Your business is only as strong as the people that make up that business. How do you cultivate the best each day from your employees? Create an environment that allows them to thrive! A positive work environment can boost employee morale … which can lead to better results, higher profits, and an overall better corporate culture.
These are our pro-recommended tips for how to create a good working environment when you’re the boss. Many of these steps are low-cost and simple to implement in your own small business setting.
Why A Positive Work Environment Is Important
Happy, productive employees are the cornerstone to business success. Organizational psychology studies have established the connection between positive work environments and better productivity. In short, happier workers who feel appreciated and supported are better workers overall.
By making the effort to make simple changes which create a positive work environment, you’ll reap the rewards as your business benefits from better employees. Your employees will be more productive while at work, more loyal to your company. Meanwhile, you’ll have better retention rates, fewer sick days, and a more lucrative corporate bottom line.
5 Steps You Can Take to Create a Positive Work Environment
Creating a positive work environment isn’t rocket science. Many larger companies have modeled how to boost morale create a working environment where your employees are happy and motivated. Here are some concrete methods to adopt in your own small business to create a good work environment for all of your staff.
1. Talk To Your Employees
As a small business owner, you should let your employees know that they are your priority. Cultivate an open door environment to air grievances and address concerns. Face-to-face meetings with employees encourages feedback and two-way communication.
Regularly checking in with your employees in a safe space where they can talk openly about improving the work environment will make them feel heard. On the flip side, listening to your employees can help you improve your own business practices.
Make an effort to schedule regular face-to-face meetings. This will allow you to take the pulse of the company while allowing each employee valuable time for self-expression.
They’ll let you know what will make them happier – all you have to do is implement it!
2. Consider Flexible Work Arrangements
It used to be that employees were required to be at their desks during the standard “on the clock” hours of nine to five. Modern businesses encourage flexible working hours to allow employees the autonomy to control their own schedules.
Popular flexible work arrangements include part-time hours, a compressed 37.5 hour work week, or job-sharing between two employees. All of these options allow employees to set up their work hours in a way which best meet their work-life balance needs.
These flexible schedules allow employees’ time for their children, families, elder care, or other needs. Often flexible working arrangements allow working mothers with young children the option of returning to the workplace.
Employees are happier when they have some control over their working life – and they’ll be able to do their best work when they’re in the office and not distracted.
3. Remote Work
Allowing employees to work from home has been linked to higher rates of happiness, productivity, and retention rates. Modern technology allows most employees to work from home and still have similar resources that they would in a traditional office setting.
Permitting employees to work from home can be a boost to business owners, as well. By allowing employees remote access, you’re not limited geographically by who you hire. Allowing remote work expands the talent pool of hires exponentially.
Even if your company isn’t in the position to allow all employees to work from home all the time, offering this benefit even a few days a week is worth consideration.
4. Liberal Vacation Time
With US workers working longer hours than ever, vacation time is considered a precious commodity. Vacation time is when employees get to recharge, spend time with their families, and rejuvenate.
A liberal vacation policy allows employees the necessary time to reset, so they can return to the office, refreshed and ready to bring their A game. Some firms are experimenting with unlimited vacation time. Employees are allowed to take as much time off as they want, as long as their work gets done.
5. Paid Parental Leave
Welcoming a new baby is one of the biggest life changes an employee may experience. Maternity leave is common at most large companies, but paid gender non-specific parental leave allows both new moms and dads to bond with their new arrival.
Paid family leave allows new parents to have a better work life balance. Many companies have also extended this leave policy to adoptive families. Too many families feel pressure to get right back to work after having a child, and that leads to a lot of workplace stress. They’re distracted by the thought of their new little one and worried about the costs of childcare – and that makes for a stressful work environment.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
A positive work environment allows employees to shine! When you value and respect your employees, they’ll return the favor. Happier workers, better work – it’s that simple!
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