How do you foster a non-toxic work environment?

Written by Heather Kreider, co-founder and CEO of Makes Scents Natural Spa Line

Time at work consumes the majority of waking hours for many people. The workplace can feel like a second home to some. For others, it can be a hostile environment. This is why creating a welcoming culture is essential for every company. Here are the five critical components for fostering a positive and healthy work environment.

 

COMMUNICATION

 

Open communication and being present are imperative. Ask questions to discover what is going well and what challenges employees are facing. Listen intently and ask how to help. Then, follow through on promises to show that their feedback and input matter.

 

One way I do this at my company is through a five-minute huddle at the same time every day. Each team member shares a priority for the day, a highlight from the day before, a roadblock that stands in the way of meeting a goal, and something uplifting (like recognizing a colleague for a job well done).

 

SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT

 

When employees do not have the knowledge or tools to do their jobs well, a recipe for frustration, job dissatisfaction, and careless work begins to simmer.

 

Talk with employees about what they aspire to achieve in their careers to best help them on a course of learning that will help them succeed.

 

ATMOSPHERE

 

No one feels excited about going to work where the vibe is drab and mundane. If given the choice between working in a dynamic environment of optimism or one steeped in stagnant negativity, the choice seems obvious. Strive to create a work atmosphere that motivates and inspires employees.

 

Gauge the success of the company’s culture daily by listening for laughter and looking for smiles that indicate employees are enjoying their work and each other. Try taking an hourly, five-minute break in which the team engages in an agreed-upon group exercise – like sun salutations, lunges, or crunches – to get blood pumping and creative juices flowing. Staff members often work in different locations in the building, so these mini-breaks bring them together to do something positive. Another suggestion to encourage comradery is to have everyone pitch in to create a potluck lunch once a month.

 

ACCOUNTABILITY

 

Positive team culture is sacred. From rigorous vetting processes when hiring to holding everyone accountable for poor behavior, professionals should vehemently protect the harmony they build for their teams.

 

Demonstrate integrity as the leader and make it clear that the same is expected from employees.

 

GOALS

 

As a business leader, setting goals is important – not only for the professional, but for keeping employees motivated, as well. Developing an incentive program based on goals can help – especially when it includes a common goal that team members can achieve by working together. By enabling team members to collaboratively overcome challenges and reach goals, professionals aid employees in increasing their individual self-confidence.

 

These ideas are just a few of the many things professionals can do to establish a work environment that is not only non-toxic, but also wholly appreciated.

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