Your employees are the number one asset to your company. They can elevate the entire organization, allowing it to reach important goals and milestones ahead of schedule. How you motivate them to do this—to be more productive—matters.
Negativity and Competition Elevate Stress
Research shows that organizations with high-pressure environments, where employees compete against each other, create stressful conditions that affect their personal health and well-being. There are hidden costs related to promoting this type of cut-throat atmosphere. Employees are more likely to call in sick and up to 80% of all workplace accidents can be attributed to increased stress.
How to Foster a Positive Environment
Spending the time and money to create a positive company culture is more than worth it. First, it increases employee well-being through improved positive emotions. Your employees will improve their relationships with each other, which in turn magnifies their productivity. When you develop a positive work culture, you also protect your business from negativity that may arise from stressful conditions or toxic behaviors. Within a positive environment, your employees will be able to bounce back from challenges and difficulties while bolstering their health.
Every business is unique. It has its own culture and way of doing things. Making the environment more positive for employees hinges upon your engaged leadership and following these 4 principles.
1. Promote Healthy Connections
Too often, interpersonal relationships are discouraged out of fear that they may lead to negative outcomes. While you don’t necessarily want to promote intimate relationships, you will want to encourage friendships that improve communication and reduce conflict. Workplaces with positive social connections reduce stress, encourage learning and memory, as well as improved mental acuity. Overall, your employees will perform better on the job. Toxic, stress-filled workplaces affect social relationships, so try to manage those before they have a dramatic effect on your employees.
2. Show Empathy
One of the ways to build healthy connections with and between your employees is to show empathy. Leadership has a major impact on how employees feel. Many times throughout the day, they have the unique ability to engage with their employees in meaningful ways. Employees that don’t have any connection with their boss will often avoid them to cover up any mistakes or poor performance.
3. Self-Sacrificing – Offering Help
One of the best ways to inspire your employees is to help them when you don’t need to. This allows you to work closely with them while helping them with their daily tasks. Try to relax and let them show you how they do it. Remember, you’re not supervising, you’re helping. You may learn something from them along the way. This often leads to them going out of their way to help fellow employees and customers.
4. Encourage Employees to Confide in You
You’re not their therapist, but you are someone that is very important in their life. In order to be more empathetic, you’ll need to listen to them and their challenges, whether it’s at home or work. This will open up your relationship with them. In return, they will feel safer rather than afraid of reprisal.
Setting the Tone
As a leader, you set the tone for your organization. By building stronger interpersonal relationships, you enable your employees to express their worries and frustrations. You allow them to be themselves and this creates a give and take relationship. Kindness and positivity are strong predictors of effectiveness because a positive work climate will boost engagement, performance, and productivity.
Happy employees also improve the customer experience. They care more about their customers, especially when a problem occurs, and go out of their way to make sure that they are completely satisfied.
Finally, happy employees also attract positive individuals. That’s really important when the labor market is as tight as it has been over the past year. Overall, when you develop a positive work culture, every aspect of your entire organization will reap the benefits.