18 August 2022
How to foster a positive work environment to improve recruitment
How do you measure the success of your business: turnover, innovation and product realisation, perhaps customer satisfaction? However you do it, in most cases, you’ll find you’ve got your employees to thank for these achievements. It’s all their hard work that went into it, but how can you ensure they keep working their very best?
The term ‘positive work environment’ is becoming an increasingly prominent phrase in the fields of recruitment and HR. In essence the idea behind it is that employees who feel fulfilled and secure in their role work better and ultimately lead to the company, as a whole, succeeding.
What’s more, organisations that have a reputation for having a positive work environment find it easier to recruit and retain top talent. This is all very well and good, but what measures can you take to try and promote a more positive environment in your organisation? Here are a few considerations:
Make room for mishaps
In an ideal world mistakes wouldn’t happen, but in the real world they do and it’s important to remember this. Everyone slips up now and then and it’s important to let employees feel like they can be human and make the occasional error without fear.
This creates an open and creative atmosphere in which employees feel safe and supported, rather than one in which they’re afraid to act in case they do the wrong thing.
If a member of the team keeps making the same mistake, rather than show them the door, take the holistic approach and ask yourself how you could help them to get it right next time: after all, it’s been proven time and time again that it’s cheaper to retain and train than it is to recruit and onboard someone else.
Time to unwind
While a factory machine might be able to run on full all day, humans are not machines and they need to take a break now and then to decompress and consider their next action.
While the temptation will always be there to crack the whip and keep employees moving on to the next thing, these types of work environments tend to lead to a high burnout rate which in turn leads to absenteeism and employee turnover, which could completely mitigate any perceived economic benefit from having a constantly ‘on’ work environment.
The likes of Google, Dyson and Apple are famed for their office amenities which include rock climbing walls, mini-golf and free takeaway pizza spots, to allow employees to take a bit of a breather when they’re feeling the pressure, but you don’t need to take it anywhere near this far.
Instead, just try and let your employees know that if they need to take 10 minutes to get some air and decompress, they’re welcome to do so.
Nobody likes to feel like all the hours they’re putting in are going unnoticed. So recognising everyone in your organisation for what they do is important. Remember that while financial incentives to hit targets will always make you a popular boss, softer recognition such as acknowledging and thanking people for what they’ve done is also important.
Many organisations fall down the trap of only acknowledging the work of people working in teams where success is easily quantifiable — such as sales teams who’ve surpassed their targets or development teams who reached their deadlines. Don’t forget about other divisions and people such as those accounts and HR. They serve an important role too.
While bonuses, pay increases and recognition are important, employees also need to feel like they’re developing in their profession. Allowing staff to learn new skills, develop existing ones and earn industry-recognised qualifications creates a positive, progressive, working environment.
There are a great many benefits to creating a culture of continued learning in your business Deloitte has said, “Organisations with high-impact learning delivered profit growth three times greater than their competitors, Why is this? Simply put – if you can keep your employees current and skilled, you can evolve and perform better than your competitors.”
Lastly don’t forget to check in periodically with employees and train your executives and managers to do the same. Hold quarterly 1-to-1 meetings with employees to see how they’re getting on, what they’re happy with and what they’re not.
For these sessions to work, you need to assure employees that anything they say will be kept confidential (unless they ask for it to be passed on) and that they are free to say whatever they want to without any fear of reprisal.
These sessions will not only prove cathartic for employees, they also help you view your company from another perspective, letting you understand how certain actions might make your team feel as a whole.
It will also give you inspiration for positive changes and improvements you can make for the business that could give you that all-important edge over the competition.
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