How to create a positive work environment
First a disclaimer: this headline is not suggesting your workplace isn't a positive place already.
Most managers understand the importance of morale. After all, happy workers work harder and are far more focused because their job isn't the only important thing to them; the company they work for is as well.
Happy workers take less sick days, have less spats with co-workers and suffer less unfortunate run-ins with machinery. Happy workers are also loyal workers far less likely to peruse the situations vacant in their lunch break and far more likely to stay for years.
Quite simply, happy workers pay you back big time. Here are some great ways to keep them that way.
Enhance your work environment
They may seem like small things but plants, good lighting and water fountains enhance your workplace atmosphere and create a positive mood. Plants can even have a calming effect on those working around them. Not too calming, of course, as you probably don't want to encourage afternoon siestas.
Get to know your workers
Whatever the size of your company, get to know every one of your workers by name and make a conscious effort to say hi to some of them every day. The bigger your company, the more impact this will have. Think Richard Branson stopping by to chat with a Virgin Airlines baggage handler. And he probably does.
Don't wait for reviews - show your appreciation daily
Show appreciation when it's least expected. And always show it when it's most expected. Good work left unpraised damages the desire to do more good work. Decent or even average work applauded can only lead to the desire to do better. Remember, you can't say 'Thank you,' too often.
Many managers feel they need to distance themselves from staff to retain respect. Often staff will relate far better to a boss they know on a more social, human level. So mix with your staff (within reason) and make your office a fun place to work.
Or to put it more bluntly, don't be a control freak. Some managers enquire about progress every five minutes, offer endless advice and ultimately make most of the decisions themselves. This does nothing more than undermine confidence. Good managers delegate then disappear until it's done.
Don't fret about the internet
It's not uncommon for managers to read and monitor staff emails. Not only does this breed an atmosphere of mistrust, workers subjected to such personal intrusions will soon disappear into cyberspace. Tell your workers what they can and can't do on the internet and chances are most of them will.
Be the Good News Bear
Call weekly meetings to discuss all the good news and positive events from the previous week. Far too many staff meetings tend to be called for negative reasons. So turn it around with a Good News weekly meeting and let the positivity flow.
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