There is nothing worse than working for a firm that has a negative and unhealthy culture. No matter how much money an employee makes or how prestigious the company is, when you work in a toxic environment, you will still come home tense and stressed at the end of each day. And life is too short to be living (or working) that way!
Good thing there are great companies with a healthy workplace atmosphere to counter the existence of unhappy corporations. Employees in these businesses wake up every day looking forward to going to work on the company’s mission, with people they enjoy being around.
Here are 10 characteristics of the world’s healthiest workplaces.
1. Shared Mission and Values
Your company must have a positive mission statement that clearly outlines your goals and demonstrates that you value the highest commitment to quality and service to each other, the company, customers, and shareholders.
By including these positive values in your mission statement, you are demonstrating that your firm achieves its goals in ethical, honest ways and that you share an elevated sense of purpose.
2. Constructive Atmosphere
Employees want to spend their working days in a place where they feel comfortable, appreciated, acknowledged and rewarded. You want them to enjoy coming to work! A healthy workplace is not peopled with staff who are paralyzed by fear, doubt, feelings of inferiority, harassment and intimidation.
Consider utilizing a NEBOSH international general certificate course to ensure that employees understand why, as industry professionals, health and safety are integral to what they do, and the benefits that being informed can bring to their professional and personal lives.
When you create a fair, secure and constructive work atmosphere with your employees, your foster creativity, productivity, and innovation.
3. Commitment to Excellence
A surefire sign that employees feel comfortable and safe in their work environment is when they have a commitment to excellence that rivals that of the CEOs and other top executives. If employees are regularly giving 200 percent and care about the business as if it were their own, you know it is a healthy workplace.
Employees who exhibit a sense of ownership always strive to be the best they can be, and go the extra mile to deliver top quality products and services. Additionally, they always take responsibility for their behavior and decisions.
Efforts focusing on continuous improvement such as the adoption of the kaizen approach are also considered manifestations of business leaders’ openness to change. And the willingness to change is a necessary factor for building a commitment to excellence.
4. Open and Honest Communication
Feedback is one of the most important components of communication in a thriving business. When approached correctly, receiving feedback is an opportunity for growth for everyone involved.
In a healthy workplace, employees have open and honest communication about a range of difficulties. When they understand that feedback is intended to improve processes, prevent or resolve conflict, and to enhance teamwork and output, employees are more receptive to open and honest communication.
5. Cooperation, Support, and Empowerment
Just like in any healthy relationship, workers need to feel a sense of cooperation, empowerment, and camaraderie among themselves. This translates to employees working together and realizing that they are an integral part of something bigger than just their individual selves. While there will inevitably be conflict and differing opinions about strategies and targets, a healthy workplace does not breed vengeful, spiteful backstabbing among staff.
6. Sense of Humor
Even the most serious business niches also need to have a sense of humor! Nobody wants to spend day-in, day-out in a miserable environment. Healthy workplaces foster fun and laughter as an essential part of the work equation.
While it can be difficult to joke around during stressful periods, remind your employees and workmates to keep things in the right perspective.
7. Compassion, Respect, and Understanding
In addition to promoting respect and understanding at work through open, efficient, professional and honest communication, compassion must also be present. This is usually manifested when employees face personal challenges such as illnesses, accidents, family losses, and natural disasters.
Remember that the workplace is an extension of oneself, and a happy work environment nurtures its people, the internal customers, through compassion, respect, and understanding.
“Change is the only constant,” and this is especially true in a business or corporate environment. A healthy workplace and business know that only by embracing change, accommodating new trends and technology, and developing new employee skills will it continue to thrive and succeed in a rapidly changing industry.
People need acknowledgment, gratitude, and appreciation to remain motivated. Companies should always strive for a balance between keeping their employees happy and ensuring the company stays on a growth path.
But genuine compliments, salary raises, rewards, promotions, bonuses and certificates of achievement are all vital for job satisfaction. Your employees work hard for the company, and they need some form of recognition to make them feel they matter.
10. Emphasis on Health and Family
A healthy workplace recognizes the importance of their employees’ health — you care about your employees! Show them this by offering comprehensive health insurance as well as substance abuse, weight loss, and smoking cessation programs.
Ensure that your cafeteria offers low fat, yet nutritionally dense food choices menu and that the company gym (if you have one) is stocked with exercise equipment. Don’t overlook the importance of reimbursement for childcare or onsite childcare, and invest in safety training for workers.
Trust, communication, care, responsibility, and respect are all essential for a healthy workplace. When these elements are present, you need not stress about productivity and revenue generation. People who are empowered, happy and feel a sense of ownership in the workplace will naturally perform at their best, at all times.