Creating Positive Work Environments

Creating positive work environments – 6 top strategies for employee happiness

As an employer, one of your priorities is to create a positive work environment – you know that happy, engaged staff make for better business outcomes. But it’s hard, right? Especially since the work environment may no longer be solely the office, with its team meetings, town halls and water-cooler moments. So in today’s working world, how can you create the positive environment that will support and nurture your team and ensure that they give you their top performance?

Below are our top tips for creating a positive work environment and how team building activities can play their part in helping you achieve them.

Tip 1 – Encourage open communication

Be transparent – communicate openly and honestly with your team and encourage them to do the same, with the leadership and with each other. This is not an excuse for a ‘free-for-all’ whinge, but means honest feedback and personal openness, with full mutual respect. Employees who work in this kind of environment are 80% more likely to say they have high levels of emotional well-being, and are 60% more likely to achieve better business outcomes.

You can only build a culture of open communication where there is trust, and team building events, where colleagues get to spend time together working on a joint endeavour, is a fast-track to creating it.

Tip 2 – Recognise and reward achievements

We all like to be recognised for our efforts and our results – and your team is no different. Recognition – for successes large and small – makes staff feel valued, inspires them to continue to improve, and is an essential part of creating a positive work environment.

Employee recognition comes in many forms – from an employee of the month program, to shoutouts in newsletters and team meetings, to awards.

A team event can be a great way to recognise and reward groups of people – they get the chance to do a fun activity together, experience something they would not otherwise have done (like an Amazing Race for example) and further cement their relationships.

Tip 3 – Provide growth and development opportunities

Employees really value the opportunity to develop their skills – and that includes the ‘soft’ skills of teamwork, collaboration and problem solving. Employees who are offering development opportunities are more confident, highly engaged and motivated, better equipped to carry out their roles and are also more likely to stay with the employer. All of which means that offering development opportunities is a high returns strategy.

Team building activities can help to develop skills and strengths – and offer a welcome alternative to more formal learning environments. Working with a team on a joint challenge outside of the office helps to build valuable transferable skills – with a large dose of fun along the way.

Happy employees

Tip 4 – Support Employee Well-Being

Research consistently shows that happy, healthy employees are more committed to their employer and perform better. There is a lot that employers can do to support the well-being of their staff – such as fitness classes, mental health support, lunch and learn sessions, employ assistance programs, volunteer programs – and team building activities.

Team building activities contribute to well-being in numerous ways: they take place out of the office environment, offering a change of scene; they are often in the open air and involve physical activity; they offer the satisfaction of jointly solving a challenge and they help to build stronger personal relationships within the team.

Tip 5 – Foster a Collaborative and Inclusive Culture

We all want to feel included and seen – and in the workplace, this leads to lower stress levels and a positive attitude to work and the employer. Inclusi

on of a diverse range of people, ideas and voices leads to creativity and new thinking. That’s why creating a culture where diversity is welcomed, and all feel included is essential to a successful business.

Team building activities help all team members to feel included – well-designed activities appeal to and cater for all, regardless of culture, ethnicity or ability. They help team members get to know each other, to break down barriers between people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs and to ensure that all feel included and valued.

Tip 6 – Encourage Social Connections

Working with people you know and like has been shown to increase productivity, as well as decreasing time employees take off on sick leave.

One of the best ways to get to know your colleagues and team-mates is through team building activities. They give employees a chance to get together in a completely different environment and to see each other’s strengths and vulnerabilities in a new way. This kind of interaction is the foundation for building the social connection that makes for an enjoyable workplace for employees and an improved bottom line for employers.

A positive work environment is so important on so many levels – it makes for happy employees, which in turn drives productivity and financial benefit. As we’ve shown, there are several key strategies that employers can use to create a positive work environment – and all of them can be enhanced by team building activities.