Creating a Positive Work Environment: 19 Steps to Take to Foster Job Productivity and Satisfaction
Creating a positive work environment is essential for productivity and job satisfaction. We’ve gathered 19 expert insights from CEOs, co-founders, and other professionals on steps they’ve taken to foster a positive workplace.
- Implement a Company-Wide Recognition System
- Seek Regular Employee Feedback
- Establish an Employee Suggestion Program
- Foster a Culture Open to Change
- Organize Weekly Team-Building Activities
- Find and Utilize Employee Strengths
- Imbue a Sense of Accountability
- Prioritize Trust and Transparency
- Lead With Respect and Positivity
- Celebrate Team Wins Together
- Empower Employees With Autonomy
- Focus On Wellness and Goals
- Organize Team Retreats
- Acknowledge and Celebrate Team Efforts
- Hire Young People, Train Broadly
- Prioritize Work-Life Balance
- Embrace a Hybrid Work Model
- Showcase Employee Successes
- Cultivate Individual Purpose Alignment
Implement a Company-Wide Recognition System
Creating a company-wide recognition system enables each employee to give out awards or affirmations publicly. It encourages everyone to recognize the efforts of their peers and encourage them when they are going above and beyond.
It also allows employees to support one another’s professional development goals, since everyone will know what achievements or skills employees are looking to accomplish. This helps create a more collaborative and supportive atmosphere for everyone in the online office.
Seek Regular Employee Feedback
Regularly checking in with my employees and seeking feedback about the workplace environment has been key to making a workplace that encourages productivity and happy employees.
At some level, it’s just not that complicated. Asking people what we can do better or what they would like makes them feel heard and valued. And when you implement their suggestions, they understand that you really care and aren’t all talk. This makes for more satisfied employees and a better workplace.
Establish an Employee Suggestion Program
One example of how I have sought to create a positive work environment is through the development and implementation of an employee suggestion program. This program facilitates communication between all levels of staff and management while creating an open-door policy for ideas, improvements, and feedback.
Under this system, employees can provide input in areas ranging from working hours to safety standards with the goal of making our organization better overall. The result has been increased productivity and job satisfaction among my colleagues, which reinforces a culture that believes employee voice is important in decision-making processes.
Foster a Culture Open to Change
The leadership team in our organization lives by the rule “Strong opinions, loosely held”. This means that we are extremely open to feedback from our team on anything, from company values to day-to-day operations.
We have strong opinions but are very open to having our minds changed, and I believe that this makes our team happy and why they stay with us for years. They know they can request policy changes that we review twice a year, and they are welcome to create their own processes and suggest major changes in our organization.
Organize Weekly Team-Building Activities
I have implemented a weekly team-building activity. Each Friday, the team comes together for 30 minutes for an activity, such as discussing a current project, sharing success stories, or playing a game.
This encourages open communication and collaboration, while also bringing the team closer together. By fostering a positive workplace environment, I have seen an increase in productivity and job satisfaction.
Find and Utilize Employee Strengths
Skilled managers focus on the strengths of their employees. For example, someone on the marketing team may have strong presentation skills, so it makes sense to have them create the presentation deck for the company for new launches or services. This ultimately keeps the workday more efficient, and leaders can delegate tasks accordingly.
Imbue a Sense of Accountability
One significant step I’ve taken to create a positive work environment that fosters productivity and job satisfaction is creating a culture of accountability. I have worked to imbue this sense of responsibility within every team.
I remember a time when we were working on a major project, and there were some glitches. Instead of blaming each other, everyone owned up to their part and dedicated themselves to finding solutions.
This expedited the problem-solving process and also strengthened the team’s bond. I have seen an increase in overall job satisfaction as team members know their work contributes significantly to the business since implementing this strategy.
Prioritize Trust and Transparency
By promoting open and honest communication, we ensure employees feel valued and respected. This involves sharing information, updates, and decisions openly, providing clarity on company goals and expectations. Regular team meetings and one-on-one discussions create opportunities for feedback and address concerns promptly.
We encourage a culture of trust by demonstrating transparency in decision-making processes. By building trust and fostering transparency, employees clearly understand their role in the organization, feel more engaged and are motivated to contribute their best. This positive environment enhances productivity, job satisfaction, and overall team cohesion.
Lead With Respect and Positivity
Every company has to take a top-down approach to its culture. If a leader is condescending, smug, or cynical, the rest of the company is, too. Sarcastic leaders do not work. I’m not saying that I burst into the office like a ray of sunshine, but everyone is treated with respect.
