So in any job, you need to have a positive work environment. It helps to boost morale, to keep everyone working at their best, and to make sure that there are no workplace conflicts. A lack of a positive work environment can make it harder to ensure productivity, actually. For example, if your colleagues or employees are constantly fighting about small things, it distracts from the work, and you lose time you would normally spend working. It can disturb others and create a negative space, the very opposite of a positive work environment.
You want to create or be responsible for partly creating a space which is open for discussion and debate (especially if your work requires this to function), and where conflict resolution is always well-handled and doesn’t devolve into personal attacks. The workplace should be a professional workplace, and a place where everyone can get their work done properly and their skills can be appreciated.
So how do you go about contributing to a positive work environment?
This is an easy way to ensure that you’re in a professional workplace. Your workplace culture should be such that you should (as an employee) always be respectful to your colleagues, to your subordinates, and to your superiors. This is a good way to make sure that they feel appreciated and that no workplace conflicts break out. Don’t treat someone differently just because they’re in a lower position than you at work; it’s not the right thing to do, and in any case, it could be harder for you later if they’re promoted. Be courteous and kind to everyone, unless you’re on the receiving end of disrespect. Even in that case, try to ensure there are no behavioral issues on your end. As an employer, you should try to enforce this atmosphere of a respectful work culture by being respectful to your employees yourself. And as a woman employer, you definitely shouldn’t tolerate disrespect either!
Have the occasional social outing
Part of creating a positive work environment is allowing co-workers the occasional social occasion. If your workers get along, this might reduce the chance of workplace conflicts. Although these should not be compulsory, the occasional gathering after hours or maybe a group dinner at a favourite bar or restaurant might be just the thing to encourage workplace camaraderie. As an employee, you should try to join these events whenever possible; it will ensure that you’ve formed some good relationships with your co-workers.
Be clear on the core values
As an employee, you need to represent the core values of the company so that you can all work as a team towards company goals. Make sure you’re clear on what your tasks are and what you have to do individually and as a group. If you are working in a specific department, make sure you know what you have to do and what you are all doing collectively. As an employer, it’s also your job to set these goals and targets, and to make sure that the company’s production is neither above or beneath those goals. If your workers are meeting the goals too easily, for example, it’s time to adjust them.
Keep it light
Yes, you don’t need to have your employees laughing every minute, that would be a detriment to the work. But positive work culture means that you need to minimise stress in the environment. To a certain extent, employees need to have some pressure on them, but not so much that it affects their work and their ability to think clearly. Make sure there’s a sense of optimism at the workplace, and appreciate the work your employees are doing. If you’re an employee, you have to make sure you contribute positivity to work, rather than spreading negativity.
Allow for adjustments
As an employer, you need to remember that your colleagues are people, not robots. Women, particularly, might have more problems, because in many parts of the world, they run the household. They might have personal problems that might affect their productivity. If you feel that something is affecting their work, or if you’ve noticed any changes in their conduct, try to discuss it with them and be flexible. They will respect you for the fact that you value their work and are willing to discuss problems with them. As a co-worker, be kind to your other colleagues. If someone requires a small favour or a bit of extra work from you and you can manage it, then do it. These are things that your co-workers will remember and respect you for.
The burden of creating a positive work environment and reducing workplace conflicts falls on both employers and employees, although, of course, it’s for the employer to lead.