Most people who are out there working would agree a positive environment is better than a negative one once you are on the clock. With many companies paying attention to employee morale as a way to sustain and increase profits, this work environment continues to demand attention. Fortunately for both employers and employees, the identification of the contributing factors of positive and negative workplace environments are simple to identify.
One of the most influential aspects of a workplace environment is how the employees feel about the work they do. A positive workplace environment is filled with employees who believe they have a purpose at their jobs. They believe they are making a difference, whether it be benefiting the community, adding to the growth of the company or simply being a valuable part of the team. A negative environment lacks this feeling. Employees there do not feel they are performing work that really matters. Without a sense of purpose, motivation to complete responsibilities with pride and enthusiasm is hard to come by.
Communication between employees at all levels will really help or hinder the workplace environment. A positive environment communicates in a way that is encouraging, empowering and focused on what’s right, rather than what’s wrong. Even in times of disagreement, this workplace will concentrate on the solution, not the problem, by talking about how the issues should be handled in the future. Since conflict is inevitable, this type of positive redirection helps you understand how to be successful and thrive at work. In the same situation, negative workplace environments engage in pessimistic talk centered on how badly the issue was handled, with little information about the solution and what to do in the future.
Strength-Based vs. Weakness-Based
Studies have shown that focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses allows for greater personal and professional growth and happiness. Therefore, a positive workplace environment recognizes and uses employees’ strengths. The bosses and worker bees brainstorm to find positions and projects that allow everyone to thrive by doing what they do best. No surprise -- the next thing you know, you and your colleagues are enjoying work more. These companies also provide opportunities for you to develop your strengths. On the other hand, a negative environment emphasizes employees’ weaknesses, which creates a feeling of inadequacy and frustration. The result? Unhappy you and less revenue for the company.
Novelty vs. Monotony
Although many aspects of a job can't be changed, the amount of novelty or monotony involved can positively or negatively affect the workplace environment. One way to increase enjoyment at work is to have opportunities for innovation and creativity. Many large companies, such as Apple, have recognized this and even offer a certain amount of time each day for employees to work on new projects they are enthusiastic about. This creates a positive workplace environment that is fresh and exciting. Negative workplace environments often leave workers stuck in the rut of their mundane and completely predictable jobs. This fosters restlessness, or even depression.
- Forbes: Make More Money by Making Your Employees Happy
- Strengths Finder 2.0; Tom Rath
Sydney Neely has worked in the education arena for more than 10 years, teaching general education, the arts, communication and finance. She holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees from Arizona State University. Neely also holds several state and federal financial licenses in life insurance and investments (Series 6 and 63).