For many, positivity in the workplace may sound like an easy thing to achieve or something that runs essentially on autopilot, but this is far from the truth. It takes a lot of time and effort to maintain a positive atmosphere at work and considering we spend more than a decade of our lives – 90,000 hours – at work, employers have an obligation to make sure the workplace is a good one.
Which begs the question…
How can organizations create a positive workplace?
It’s a question that requires many answers because of course there is no single solution to creating a positive workplace. Here, in no particular order, are eight tips to keep in mind when striving for a positive workplace:
#1. Provide Meaning
It is important to have a clear mission, purpose and set of values in every organization. Employees look for clarity on why the organization exists, what direction they are going in and how it aligns with their day-to-day work. Everything an employee does at work should be connected back to the mission, vision, and values to drive home the idea that their individual actions have meaning.
The values of a company should reflect their overall goals and beliefs and should be clear, well-communicated, and regularly discussed with employees. When having one-on-one conversations, use plenty of examples of their work to demonstrate their alignment.
#2. Be Consistent
Consistency helps employees feel secure in their roles and responsibilities and is linked to accountability. Employees who know what is expected and feel consistently supported are confident in the decisions they make and what is required of them in the workplace. Even in the face of change, consistent processes and procedures give employees a sense of positive wellbeing and security.
#3. Foster Collaboration and Communication
It is important to foster collaboration and open, honest communication to create a positive environment. This means regular one-on-one meetings and management by walking around to see how employees are doing, how they are interacting with one another, supporting each other and learning and sharing knowledge. It also includes having strict, no tolerance, open-door policies and complaint procedures for workplace bullying and respecting one another in the workplace.
#4. Be Inclusive
An inclusive workplace is one that values individual and group differences and makes everyone feel welcome and accepted. People are included and expected to contribute to the team and their diverse backgrounds and perspectives are embraced. Hold everyone accountable to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard, all opinions are considered and that the value inclusivity brings to the team is recognized. An inclusive workplace brings people and teams together instead of creating feelings of isolation.
#5. Create Opportunities to Learn and Grow
Very few employees like to stay in the same role for their whole career. Most want the opportunity to advance within an organization or develop a depth of knowledge in their current role. If employees sense they are in a dead-end role or have feelings of being stuck they may become frustrated, negative, and less motivated to work. Find opportunities to support growth through training, continuing education programs, coaching and mentoring.
#6. Recognize and Reward Achievements
An easy way to create a positive environment is to show your appreciation. Recognition simply involves saying thank you whether privately or publicly. Everyone likes to be recognized for good work either as an individual or member of a group and it creates positive feelings. This can be done informally by encouraging employees to recognize each other for their support and good work or formally through recognition programs for both peer-to-peer recognition and management.
#7. Support Employee Wellness
Healthy employees are essential to a productive workplace. Employee wellbeing should be a holistic view that goes beyond the physical to include other areas such as social, emotional, career, community and financial health. Supporting elements beyond physical is a foundation for creating a positive work environment and helping employees have a healthy, fulfilling life. Investing time and energy into a healthy can encourage better teamwork, increased productivity and reduce sick leave.
#8. Build and Support Workplace Connections
Everyone needs to have a sense of belonging in the workplace. Building connections relies heavily on employees having a sense of rapport amongst their colleagues and trusting one another to complete assigned tasks. Create an environment where employees learn about each other through working on projects together, mentoring and training each other to share knowledge and have some fun by encouraging breaks with coworkers, celebrating milestones and planned events.
Build Positivity Through Consistency
To create positivity you need to encourage it every day. Lead by example, express gratitude, smile often, hold people accountable and proactively encourage positive thinking even when things seem to be spinning out of control. Employees tend to reflect the type of environment they work in, stay positive and they will too.
No matter what size company you have, you can create a positive work environment. Follow the tips above and get inspired to create a positive environment in your workplace!
Borrowed from BBD Blog Sept 17, 2019, “8 Tips for Building Workplace Positivity”, https://www.bbd.ca/blog/building-workplace-positivity/ .