Maintaining a positive and healthy working environment doesn't just boost morale and productivity, it can also have an impact on your employee retention rate.
Now more than ever, employees care about the type of company they work for and workplace atmosphere is a significant part of this. But how can you ensure your business is creating an environment that people want to work in?
Of course, a key consideration of working atmosphere is the physical environment that employees are in. There are plenty of ways to make your office more attractive to staff. From creating 'chill out' zones and meeting areas that encourage collaboration and socializing between employees, to using color and decor to bring more life into your space, your environment can be adapted to suit your business.
There are also health considerations to factor in. Research suggests that offices with plants and lots of natural light are not just nicer to work in, but can also reduce sickness.
The way managers operate can have a massive impact on the general atmosphere. Most employees will benefit from having a high level of autonomy, encouraging them to use their initiative and take responsibility for their decisions. In this climate, managers should position themselves as a point of support and guidance for employees who want to bounce ideas off someone they respect.
It's also important to ensure that there's a high level of consistency across your management. If there are certain teams that are being led by effective and personable leaders but others that are struggling, it could lead to resentment among your workforce. To reduce this, make it easy for employees to anonymously feed back on their managers and ensure they are having regular appraisals. You can also introduce a training scheme in the workplace where those who are effective leaders are able to train those who need a little helping hand.
It's important that your culture is the same at the ground level as it is at the very top of the company. Decision makers in the business should take steps to communicate effectively with all employees and understand the complaints or problems they may be experiencing.
This creates a working atmosphere where the company is connected, and removes the risk of an "us and them" attitude, which can lead to employees becoming disengaged or cynical about their employer.
A key part of the atmosphere you create in the workplace is the amount you reward and recognize employees. Employee benefits can be an important element of this but it's essential that you ask your staff what they'd appreciate the most. This prevents you from spending a lot of money on something you think employees would like but very few benefit from.
Team and individual schemes to celebrate top performers can also be a fantastic way of creating an environment that values the people putting in the most effort for the company.
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