Create an Employee-Friendly Work Environment
In this lesson, you’re expected to learn about:
– strategies you can use to ensure a conducive work environment
– employee experience and engagement
Apart from the responsibilities that come with a job, perhaps the single most important thing that influences employee motivation and happiness, and how productive and efficient they are, is their working environment.
If you have a ‘good’ work environment – meaning that you fit well into the organization’s culture, you’re on good terms with your superiors, peers and coworkers, and you feel comfortable working in the office, you’ll find that you’ll be much more satisfied and productive.
A positive work environment makes employees feel good about coming to work, and this provides the motivation to sustain them throughout the day.
Below are some strategies that management can employ to make a positive difference in their organizations.
Encourage communication by openly sharing information and knowledge. Show vulnerability by being honest and admitting mistakes. Encourage others to share their thoughts and feelings as well.
Listen more than you speak. Find out what is in the minds and hearts of your employees. Ask for their suggestions and opinions on their work.
Establish specific performance standards, set goals, set deadlines, and communicate these expectations regularly. Take time to give honest feedback. Encourage people to stretch themselves and take risks.
Be free with recognition and praise people for good performance. Show appreciation by giving additional responsibility and authority, and room to grow.
Diagnose and respond to the needs of individuals, groups, and teams by providing direction, information, resources, and training as needed.
Provide ongoing training and development for both technical and soft skills. Give people difficult jobs and tasks that expand their skill set, and assignments that demand creativity. Encourage and challenge them to take risks and step outside their comfort zone.
Charter the group or team, including defining the purpose, goals and objectives, norms for operating together, and how to hold people accountable. Without this solid foundation, any group can flounder.
At the end of every meeting, spend a few minutes to process what went well, what didn’t go well, and what could be done differently. This is a simple improvement tool that helps people work together more effectively.
Support and encourage knowledge and information sharing. Conduct monthly chats, establish forums or create communities of practice to keep people informed. Reward and recognize behaviors that support and encourage knowledge and information sharing.
As we shift to the future of work, where organizations are focusing on the reasons why employees want to work versus need to work, it is important to understand employee experience. A lot of organizations historically have focused only on one aspect of organizational change and that is culture.
This is how employees feel when they are inside of an organization, the vibe that they get, the organizational structure, leadership style, compensation and benefits etc. While culture is an important component, it only constitutes a part of the employee experience.
The technological environment refers to the tools an employee needs to do their job, including the user interface, mobile devices, and desktop computers. An organization should provide relevant and modern tools that allow employees to get their job done.
The physical environment includes anything that can be seen, heard, touched, and tasted like the desks, chairs, art, and meals. This is crucial because employees spend most of their time inside the organization so it should have a positive effect on them. All three of these aspects should be focused on to create an environment where people want to come to work.
HRM practices reflect shifting demographics in the workplace. Workers of the new century are more diverse and expect different conditions than those that existed before. There are also older workers and employees with disabilities, as well as more part-time workers.
Effects of HRM on these diverse workplaces relate to employer flexibility. Because organizations want to retain workers, they provide a flexible workplace, including flexible design of work environments, work assignments, work schedules, composition of work teams, work locations, accountability methods and communication formats. In flexible workplaces, employees can customize aspects of their job to suit their lifestyle.