A positive work atmosphere is contagious. When employees are happy to come to work, it inspires others to think positively and feel like an appreciated member of a team doing meaningful work.
Managers who can help create and maintain a positive work environment provide valuable benefits to an organization, increasing productivity and work quality, enhancing customer experiences and reducing workplace stress, absenteeism and turnover. Especially now, when so many employees are balancing work-life challenges, managers play a vital role in fostering a positive culture where employees can thrive and become sources of support and inspiration to each other.
When managers stir positivity into the workplace chemistry, employees are happier, more engaged and motivated and get more done. Gallup, a US research and polling firm, found that workplace productivity increases by 17% when employees are engaged, which has a direct bearing on financial performance.
A poll by Deloitte, a global consulting firm, found that 94% of executives think a positive corporate culture plays an essential role in a company’s success by fostering a sense of pride and ownership among employees.
Managers and supervisors can start building a positive work environment by implementing these 4 practical steps:
1. Demonstrate positive organizational values
When employees observe their leaders exhibiting positive behaviors, they mirror them. Managers should reflect the organization’s values and principles in their day-to-day behavior and interactions to win employee buy-in for a positive work culture. This includes recognizing the accomplishments of individuals and teams and acknowledging staff members for their new ideas and perspectives. By also respecting employees’ personal time, managers help create a healthy work/life balance.
2. Promote employee well-being
The healthiest work cultures are the ones in which employees feel free to share their voices, raise concerns, ask questions and express their needs. By expressing empathy and understanding for the physical and mental well-being of employees, managers help create a work environment that reduces stress, boosts energy levels, inspires team collaboration and allows for flexible work arrangements.
3. Connect with employees in new ways
By offering different activities that everyone can participate in, managers play a pivotal role in creating team experiences that develop positive staff relationships and trust. Team building activities can include fun workplace challenges, celebrating work and personal victories and gathering outside of work to volunteer in the community. Mentoring is also a mutually beneficial way of bringing team members closer together and building allies within an organization.
4. Provide honest and open feedback
Providing meaningful and frequent feedback and positive reinforcement to employees lets them know they are valued members of the organization. This includes showing gratitude for hard work, empowering individuals to make decisions and giving tangible rewards for well-done jobs. And feedback should be a two-way street. Managers can learn a lot from asking employees what they enjoy doing most, what they find challenging and their ideas for removing obstacles, as well as their interests in growth and development opportunities.
Leveraging the power of positivity in the workplace helps create a culture where employees feel valued, engaged and empowered to do their best. Managers and supervisors who adopt a culture of positive thinking can deliver enormous benefits to their organization. Training managers on different ways to foster a positive work environment is an important step in creating a healthy, inclusive work culture of communication and collaboration.
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