It's no secret that a positive attitude leads to better mental, emotional, and physical wellness. However, these benefits aren't limited to just personal health. Harvard Business Review found that positive work culture is linked to better employee performance, increased productivity, and lower healthcare costs.
Today's working world is very fast-paced, and can even be high-pressure. Many employers and even employees, see these types of work environments and equate them to bigger work achievements and higher career growth. Of course longer hours and high performance standards result in higher output, but any output may be lost because of negative aspects of this strategy. A high-pressure work culture leads to increased employee stress, disengagement, and high turnover.
This stress then leads to a decrease in employee health and an increased risk for health problems like cardiovascular disease. Benefits Pro found that workplace stress is costing employers over $500 billion dollars, annually. So even if a high pressure work environment yields more output in the short term, the long term negative health and financial effects are not worth it.
A positive work culture doesn't require many resources. In fact, compassionate leadership and engaging interactions are key to creating a great work culture. Here are 3 ways to create a positive work environment and boost employee productivity:
1. Value Employee's Health and Wellbeing
This may seem obvious, but it's important to value employee's health and wellbeing, not just on the surface level. Stress and health problems have a real impact on performance and overall productivity. Many companies think that a long list of tangible benefits will equate to employee wellbeing, but that's not really the case. Mini-fridges, hockey tables, and snacks are all great, but these are surface level benefits. Companies can show that they truly value employee's wellbeing by offering free fitness classes, flexible scheduling options, and engaging speaker series, for example.
2. Invest Time in Training Managers to Motivate their Employees
It's important to invest the time to train management to incorporate respect, compassion, and encouragement into their leadership style. These strategies can help keep employee morale high and keep workplace stress low. The behavior and attitude of managers has a significant effect on the entire organization. While managers should be professional, and adhere to any policies, it's important that they do so with an approach that isn't belittling, overwhelming, or unnecessarily stressful to employees. Leaders that go the extra mile to help struggling employees can make a huge impact on employee's self-esteem and outlook on their company. Approaching any performance issues as a learning opportunity rather than making an example out of it can make all the difference. Employees will build confidence within the organization and become motivated to improve their own skills and performance.
3. Create Opportunities for Social Connections
Connecting employees has been a big challenge for companies during COVID-19. However, the need for social connection at work has grown even higher during the pandemic. Employers have an opportunity to engage employees virtually, especially for employees that were onboarded remotely. This could include things such as setting up 1:1 networking chats across the organization, setting up educational workshops, or having virtual happy hours. Social connection can really help employees feel motivated and enjoy the workplace.
After all of the unpredictability of 2020, a positive work environment is the key to keeping employee's wellbeing up and maintaining productivity in the organization.