Work 9 min read

How to Make Your Workplace the Most Positive Environment

by Dan Waldschmidt February 1, 2020

Most of us spend more time with our co-workers during the week than we do with our own families. So what happens when you have to deal with a difficult personality at work or feel negative energy every time you walk through the front door?

A recent poll by Partners in Leadership confirms that when employees are happier at work, 85% say they take more initiative, 73% say they are better collaborators, and 48% care more about their work.

So how do you transform your workplace into your happy place? Here are the 5 best ways to make your work environment more harmonious and enjoyable.

Encourage Meaningful Collaboration

Meaningful collaboration combines your employees’ expertise, ideas, strengths, and perspectives to reach a common goal. It allows for quicker solutions, increased efficiency, and enhances job satisfaction.

The foundation of a successful collaborative team is great communication. The best way to communicate effectively is to be straightforward, simple and honest. 

According to a Fierce inc. study, 86% of respondents credited a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication as the main cause of workplace failures.

You can only achieve worthwhile collaboration with good communication and teamwork. Working with varied personality types takes time and effort – learning how each type of personality functions, and applying the appropriate communication method will enhance their workday as well as yours.

When you focus on improving collaboration through communication and teamwork, your workplace environment will be a much more positive place for everyone.

Mindvalley’s award-winning HQ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Mindvalley’s award-winning HQ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Create a Comfortable Workspace

Employees will be empowered to do their best work in a comfortable workspace. Whether it’s as simple as providing adjustable standing desks, good lighting, napping pods, (as used by Huffington Post, Google and NASA), or something grander like the 65-foot indoor ferris wheel in the lobby of Acuity’s headquarters, having a comfortable space to work and be creative is essential.

Consider painting your office in a calming shade of green. Studies show that colors like sage and sea-foam green help relax your mind and promote a more creative state. 

Or you could even go in the complete opposite direction and use bold colors like Google to encourage boldness and innovation – both will have their own pros and cons.

What about installing a rock wall in your office like Adobe Systems? Their employees are encouraged to relieve tension and recharge by conquering the wall.

Don’t have room for a ferris wheel or a rock wall? There are millions of other ways to create a great workspace for your employees. Consider what would work best for your business and create the best physical areas for them. You will see a boost in productivity, communication, and efficiency.

Encourage Positive Thinking

A negative attitude in the workplace promotes an atmosphere of distrust, pessimism, and defeat. Don’t waste your time on negative behaviors or thoughts. It’s counterproductive and can infect those around you. 

Instead, try to always have a positive outlook, even when things aren’t going your way. Positive thinking will help create positive outcomes and make the office a more enjoyable space. Having a positive attitude will also allow you to cope better under stressful situations.

Talking about positivity is easy. Being genuinely positive all the time is a little more difficult. But here are simple steps you can take to develop positivity. 

  • Be conscious of the words you use and the tone you deliver them with.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  • Be kind to everyone. 
  • Avoid gossip.
  • Smile more.
  • Stop complaining.
  • Keep learning and teach others what you know.

Nobody wants to be around a “Negative Nancy” all the time – it’s draining and depressing. Human beings gravitate to positive people and energy. Be the positive influence you would want your co-workers or employees to be. Lead by example. 

Your company, health, and overall happiness in life will thank you for it.

Vishen Lakhiani on stage acknowledging the Mindvalley Reunion 2018 Team
Vishen Lakhiani on stage acknowledging the Mindvalley Reunion 2018 Team

Motivate Others

Are you, yourself, motivated at work? If not, what can you do to be more motivated? 

If you’re not engaged, it’s difficult to get others engaged as well, especially if you’re a leader.

If you’re struggling with motivation, identifying the causes for your lack of motivation is key. Do you not have the necessary resources to do the work? Are you finding the projects assigned to you boring? Are you receiving positive reinforcement to give you that boost? 

Knowing why you lack motivation will allow you to find the best possible solution.

Employees are motivated in different ways. As a manager, knowing how to motivate each person can be challenging. Here are a few tips to help you motivate your staff.

  • Pay employees what they’re worth.
  • Empower others.
  • Jump in and help out.
  • Show your appreciation for a job well done.
  • Create a vision that inspires.

“Employees are a company’s greatest asset – they’re your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission.”

– Anne M. Mulcahy, former CEO and chairwoman of Xerox Corporation

Treat others with respect

Each and every position in a company is essential and valuable. Treating everyone with respect promotes a positive work culture where employees are motivated, loyal, and appreciated.

In a previous position, I worked directly with the owner of a small company. One day, an employee that had been with the company for over six months spoke to the owner. After she walked away, he turned to me and asked, “Who was that?” 

I was shocked that he didn’t recognize an employee that had been with us for that long, especially for such a small company.

Simply knowing someone’s name and saying ‘Good Morning’ goes a long way with employees. Treating everyone with courtesy, politeness, and kindness isn’t hard. Here are some other easy and effective ways to show respect to employees.

  • Encourage employees to express opinions and ideas.
  • Listen to what employees say.
  • Be aware of your body language and the tone of your voice.
  • Keep your promises.
  • Be kind and polite.

Being respectful to every employee creates a healthy work environment. Having a professional and respectful work culture invites employees to be more productive and engaged.

“Our mission statement about treating people with respect and dignity is not just words but a creed we live by every day. You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the employees’ expectations of management.”

– Howard Schultz, former CEO and chairman of Starbucks Coffee

A positive work environment benefits everyone and everything, including the bottom line. No one wants to walk into a negative workspace every day.

Positivity breeds results.

Do you have a positive workplace? Tell us about it! What are the best practices of your company that you think other companies should follow?

by Dan Waldschmidt
Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.

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