly done on time. Rewarding such efforts encourages employees to do more in the future. However, when employers fail to recognize such efforts, employees start giving excuses for poor performance.

Monetary rewards are good but not the only way to reward effort. A verbal recognition from the manager or supervisor is good enough in some situations. Managers must learn to appreciate their team members verbally for outstanding performance. Acknowledging team performance is important but managers must appreciate individual performance.

Employers must be intentional about creating a positive work environment for their employees. Such an environment reduces employee turnover rates and builds a company’s reputation. A positive work environment leads to higher levels of job satisfaction and motivation, which in turn improve employee performance. The tips outlined above will help you create such an environment in your business when you implement them consistently.

Further Resources

What is an agile working environment and how can it help you? – The search for a more adaptable way of viewing the workplace.

3 essentials for creating the ideal work environment – Slack claims these three elements are ‘non-negotiables’ if you want to create a great place to work.

15 lessons to get company culture right – Positive examples to help you build a strong and lasting company culture.

6 simple ways to create a healthy workplace environment – Going for long-term solutions, valuing staff and being consistent are just three ways you can create a healthy workplace.

You can find your next career move over at the Growth Business Job Board

Jon Sumner

Jon Sumner

Experienced director of digital media with a demonstrated history of working in the publishing industry. Strong media and communication professional skilled in media sales, digital strategy, web development,...

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