Culture is a term regularly associated with offices and sales organizations. Employees working in a positive work environment feel that the culture better reflects their beliefs and values and, in turn, they are more effective, efficient, and fulfilled in the work they do.
While there are many obvious reasons for wanting to improve your work environment, we have identified four below.
- Employee’s take more pride in the work they do for a company they believe in.
Jobs that fulfill employees’ need to belong and make them feel they are part of something bigger. This feeling can lead to many great things – one of the most important being; pride. If employees begin to feel prideful about their work, they will do what it takes to go above and beyond your expectations. Additionally, being proud of what you do, makes you want to stay. But improving the work environment for your team, not only do you increase their willingness to exceed expectations, but it increases employee retention as well.
- Developing your work environment helps prevent negative consequences.
What’s sometimes MORE important than the benefits of a good work environment, is avoiding the negative effects of a bad one. Employees are more likely to display poor working habits in a negative work environment, leading to a decrease in performance and results. Negative working conditions can lead to increased team-conflict, hostility, fears of dismissal, stress, and unhappiness. More seriously, negative work environments can also lead to insomnia, anxiety, and even depression. And when even one employee is unhappy at work, it effects everyone else in the office. You’ve heard the saying, “misery loves company.” People feel comfortable venting about their stresses when they know their colleagues are as well. So as a manager, the more you can develop a positive work environment, the more it will pay off for everyone.
- There is an inverse relationship between cost and employees’ levels of happiness.
The Harvard Business Review recently ran a story highlighting some very impactful findings about the cost of healthcare for companies relative to employees’ levels of happiness. Healthcare expenditures are nearly 50% higher at high-pressure companies than other organizations. The APA estimates that more than 500 billion dollars are attributed to healthcare cost relating to workplace stress. On top of this, 550 million workdays are lost to each year to stress in the United States. If these jarring statistics weren’t enough to sway you, consider workplace accidents. 80% of all injuries that occur in an office setting can be attributed to stress.
While employees’ health is probably the most concerning aspect of negative work environment, it’s important to keep a close eye on your team members, to make sure you don’t notice any of the symptoms mentioned above. And if you do, talk to your team members and work as a team to determine how the environment can be improved, so employees aren’t negatively affected – especially from a health standpoint.
- It builds a supportive culture that fosters growth for individuals and your organization.
While there are certainly many elements of a positive work environment, research has shown that the most important pieces are; maintaining friendly relationships with colleagues, providing support, avoid giving blame, inspiring others, providing meaningful work, and respect. This kind of culture allows employees to feel safe and at home when they are with the organization. Your team members should feel comfortable coming into the office everyday – not stressed or upset. This allows for better social connections, empathy, collaboration, and encouragement among team members, which will ultimately lead to the growth of your team and business as a whole.
Providing an environment that allows individuals to take pride in their work, avoid negative consequences, reduce costs, and foster of a supportive culture is a no-brainer. With proper planning, this win-win scenario that can help take your organization to the next level.