Search I95 Business Magazine




Stay Positive
Four Reasons to Create a Positive Work Environment and Why It’s Important

October 2017

Chris McDonell, President of McDonell Consulting Group,

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.

A well-defined and established company culture does not stay that way on its own. For example: If you have ever planted a large garden bed, it always feels rewarding to stand back when done and admire the finished product. However, if four months go by with no watering, maintenance or proper weeding, the garden will deteriorate – and look awful.

While there are many obvious reasons for wanting to improve your work environment, we have identified four below.

1. Employees take more pride in 1the work they do for a company they believe in.

Jobs that fulfill employees’ need to belong make them feel that 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 by improving the work environment for your team, not only do you increase their willingness to exceed expectations, but it also increases employee retention.

2. Developing your work environment helps prevent the 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 affects 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.

3. There is an inverse relationship 3between cost and employees’ levels of happiness.

The Harvard Business Review recently ran a story highlighting some very impactful findings about the cost of health care for companies relative to employees’ levels of happiness. Health care expenditures are nearly 50 percent higher at high-pressure companies than other organizations. The APA estimates that more than $500 billion is attributed to health care costs relating to workplace stress. On top of this, 550 million workdays are lost each year to stress in the United States. If these jarring statistics weren’t enough to sway you, consider workplace accidents – 80 percent 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 that employees aren’t negatively affected – especially from a health standpoint.

4. It builds a supportive culture that 4fosters 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, inspiring others, providing meaningful work, respect and avoid giving blame. In fact, blame costs money. Blame rarely enhances our understanding of our situation and often hampers effective problem-solving. So how do we avoid the tendency to blame and create organizational environments where we turn less frequently to blame? Clarifying accountability is one option. This process of assigning responsibilities for a situation in advance can help create a culture of real learning. Accountability comes from clear contracting, ongoing conversations and an organizational commitment to support accountability rather than blame.

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 every day – 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 a supportive culture is a no-brainer. With proper planning, this win-win scenario that can help take your organization to the next level. I95 Content Marketing

Chris McDonell, President of McDonell Consulting Group, a licensed Sandler Training center based in Baltimore, has over 25 years of experience in sales and executive leadership. He has formed successful partnerships with both small and large companies in a wide variety of industries.