How to Improve Work Environment for Employees
We all talk about improving employee productivity but more often than not, we overlook the most important factor that drives it.
For a flourishing workplace culture and superior employee experience, fostering a positive working environment is crucial.
It goes without saying that our work environment influences everything from mental well-being and stress levels to performance and overall productivity.
In this regard, it’s worth noting that creating a healthy work atmosphere entails more than just tweaking your office’s interior design and changing the color of the cubicles.
In fact, in this era of hybrid work culture, the notion of “work environment” extends well beyond the physical workplace.
As more companies adapt to the new hybrid working norms, most managers feel that they need not focus on improving the work environment as employees are not visiting the workplace anymore.
However, that’s far from the truth.
There’s still a lot that can be done in order to improve an organization’s work environment.
Top 7 ways to improve the work environment for employees
There is no reason to believe that work should feel like a dull and repetitive endeavor under pressure.
Gone are the days when employees needed to leave their passionate souls at their homes as they left their families for work.
Now that employees have gotten the pleasurable experience of hybrid work culture, it is a mandate for companies to promote a happy work environment. If not, it would only lead to a high staff attrition rate.
Besides, there would be an immediate impact on the overall work performance of the employees, as well as their mood and productivity.
Let us take a look at some of the most important aspects to consider in order to improve an organization’s working environment for good.
1. Manage employee experience
The most obvious way to improve your work environment is to manage employee experience.
One way to do that is to incorporate an employee feedback, rewards, and recognition program. Such a program not only helps to boost employee engagement, but also leads to greater business benefits, including greater productivity and higher employee retention.
In a recent survey, 37% of participants rated personal recognition as the single most effective technique that motivates them to bring out their best efforts.
Employee experience management programs are highly effective because they put a spotlight on the positive sides of work and let employees know that their efforts matter to the organization.
2. Employee volunteering/donation matching program
You may ask how “employee volunteering” can benefit your organization’s work culture and environment.
Meaningful employee volunteering programs can promote great causes. Additionally, they can lead to a long-term positive influence on people who participate in these programs.
Volunteering can have a transforming influence on not only the individuals that participate, but also the organizations that promote such a program, the surrounding communities, and the overall society. These programs serve as the gateway to active citizenship, solidarity, and social inclusion.
That’s all about the impact such programs have on the communities they serve.
Now, let us see how your organization can benefit from such programs. It has been found that employee volunteering, such as donation matching programs help improve employee retention and workplace motivation and happiness, which, in turn, leads to higher productivity.
Employees express great joy in being able to contribute meaningfully to a well-defined and important community need for a greater good.
You may want to check out this guide from Alayagood.com to get a grasp of the different donation matching programs you can introduce to your workplace today.
3. Ensure a positive onboarding experience
When they said, “first impressions last the longest”, they said it right.
It’s a given that a positive employee experience begins on the very first day they step into their office.
According to a recent survey, 64% of participants’ morale was negatively impacted because of a hostile work environment.
The same survey also reports that unwelcoming senior employees lead to turning off about 44 percent of new hires on their first day at the office.
That’s why companies must have special onboarding events in place.
As a manager, you must aim to understand the requirements and expectations of your new hire if you wish to cast a long-lasting positive first impression.
Even a simple exercise such as brief introductions and explanation of respective job responsibilities, as well as physical or virtual office tours, can go a long way to make your new hires feel comfortable. Besides, it would also enable them to stay on the same page with your organization’s culture.
4. Develop a positive corporate culture
Your company culture is generally made up of a wide range of factors, including leadership style, organizational structure, company values, as well as internal conduct, and communication.
Let’s be honest!
Any organization’s internal operations have a considerable impact on its overall working environment. In order to make your work environment a more positive one, you should work on updating your culture on a regular basis.
Remember, setting a corporate culture is not a one-time project. Insist, building an ideal business culture necessitates the active involvement of employees across all levels of the company, from managers and CEOs to front-line employees.
At the end of the day, your aim should be to foster employee development.
And to do that, it is of utmost necessity to motivate your teammates to bring their best efforts to the table. That is only possible if everyone in the company remains on the same page, as far as following the corporate culture is concerned.
5. Put a premium on the employees’ well-being
These days, we hear a lot about mental health.
Unfortunately, not many employers think this is important.
In reality, a company’s management must contribute positively towards the maintenance of their employees’ well-being. Mere observation would not work. Instead, active participation and action are necessary.
According to a study by Workplace, 58% of employees want to leave their jobs if they feel that their corporate leaders have no empathy for their requirements.
One way to improve your employees’ well-being is to offer them corporate benefits, such as flexible work schedules, complimentary event passes, gym memberships, and free counseling. These all can help in reducing overall workplace stress and improve well-being.
Additionally, an open-door policy that allows your staff to speak freely with their respective team leaders about mental health could bring much more benefits to the table. Here are the essentials for keeping your team safe at work.
6. Encourage inclusivity and diversity
Another way to improve or enhance your company’s work environment is to introduce diversity.
Companies that hire people belonging to various age classes, nationalities, religions, cultures, and genders, tend to be more innovative and forward-thinking.
In contrast, companies with poor diversity can often hit a roadblock, when it comes to welcoming change.
Thanks to the flourishing nature of digital media, an increasing number of organizations are emerging as global entities.
As the need of the hour, your company should be ready to embrace diversity and inclusivity if it wants to become a global entity.
When people from various cultures, regions, customs, and societies come together, they bring with them distinctive and new ideas. They introduce a new perspective on issues and bring more problem-solving options. This leads to more creativity, which, in turn, results in a happier work environment.
Remember, diversity aids in the development of a strong work culture, which, in the long term, proves beneficial for the organization.
7. Encourage a good work-life balance
If you have not already noticed, the term “work-life balance” is frequently overused these days.
As mentioned before, the hybrid working trend has transformed the way employees look at work. Consequently, job seekers are looking for work-life balance more than ever.
If your organization cannot offer its employees what they are looking for, it would ultimately lead to the deterioration of the overall work culture and environment.
Work-life balance can include anything, from extra vacation time and more flexible office hours to work-from-home options.
Organizations should aim to create a favorable work environment that encourages their employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance, even when they are at work.
As a general rule of thumb, one must ensure that there’s enough reason for the employees to be happy at their workplace.
In order to do that, you may want to conduct team-building and employee engagement events, organize hobby-related activities and office parties, employee rewards programs, etc.
Speaking of a happy workplace, you may want to read 9 proven ways to create a productive and happy workplace.
As we close the curtains, here is a final tip that will help your organization to foster a favorable work environment that encourages employee productivity.
The key here is to facilitate open communication.
When organizational leaders allow employees to freely interact with them, it is more likely that the staff would not only respect their employer but also develop a passion for their workplace.
When people join a company, they don’t solely do it for the money. In fact, most employees expect their leaders to recognize them and allow them to communicate honestly.
The future of work in the post-COVID-19 world is completely transformed.
As remote working models become more common, companies should aim to include certain practices in their operational mix so that their employees do not feel alienated.
Again, inclusion is the key to building a motivating work environment.