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Running your own business is a tough thing to do, and it brings with it a lot of responsibility. From overseeing the quality of the work that your company produces, to ensuring you are steering it in a profitable direction, there is always plenty to think about. Of course, as a business owner, your responsibilities are not limited to profit. You will also need to take care of one of the most significant assets that your business has – your employees.
The Benefits of a Positive Work Environment
The staff which you employ can help to make or break a business. A disgruntled employee can tarnish your company’s reputation; likewise, a helpful employee can enhance it. Therefore, it makes sense to treat your staff fairly and to put some effort into improving their wellbeing at work. A happy and positive workplace makes for a better work environment for everyone.
Whether we like it, or not, work is somewhere that we spend a considerable portion of our time, so making it a pleasant place to be is so important. No one wants to think that their staff members dread coming into the office on a Monday morning; this kind of feeling can become contagious throughout the team. People tend to feed off of each other’s moods, and a few unhappy employees can soon create a domino effect throughout the rest of your staff.
Happy employees are likely to work harder and be more productive than the staff that have negative feelings towards their work. The reason for this is that they will feel more motivated to work, and will also want to help contribute to the team.
The impact of a positive work environment isn’t just limited to productivity levels; it may also help to reduce staff absence too. Lost workdays can have a damaging impact on a business, and can add up to significant costs. Not only will you be paying someone who isn’t in the office, but other team members may also need to pick up their work to prevent missed deadlines. If the absent is persistent and questions are raised over how genuine the absence is, this can lead to feelings of resentment among the team towards the person that is off. Liking their job, can mean that your staff are less likely to call in sick when they aren’t actually ill.
Here are some of the ways in which you can promote some positivity in the workplace and take care of the wellbeing of your staff:
Set an Example
As the head of the company, your staff will look to you to set the tone for the work environment. Lead by example, and help to spread the positivity among your staff, take appropriate interest in them, and be friendly. Above all treat your team fairly, they will respect you for it, and will want to treat others in the same way.
If you display negative behavior towards your staff, you are creating a bad example. You are showing that a work environment where people talk to each other badly and without respect is acceptable to you.
Provide the Right Tools for the Job
There’s nothing more likely to rile your employees than a computer system that doesn’t work correctly. Trying to use software systems that are out of date or unreliable is going to be a significant cause of frustration for your employees. Glitches with technology could mean that your staff cannot perform their job correctly, which in turn impacts on productivity. Not being able to complete their work is going to leave your team feeling stressed and frustrated. Neither stress or frustration is conducive to a positive work environment, so it is essential to address this and make sure that your staff have the equipment which they need.
Make Staff Opinions Count
Involving your staff with decisions that affect them is a great way to get everyone feeling positive about their job role. Where appropriate, including staff in decisions, means that they will feel valued and that their opinions really do matter. For example, if you decided to go ahead and invest in a new software system to improve things for your staff, you can involve them in the process. Using the sdlc spiral model of software development means that your staff could potentially contribute to meetings with the software development team, and share their ideas for improvements. Once the software is ready for implementation, staff members could be given the opportunity to test the new system out for themselves.
Involving staff in decision-making processes like this, helps them to buy into the changes that are happening in the company. They are better able to use their on the job experience to advise on what would work best.
Take a Break
An overly competitive environment in the office can lead to lots of problems and eventually can have a significant impact on staff morale. Excessively competitive workplaces usually result in colleagues talking about each other behind their backs. Also, individuals focusing on making themselves look good, rather than working as a team, and critical behavior. None of these examples are situations that you want to have in your workplace. All of the negativity will cancel out any thoughts of wellbeing.
Try not to encourage too much competitive behavior in the office, for example, working through lunch breaks, coming in early and staying late. While this behavior may be aimed at impressing the boss and improving chances of promotion, it can negatively impact on productivity.
Encourage your team to take their lunch breaks, and don’t forget to create a welcoming staff room for your employees to use on their break times.
Bringing more positivity into the workplace is something that can be achieved, but it does require a commitment to make it a reality. A positive work environment creates a win-win situation. Not only do you have a pleasant place to spend your time while working you also have happier, more productive staff, that love coming into work.