Here are ways you can create a work environment that is safe, productive, and one that your employees will be grateful for.
There are many things to consider if you run a business. If you are starting a new business there are even more things that you need to consider. One important thing that all business owners need to think about regularly is providing a safe and productive work environment for their employees.
This may look differently for different business situations, but there are some things that are going to be common across all situations. Working in a safe and productive workplace will help your employees feel secure in their jobs and will also help your bottom line. Here are ways you can create a positive work environment.
It is important to create a sense of collaboration where team members can support each other. Showing appreciation for your team and helping them encourage each other will help foster an atmosphere of camaraderie. This doesn’t have to be a big or complicated program; it can be as easy as encouraging employees to encourage each other with your example.
It can also be a more structured approach. Using online tools to let team members log their appreciation is also useful. You can also use it to hold reflection sessions so your team can share the positive experiences with the rest of the team.
Open discussion between team members is essential to help everyone feel connected and important on the team. Discussions are a great way to test out new ideas and develop concepts in greater depth. It can also be a good way to figure out new ideas or ways of doing something that may not come to light working independently as team members build on the ideas of others.
One thing to keep in mind during discussions is to ensure that all voices are heard. Some team members will be more vocal than others and have a tendency to dominate the discussion. While they may have more things to say than others, it is still important to ensure that everyone feels like they are heard and have a voice.
Offering employees the necessary training is important for a safe and productive work environment. All staff needs to be trained on company procedures and policies to ensure that everyone is on the same page. It is also important that they have the training to prepare them to do their jobs like training for software, programs, or equipment needed to perform their job.
It is also important to provide training in other safety areas as well. With all the new health protocols in place for most businesses, it is important that employees know what is expected and how they can help protect themselves and the customers they may interact with. A drug and alcohol testing course or violence in the workplace course may also be beneficial.
When interacting with a group of people, it won’t take you long to discover that no two people react to situations in the same way. People communicate in different ways, solve problems in different ways, and receive feedback in different ways. While this can be a great asset to your team, it can also present challenges.
Knowing how to diffuse tension between two conflicting personalities is an important part of leadership. Understanding these personality differences yourself, and then helping your team to understand how to look at a situation through different eyes can really help your team be more cohesive.
Sometimes we get so caught up in righting wrongs or helping to correct mistakes that we forget to take time to celebrate the successes our team accomplishes. Usually, the success your team achieves is a group effort instead of the accomplishments of one person. It is important to celebrate these wins, even if they are small.
Celebrating wins helps people understand when they are doing the right thing and helps them feel good about the work they are doing. It can be demoralizing to only receive negative feedback and never hear about it when you are doing a good job.
Getting your team involved in how you celebrate wins is also important. While simply acknowledging positive accomplishments is sometimes enough, sometimes a bigger celebration is in order. Picking a goal to work towards and letting them choose how to celebrate can work as a motivation to reach the goal.
While there can be team building and bonding that happens during work, the best teams spend time with each other away from work as well. Taking time to do non-work-related activities is a good way to help strengthen friendships and bonds that will strengthen the working relationship as well. When people feel comfortable with each other and knit together, they will work well together.
Sometimes in order to have an honest discussion about sensitive issues, having anonymity will help people feel more comfortable sharing their opinions. People are much more likely to give honest feedback when they know they are not going to get in trouble for it in some way. The only way to do that effectively is to let them make comments anonymously.
We all have planning meetings where we make goals and look forward to the coming week and tasks, but it is also important to take time to reflect back on the past week as well. Taking a few minutes at your meeting to think about what we did well the past week can help motivate everyone moving forward to have a positive week.
If your team doesn’t think you trust them, it is going to be hard to work together. Sowing seeds of mistrust can be as easy as mismanaging or micromanaging. These tendencies can happen automatically, so we have to consciously work to overcome them.
Learning to delegate to your team can be hard, but it will also help your team members realize that you trust them and take responsibility for their work. If you have a hard time delegating, start with small things until you can build up trust.
One thing that can contribute to hurt feelings and negative situations is when team members are not on the same page. If one person is trying to meet one set of expectations while someone else is working towards different expectations, there is going to be a rift.
This can be caused by a miscommunication about who is in charge of what task or what the overall goal is going to be. Using an online project management tool to help you coordinate your team’s efforts can help you avoid sticky situations.
Within the program you can assign tasks, everyone can see what is done and what needs to be done, and due dates to reach the end goal on time. When expectations are clear and well-defined, you can avoid some problems and negative feelings.
Own the Space
It is also important that your employees feel at home in their workspace. Letting them own the space by decorating and reflecting their interests and tastes will help them to enjoy being there. This can be as simple as letting employees create a workplace they enjoy by bringing in plants, pictures, and other things to put on their desks.
You can also make more accommodations for personal preferences with the way that you furnish the office. Giving the option to have a standing desk or alternate chairs is one way that everyone can feel comfortable and at home. You can also make a more inviting environment by using lighting that is effective and keeping tea and coffee in the break room.