When I speak of problems, it is never a complaint. It comes with the intention to solve them. Everything must be addressed directly, but also tactfully. Everyone matters, and I do my best to show them that.
Celebrate Team Wins Together
Last year was a tough year for our team’s morale. One day, I was looking over our team’s calendars and I realized that all our meetings were future-focused. What’s the next project? What’s the next campaign?
So, as a team, we pivoted one of our monthly check-in meetings to focus on our “wins.” In every meeting, the first 15 minutes are carved out for every team member to share a “win” that they recently achieved.
At first, people were nervous about doing this as it could feel “braggy.” But, what we realized is that when everyone shares it no longer feels braggy at all.
This was a tremendous morale boost for the entire team. Especially when we’re all stressed and feeling like we’re falling behind. This meeting is like a reality check saying, “Hey, we’re actually doing an incredible job!”
Empower Employees With Autonomy
I gave capable employees the reins of an important project and gave them the flexibility to set the course and make judgments. Not only did this person excel in their new role, but the entire team was motivated by their excitement and dedication. I encouraged a culture of creativity and innovation, and increased job satisfaction by offering autonomy.
Focus On Wellness and Goals
Wellness is a big focus of ours in creating a positive work environment that fosters productivity and job satisfaction, so we added small bonuses for people who set and accomplish their wellness goals for any quarter.
Four times a year, we meet as a team to discuss topics such as wellness and productivity, and we set goals to keep each other accountable and going. Once the goals are accomplished, everybody gets a small bonus, and we often award teams for their wellness efforts, which indirectly foster productivity and overall job satisfaction.
Organize Team Retreats
I do not mean just go do a workshop on location somewhere; I mean renting out a cabin somewhere and having a good time just relaxing, hiking, and doing anything and everything besides thinking about work.
It really helps to get to know your co-workers as people rather than just your colleagues, and it helps improve team morale as no one feels as if they’re working with strangers all the time. That sense of community is hard to find these days.
Acknowledge and Celebrate Team Efforts
One step that I have taken is to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of my team members. Recognizing their hard work, contributions, and achievements helps to boost their morale and motivation. It also creates a sense of belonging and value within the workplace.
I often take time to celebrate milestones, birthdays, and other achievements with my team members, which helps to create a positive atmosphere and foster teamwork.
Hire Young People, Train Broadly
We started our company back in 2017 with me, my co-founder, and two interns. Now we’re well over 50 people and growing quickly, because of the culture we established since our founding.
What worked well was to hire young people and train everyone on everything—this gave them a significantly broader view of the business, which lets them put their own work in the context of the greater whole.
This greater sense of understanding and ownership is a massive driver towards creating a positive work environment because everyone knows the purpose of their work, which is quite rare I’ve found.
Prioritize Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is paramount at our law firm. While many attorneys become burned out, we aim to avoid this. Therefore, we do not have overtime and we have reduced hours on Fridays. We want our employees to feel energetic and focused enough to do their work well and feel fulfilled.
Embrace a Hybrid Work Model
The environment in which our team works best is something we take seriously. We have changed the way we operate at different stages to ensure our team is comfortable and that the environment they work in is conducive to motivation and productivity.
Our team works in a hybrid manner, which means the office in which they work for a few days of the week is now a place where they feel they can work their best. We have an open space concept for our team, which allows them to work anywhere, with anyone, or alone. We found having options promotes creativity and excitement within the office, which helps to strengthen our company culture.
Showcase Employee Successes
Each month, I organize a celebratory event distinguishing a top performer who has achieved success from the previous month. This allows employees to express collective enthusiasm and recognition for their colleagues’ accomplishments, which helps foster job satisfaction and productivity.
The shared sense of joy can help unify team members in pursuing common goals and break down silos between departments. In this way, we celebrate small victories while striving for larger ones together.
Cultivate Individual Purpose Alignment
Society has changed, and what people want from their work has changed. Employees now yearn for interesting work that makes a difference and aligns with their sense of purpose and values.
They seek leaders who genuinely care about them as individuals, and they are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to learn and grow. Understanding this, we work with our clients to cultivate a workplace culture focused on individual purpose alignment.
This strategy means that the company invests time in understanding the individual strengths, passions, and values of their employees and aligning their work accordingly. Our role as leaders is to nurture a positive environment where job satisfaction isn’t a perk but a given.
Our clients have seen a marked rise in productivity, engagement, and overall job satisfaction, reinforcing our belief that when work resonates with an employee’s personal mission, magic happens.