3 Ways to Foster A Positive Working Environment

The working environment plays a significant role in the performance and productivity of a team. In a report published by the Global Recruiter, 71% of Australian workers agree that they consider the workplace environment one of the most critical non-remunerative aspects of a job. [1]

And having a positive working environment is conducive to a successful organisation as they encourage their teams to perform to their highest ability. 

What is a positive working environment?

A positive working environment is a workplace that promotes employee safety, growth and goal attainment. Organisations can achieve a positive working environment by focusing on their overall culture, supporting employee growth and making employees feel safe and comfortable.[2]

Here are some of its impacts: 

  1. Lower absenteeism

  2. Lower staff turnover

  3. Improved productivity

  4. Improved team morale

  5. Increased engagement

Now the question is - how can you make your working environment a positive one? 1. Start from the top

Leaders are the foundation of a positive working environment. They can influence the attitudes and behaviours of others. They can be at all levels of an organisation: from the board and senior executives, through middle-level managers such as site managers, to front-line supervisors.

The team uses the leaders' words and actions as a guide that they should follow. For example, suppose an organisation requires its employee to wear business attire in the office, of which the leaders chose not to dress formally, soon, everyone will think it is acceptable to wear casual clothing in the office.

Here are some things leaders can do in creating a positive working environment:

  • give clear and consistent instructions and messages that reinforce positive workplace behaviours

  • demonstrate the type of behaviour they expect from other people

  • deal promptly with issues that may undermine a positive workplace

  • recognise and celebrate individual employee and team successes [3]


2. Work on team dynamics

The core of a working environment is the people that work there. Employees would acknowledge that they are working in a positive working environment if the values and behaviours of the people they work with and those of the business aligned with them.

Each team member has different personalities, views and values. And understanding and recognising these differences is a crucial factor of a positive working environment.

According to Harvard Business Review, extroverted team leaders perform better when matched with employees looking for guidance. In contrast, introverted team leaders fare better with workers who are proactive and take the initiative. This idea is known as "dominance complementarity," meaning groups tend to be more cohesive and effective when there is a balance of dominant and submissive leaders.[4]

How to improve team dynamics? Consider these strategies:


a. Make your team feel that you value them and their work.

b. Externalise what they are internalising.

c. Get feedback.

Read more here.

3. Build employee engagement

Now that you have worked on the foundation and core of a working environment let's focus on employee engagement. Employee engagement is the key to a positive working environment.

Fully engaged employees will promote the work they do and the interests and reputation of the business positively. Improved engagement starts with the stated position and the objectives and commitments of the company, which can be identified through vision, mission and values statements. Employees need to know what the business stands for, how it operates and where it is heading. 

Your business can build and maintain employee engagement by:

  • engaging in regular, positive communication that reinforces the value of the work people do

  • asking for feedback and listening to what employees say

  • providing employees with the tools and resources, they need to do their job effectively

  • supporting employees with professional development and training

  • caring for the welfare and well-being of employees

  • recognising and rewarding extra effort and outstanding results

  • and encouraging fun and humour in the workplace [5]

Just doing these three actionable steps can make a significant impact on your working environment. How do you see yourself incorporate this into your day-to-day activities?

Want to learn more about creating a psychologically safe workplace? Read more strategies here. Don't forget to follow us on our social media pages.  Further reading:

  1. https://www.theglobalrecruiter.com/work-environment-the-main-reason-australian-workers-would-consider-quitting-their-current-role/

  2. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/positive-working-environment

  3. https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/leadership-culture

  4. https://online.aurora.edu/team-dynamics/

  5. https://www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/uploads/documents/EMPLOYERS_section/jswa-emp-building-positive-workplace-culture-brochure6.pdf