A positive workplace environment makes a difference in how engaged you are in your profession – building your self-esteem and increasing productivity.
Sadly, Americans are deeply dissatisfied with their jobs if the ‘Great Resignation’ is any indication. In fact, 4.5 million workers left their workplaces in November 2021, with another 34% planning to depart in 2022.
Job dissatisfaction is often a result of feeling underpaid, underappreciated, lacking interest in the work, having little room for career advancement, poor management, and even poorer communication. However, many employees happily stay with their companies for the long run. So, what shapes a hard-working team of smiling, satisfied, and productive workers?
Here are eight signs of a good workplace environment that you should consider if you contemplate leaving your job or are currently looking for work.
Employees align with the company’s mission
If you’re wondering what the first sign of a good workplace is, look no further than the mission statement. A positive mission or vision statement specifies a company’s goals, commitments, and determination to progress.
In a happy work environment, management and team members will actively discuss the company’s mission in a forward-thinking manner. Additionally, when employees’ professional and personal values align with the company’s mission, they will be more engaged in trying to help the company achieve its goals.
Positive and relaxed work environment
Employees want to show up to a positive, relaxed workplace where they feel comfortable voicing their creative ideas, sense of humor, and even their concerns without fear of retaliation.
According to the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), 73.9 million workers reported workplace bullying in America in 2021. Of that percentage, 43.2% of remote workers have also experienced workplace bullying.
Happy employees usually indicate a workplace absent of intimidation, vicious gossip, sexual harassment, and tension. Positive workplaces encourage and reward employees for thinking outside the box and speaking openly, respectfully, and professionally.
Employees have purpose
Our careers should essentially give us a sense of place and purpose as though our contributions and expertise matter. Positive workplaces foster teamwork and create an environment where employees can utilize their skills to deliver the best products and services possible.
Companies can do their part of showing their appreciation by instilling trust in their teams, treating everyone fairly, remembering that employees are human beings, and paying them on time.
A workplace culture that values its employees’ dedication and hardworking nature boosts productivity and encourages workers to meet their goals.
Growth is encouraged
In addition to reminding employees they’re an essential part of the company, strong leadership also encourages teams to grow in their careers and provides opportunities to help them thrive.
In a 2019 Workforce Learning Report by LinkedIn, 94% of employees were willing to stay with their companies if their employers provided ongoing career learning.
In a satisfying job, employees should be challenged by their work and have the feeling they can move ahead rather than stay stuck in a dead-end position. Companies invested in their employees’ growth should offer promotions, training, and the chance to learn new skills or advanced expertise with new responsibilities.
Teams support and empower each other
Support and empowerment are the foundation of building cohesive teams. Leadership and co-workers should encourage high-performing employees to seek a promotion, while team members who made top sales for the month should celebrate their achievements.
Employees who love their jobs exhibit a can-do attitude and are more willing to go the extra mile to accomplish tasks and help others.
Signs that a department or entire workplace is focused on supporting and empowering each other include a deep sense of camaraderie and cooperation.
Health and well-being matter
The best companies care about the health and well-being of their workers. In the United States, 56% of adults reported that company-based health insurance was critical in staying in their jobs. Another 46% said that health insurance positively influenced them to accept a position.
Employees also appreciate a workplace that offers other kinds of health benefits, such as weight loss and nutrition programs, substance abuse and smoking cessation programs, fitness classes, and more. Some companies even offer healthy cafeteria items and access to on-site gyms.
Clean office spaces are particularly vital during the pandemic. Companies that go above and beyond to maintain a sanitary work environment demonstrate they care about their workers’ health.
Turnover is low
Have you ever accepted a job offer only to realize that employees stay a couple of months before looking for other work? This is a serious red flag that employees are unhappy. In 2021, companies in the United States had a 57.3% annual turnover rate, of which 25% was voluntary and 29% was involuntary.
In a positive workplace, employee retention is high and turnover rates are low. Companies are more likely to keep their employees longer if they offer attractive incentives like health benefits, competitive wages, career advancement, and a drama-free office.
When entry-level employees are eager to stay on and grow into their roles and departments, that’s an excellent sign the company is worth working for.
Change is embraced
One of the most crucial signs of a positive workplace is when leaders and employees embrace change. Companies can stay ahead by being flexible and accommodating of technology advancements, skill sets, and trends.
Employees need to know that leaders can manage change seamlessly and guide their teams for greater success. Additionally, embracing change nurtures new ideas to take the company to new heights.
What makes a good workplace?
If you’re beginning your job search or contemplating whether you’re working for the right employer or not, research a company’s office culture and benefits. If you’re lucky enough to get an interview for a new position, remember that it’s the perfect opportunity for you to ask these important questions, too.
Ginger Abbot has written for The National Alliance for Mental Illness, HerCampus, Motherly, and more. When she’s not freelancing, she works as chief editor for the learning publication Classrooms, where you can read more of her work.