Most people spend less than three hours each workday on job-related activities. That’s a staggering 39 percent of the day if you work an 8-hour workday.
Invest in your workplace culture to avoid falling into the productivity trap.
A positive workplace helps you increase the amount of time your employees spend making your business successful. Boost morale in the office with these strategies for building a positive workplace.
Risks vs Rewards
Do your employees feel comfortable taking risks? One of the easiest ways to detect whether you’re fostering a positive workplace is to count the number of risks taken by your team in the last six months.
If everyone seems too timid to take risks beyond their immediate job description, they might feel intimidated or fearful of making mistakes. Your work environment needs to be a place of learning not toxic competition.
Toxic competition happens when one employee’s mistake becomes another employee’s opportunity for promotion. Never reward an employee for capitalizing on the mistakes of someone else on the team.
The team should look for ways to collectively solve mistakes brought on by risk. This won’t happen without healthy employee morale.
If you can motivate your team to take risks, you’re encouraging innovation instead of fear. Fear breeds inaction.
Expect an employee to take the safe route if they’re fearful. You’ll get back the tasks you assign, but nothing more.
If that leaves an additional four hours in the workday, it’ll quickly be filled with news, in-office gossip, or social media.
Positive Workplace Activities
Another way to create a more positive workplace is to plan regular company activities. Sometimes these activities happen in the office, but the most effective activities happen off-site where you can break from the monotony of routine.
Help your team get to know each other outside of the formality of the office. You want them able to build a healthy rapport with one another to create an environment of trust.
Not everyone will become best friends after a company retreat, but if your employees leave with more empathy for one another, it’s a win for everyone.
Empathy can be the difference between employees helping one another during a setback or stepping over the person to ‘keep the ball rolling.’ You want your employees to notice the weaknesses of teammates and make up the difference.
Think of your favourite sports team. The star player wouldn’t be anything without the support of others playing their positions with excellence.
Do they get paid as much as the star player? Probably not.
Do they get as many rewards as the star player? Definitely not.
Yet, athletes still find the motivation to be a strong second. You can encourage a similar environment where employees feel happy even when they aren’t the top paid or most recognized.
One way to encourage a positive workplace of supportive teammates is to treat your employees like a team instead of individuals. When one person reaches the sales quota for the month, reward their department.
Team rewards encourage your employees to think like a group. You’ll also find that they begin to notice one another’s strengths instead of weaknesses.
The extent to which this happens depends on how far-reaching your rewards program goes. If you’re regularly rewarding your teams, with Christmas employee rewards for example, you’ll notice them finding more reasons to be awesome throughout the year. If the rewards are hard to get, the impact of your team building might be slower but longer-lasting.
Find the balance between the two based on your workplace culture.
Make sure your organization is competitive in its salary and benefits offering. Notice that advice doesn’t say ‘offer the highest salary.’
You want to be in the range of a competitive salary, but don’t necessarily have to offer the highest pay. In a positive workplace culture, your employees have far more opportunities than at a competitor’s office where the pay is astronomical but the team works 14-hour days.
Your goal with a competitive salary is to maintain high morale. Employees shouldn’t feel the temptation to look elsewhere because their pay is so low.
Avoid insulting your top talent by keeping your salary minimums on par with your local industry.
Attract Top Talent
New companies will always struggle to attract top talent if the pay isn’t competitive and your business has a bad internal reputation. Expect unhappy employees to complain to friends and family which leads to a poor reputation for your business.
You want to attract top talent by creating a positive workplace that creates raving fans of your business. Employees are your main ambassadors for the workplace culture.
They’ll leave reviews on sites like GlassDoor or nominate you for business awards like ‘Best Work-Life Balance.’ These are really important rules of measure for people on the job hunt.
Top talent will gravitate toward companies that are a place for both professional and personal growth.
The Domino Effect
A positive workplace is contagious. Once you plant a few seeds of happiness in your office, you’ll eventually spread the joy to clients.
New employees won’t have to be told to feel happy if they see senior employees demonstrating positive attitudes and a healthy sense of teamwork. Your company might have a long way to go in building a positive workplace, but it’s worth the effort when you create a workplace filled with productive employees.
Host regular company retreats where employees can learn from one another and build trust. The result will be a happier place for each employee to work and grow.