Businesses that foster a positive workplace atmosphere can reap the benefits of an engaged workforce. With an empowered employee culture, staffers are loyal, motivated to exceed company goals and talk highly of their company to co-workers and friends. This, in turn, can boost your company’s bottom line. Conversely, a negative work environment is likely to cause turnover and hurt revenue.
How a healthy workplace helps your business
Creating a workplace atmosphere that boosts employee morale provides many benefits, including improved productivity, increased creativity, stress reduction and strong company loyalty. Let’s take a closer look at these key advantages.
- Productivity: A happy workplace can motivate workers to surpass goals, work efficiently and generally perform better than their peers in low-spirited work environments. The end result may be higher revenue in your business bank account. [See the best tools for tracking employee goals.]
- Creativity: When employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas, you allow their creativity to blossom. This gives your staff the confidence to effectively innovate and efficiently solve problems.
- Healthiness: A toxic company culture can increase stress both at work and at home. High-stress levels cause physical sickness that can impact overall work performance. Employees are generally healthier when working in a productive atmosphere, which can prevent sick days and leaves of absence.
- Loyalty: When you provide employees with a positive work environment, they often don’t mind going above and beyond what’s requested of them, and are less likely to defect to a rival company. Happy staffers root for a business’s success and are committed to carrying out its vision.
Did you know? An MIT Sloan Management Review study found that toxic work culture is the top factor in employee turnover, and that work atmosphere is 10 times more important than competitive pay in predicting turnover.
How a bad workplace atmosphere hurts your business
A poor workplace atmosphere can lead to poor performance from good employees. In the U.S. alone, employee disengagement costs companies more than $500 billion every year – affecting productivity, wellness and revenue.
A work environment with ineffective leadership can make superstar employees feel as if they’re not wanted or appreciated. If management is only looking out for what is in their own best interests, and doesn’t effectively communicate within the group, the negativity will trickle down to their staff. Unfortunately, this negativity can ruin employees’ confidence and care for the workplace. When employees lose interest in their company, they become “check-collectors.”
These unmotivated team members only show up to do enough work to get by and get paid. They aren’t focused on performing their best, aren’t interested in increasing your small business’s productivity and may feel burnt out. Their negativity will most likely spread to other colleagues.
A weak culture also demoralizes staffers and negatively influences manager-employee relations. Workers may even opt to leave in favor of a better environment elsewhere. With all of these consequences, it’s unlikely a business with a bad workplace atmosphere can succeed at the level necessary to sustain the business.
In contrast, an engaged employee considers what’s in the company’s best interest. It drives them and allows them to grow and get better at their job, so both your staff and company thrives.
FYI: If an employee decides to ditch your lousy workplace atmosphere, it can cost you up to two times their salary to replace them, according to GOBankingRates.
How to create a good work atmosphere
1. Prioritize physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
The most crucial aspect of creating a positive workplace requires a four-prong approach. You want to make employees feel valued – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. A business that honors workers as humans instead of faceless worker bees can help reduce turnover, burnout and overall indifference at work. This means supporting employee mental health, empowering your staff, encouraging exercise and rewarding top workers with discretionary bonuses.
2. Collect employee feedback.
Before you can improve employee engagement, you need to take the pulse of your team. Sometimes receiving feedback may feel taboo, and people may be reluctant to advise someone they consider a superior. However, if you don’t know how staffers feel about your workplace, you can’t offer improvements. Fortunately, recent advancements in HR tools have made it easy to conduct surveys and get actionable feedback.
Tip: Even informal feedback can have an impact on both company decisions and employee performance. Based on the feedback you receive from casual, everyday conversations, make course corrections as necessary and glean which employees deserve bonuses.
3. Focus on social responsibility.
Nowadays, both consumers and workers are looking for companies that follow ethical practices. That means lessening your business’s carbon footprint, contributing to charitable causes and taking a stand on social issues. Employees are more likely to be highly motivated if they feel the work they do has a meaningful impact and the company culture reflects their values. Determine your business’s core tenets, and invite employees to give back in ways that correlate what is personally important to them.
How do you know if you’re on the right path when it comes to improving your workplace atmosphere? If you want to discern whether you’re providing a positive environment, take a look at your employee turnover rate, worker attendance and even how your customers are feeling. You can gauge the kind of culture you’re facilitating based on whether employees and clients alike are showing loyalty. With the right atmosphere, you can see both profits and your business’s reputation grow.
Jeffrey Fermin contributed to the writing and research in this article.