Creating a positive work environment for your employees has always been central to a successful business. The Great Resignation movement has made creating a supportive, nurturing environment even more important as more people leave their current jobs for better options elsewhere. To gauge whether your company’s work environment is favorable, ask yourself and your employees a few questions.
Are Your Company Values Clearly Evident?
Clearly state your company’s values and put them into practice. Ask your employees if they know your company values and whether they are in full force. Paying lip service to diversity sounds great but be aware that you need to take active steps to get there, even if it means taking some extra steps. If you are a “family-focused business,” make sure your employees know this by being flexible with hours, maternity and paternity leave, and other options.
Do Employees Get Positive Reinforcement?
Merely working for your paycheck is survival. Getting positive reinforcement for a job well done elevates work from something you trudge through to something you look forward to doing. Be sure you offer incentives for a job well done, bonuses, educational opportunities to your employees. Little gestures like catered lunches, casual days, and paid parking can go a long way toward everyone feeling appreciated and seen. The most obvious way to give positive reinforcement is through regular pay raises. In the long run, pay raises result in a loyal, dedicated staff rather than a revolving door of employees.
Does Management Listen?
Management has an often thankless job. Sometimes this turns into a battle, with management seen by employees as the enemy. Make sure your managers are trained in conflict resolution and are willing to listen to and learn from their employees. An open-door policy, a sympathetic ear, and an encouraging management style go a long way toward a positive work environment. Compassion for each employee as an individual also goes a long way.
Are There Growth Opportunities?
Employees can burn out if they are dedicated and hardworking but don’t see any way to rise in the company hierarchy. Offering advancement and clarifying how your employees can achieve their career goals within your organization is crucial to employee satisfaction. Offer continuing education, opportunities to attend conferences or seminars, and promote from within whenever possible.
Does Your Company Foster a Hostile Work Environment?
When employees complain they are uncomfortable with workplace jokes, procedures, or the overall environment, listen and take action. There is no room for “they’re just joking,” “lighten up,” or “it’s always been this way” in today’s world. If there is hostility, resentment, or sexual harassment of any kind, you have to nip it in the bud. Avoid unhappy employees and potential lawsuits. Mandatory training on recognizing and stopping harassment should be given to all employees, including management.
Fostering a positive work environment requires action on your part. Dignity and respect are the cornerstones. Resources like The Respectful Workplace Toolkit at hsi.com provide complete programs that help you get there.