Creating a positive workplace environment

Creating a company where people enjoy the work that they do and the place they do it may sound like a simple enough mission, but creating a positive workplace environment can be harder than it sounds. With more companies than ever trying to focus their attention on employee wellbeing and retention, we’re looking at how you can build an environment that will facilitate that.

Offer flexibility and comfort to employees

A positive workplace environment for one person doesn't necessarily look the same as to another. Ensuring that everyone’s wants and needs are taken into account rather than applying a blanket policy is crucial in ensuring inclusivity and encouraging diversity in the workplace.

This means offering flexibility, and working to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable. Because all employees' needs are so unique, the best way to go about creating this is to ask your team what would suit them best. However, this may include offering a work-from-home option, a hybrid set-up, the option to spend time in co-working spaces, or the option to work flexible hours.

If you do have a central office or base that you use for your business then making sure it’s comfortable and fully equipped is also important. Consider the comfort of chairs and desks, the equipment being offered and the breakout spaces or facilities available for when employees aren’t working.

Conduct regular check-ins

Positive working environments are built on happy and contented employees. But if you’re never checking in with them, can you be sure that that’s what they are?

Having regular catch ups with your team not only shows them that you care about their wellbeing and are engaged with the work they’re doing, but it also offers the opportunity to flag any issues nice and early. Being able to intervene with any challenges or calm any worries is vital in keeping things running smoothly.

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Prioritise onboarding and training

One of the goals in building an environment that people enjoy working in is to retain staff in the long term. This can cut costs for businesses but also helps to cultivate an experienced team who know your business inside out and are invested in its success.

In order to try and retain staff, this must be a priority from the get-go. This means a well thought out and well put together onboarding process, as well as the opportunity for ongoing training and development.

This could be both informal training (1 to 1 sessions with more experienced members of staff to learn from their experience) and formal training (webinars, CPD sessions, conferences and events).

One initiative we’ve recently implemented is getting some of our technical staff chartered status. Chartered status means enhanced skills and abilities being offered to our clients and their projects, as well as career progression, professional development and an internationally recognised title for our people.

Share information and work collaboratively

A key component of a positive workplace environment is making sure that everyone has the resources and information to do their job successfully. 

A disjointed business where information isn’t shared or is stored in multiple places can lead to frustration and confusion, so creating a single organised database of information is a great starting point in making it easier for your team to do their work.

Similarly, the approach to working should be a shared one too. Encouraging your team to work together, collaborate on projects and utilise each of their individual skill sets is a recipe for a positive environment.

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Foster open communication

It’s one thing to have an open door policy, but having an open communication policy is even more important. 

Be sure to communicate openly with your staff about any objectives, any issues and any opportunities for improvement or development. More importantly though, you must create an environment where they feel comfortable and confident to communicate openly with you too.

Open two way communication can solve a myriad of issues and keeps things transparent, open and honest. Which in turn, fosters transparent, open and honest work.

Focus on workplace culture

Culture can be a hard thing to define but a very important thing to work on. The culture of your business is essentially a common set of behaviours, attitudes and values that filter from the top down, to every single member of staff. It covers everything from flexibility of work, to career development paths, to work-life balance.

Making sure that your team are happy and productive begins with a positive culture, so if you notice a high turnover or staff or a high number of staff reporting job dissatisfaction then improving your culture may be a pretty good place to start. Because once you have a positive workplace environment, you’ll likely find yourselves on to a winner.