A positive work environment is important for maintaining overall team productivity and employee retention. The workspace should be physically comfortable for employees to enhance their work output. More importantly, all employees should have the tools to succeed located in an optimised workspace.
1. Start with the onboarding process
Exuding a positive work environment for your new employees starts right from when you onboard them. Reassure they know everything there is to know about their role they have been hired in.
When onboarding a new employee, be sure to:
- Host regular training sessions during the first couple of weeks.
- Have them shadow a seasoned employee in the same or similar role. This will help them to learn their new role more comfortably.
- Set aside periods over the first few days for them to complete their needed paperwork, rather than inundating them with the entire stack all at once.
2. Enforce active listening with the entire team
Active listening makes people feel that their needs are being met in the workplace. Both individuals in a one-on-one conversation show that they are listening to one another through a series of body language cues and response patterns.
Team leaders, supervisors, and employees can all practice active listening to make a positive work environment. Making eye contact, nodding during a conversation, and acknowledging what one another says are all ways to practice active listening.
With many tasks to complete throughout a workday, active listening can:
- Enforce productivity with clearly communicated expectations.
- Clear up any questions an employee has about a task.
- Help employees collaborate with professional courtesy.
3. Capitalise on strengths and weaknesses
Speaking of collaboration, it is highly crucial to encourage employees to work together towards a common goal. A positive work environment is the mark of everyone being on the same page when completing daily tasks.
Have each team member complete a task indicative of their strengths in the workplace. Change it up sometimes and have an employee do something that will help them to enhance their weaknesses. Maybe combine an employee who is strong with the task with someone who has trouble with it so the person with the weakness can eventually build it up as one of their strengths.
4. Schedule team building activities
Team building activities help to bring a workplace team together in means of getting to know each other. Learning about one another’s strengths and weaknesses, so everyone knows how to support each other, is important for day-to-day productivity.
They can take many forms and provide engaging collaborative experiences. It enforces a positive work environment because it is an opportunity to decompress while learning something new about the entire team.
Here are some ideas for team-building activities to do with your employees:
- Play online poker.
- Make up an escape room activity or hire an escape room company to come in and give the team an experience.
- Have the team cook a dish or bake a treat in a virtual experience while they are at home or do it on-site.
- Host a trivia night after work hours with teams of 2-3 people to help each other out.
- Set up an obstacle course for the employees to tackle in separate teams.
- Play a game of charades.
5. Conduct regular follow-ups
Sure, allowing your employees to work independently shows that you trust them. However, it is best to conduct regular follow-ups to see if your employees need anything while they complete a task.
Stop by their office cubicle and ask them how the project is going. Ask them how they are going about it and if they need any assistance from you to make the task go by smoother. Do not follow up to the point that you are micromanaging, so your employees do not feel pressured.
Starting with onboarding, active listening, team building, capitalising on strengths and weaknesses, and conducting regular follow-ups are all ways to harvest a positive work environment. Reevaluate your company’s work environment to make the necessary changes today.