Creating a positive work environment in 2021 may look a little different than it did just a few short years ago.
Likewise, cultivating and fostering your healthy business culture may need a boost to keep up with this ever-changing environment.
But what exactly is a positive work environment?
One of the biggest challenges can be keeping your teams connected while working apart. Whether you’re managing a fully-remote staff, or find your business operating well in a hybrid state, there may be a different approach needed for supporting, rewarding, and encouraging your employees across the board. Happy employees perform at higher levels and are more likely to go the extra mile.
A happy, healthy, workforce isn’t only more engaged and productive, it’s a serious ROI for your business. Lower healthcare costs, improved retention, and talent attraction are all benefits of fostering a positive work culture.
Regardless of where your employees physically report to work, we’re helping you out with 18 great ideas and activities for creating and supporting a positive work environment to guarantee success – theirs and yours.
Ways To Create A Positive Work Environment
1) Celebrate employee milestones
Some examples of the employee milestones that you can celebrate with your team are work anniversaries, educational accomplishments, and promotions.
How this promotes a positive work environment: These celebrations, no matter how grand they are in scale, are intended to celebrate the entire person with a cumulative kudos for all their accomplishments. They feel valued as an individual and it also bonds team members through shared experiences.
Caroo is an employee care platform that makes it easy to note, track, and celebrate employee milestones for your team, department, or even the entire office. Never miss another milestone!
2) Create a culture of recognition
A peer appreciation program is a fun and rewarding way for your team to acknowledge each other’s day-to-day successes. Give your employees the ability to recognize their colleagues, up, down, and across the organization, and watch them boost gratitude to the next level.
How this promotes a positive work environment: When employees feel appreciated at work, it creates a motivational and empowering company culture. Individual appreciation for their efforts ensures they feel individually valued.
How to get things started at your workplace: Try Bonusly for free and let them show your employees how to start creating a company-wide attitude of gratitude.
This platform also provides your management team with analytics to review employee recognition trends, better identify individual strengths, or even help decide who deserves a promotion. Ensure everyone in your entire organization knows they’re individually appreciated and why.
3) Support your employees with the right tools
Whatever your focus, this is a one-stop-shop of platforms to support communication and improve engagement with your remote employees. Be sure you have the best collaborative software for your business’s needs with these streamlining suggestions.
How this promotes a positive work environment: Keeping your remote employees connected allows them to communicate clearly and ensures they’re working in real time with their peers around the corner or around the globe.
How to get things started at your workplace: Assess your gaps and dig in to find the virtual software best suited for your team, your business, and your company’s core values.
Keep your organization close, regardless of where their IP address is tuning in from. Whether you have 30 employees across the city or 30,000 across the globe, keeping your teams connected is an invaluable investment.
4) Promote communication so that everyone is on the same page
Giving everyone the same information, in the same place, eliminates unnecessary frustration and drives healthy communication. Manage project timelines, set up automations, conduct hiring interviews, run reports, all from a single platform.
How this promotes a positive work environment: Being able to easily communicate cross-functionally and find everything they need in one place reduces so much of the “noise” in your employees’ workday. Simplicity and automation help to keep a bullseye on the goals and everyone working together to reach them.
How to get things started at your workplace: The easy onboarding process at monday.com takes the eye rolling out of setting up a new platform for your organization.
In addition to all the streamlining benefits, monday.com also offers an entire marketplace of apps and over 200 templates at your fingertips. With options to accommodate small businesses or international corporations, there’s a place for everything and everything’s in its place.
5) Schedule and maintain consistent check ins with your team
Providing your employees with consistent communication and positive reinforcement gives them the support they need, particularly in scattered locations. This can easily be done with regular checks-ins, either live and in person or remotely.
How this promotes a positive work environment: Employees will feel like they have someone in their corner, especially when they’re working extra hard or learning a new skill. Plus they can provide valuable feedback in these check-ins that you can apply to the rest of the team.
How to get things started at your workplace: Enlisting a helpful scheduling tool like Calendly lets employees coordinate calendars and offers a conflict-free scheduling platform.
Calendly is great for solo workers who need a little help keeping things straight, and larger scale businesses looking to better collaborate with your teams. Stay on track with a solid scheduling platform.
6) Making sure your team isn’t working on an empty stomach
It’s tough enough to be productive when we’re hungry, but staying positive? Highly unlikely. Don’t let the mid-afternoon snack slump take your employees out of the game.
How this promotes a positive work environment: Grabbing a snack is like taking a microbreak. Not only can you ward off that midday crash we’re so familiar with, but snacking also helps your team stay focused and maintain positive attitudes throughout the day.
How to get things started at your workplace: Request your free SnackNation Snack Box today and set up your office for snacking success.
Your SnackNation boxes will be curated specifically for the nibbling needs of your organization. With chips, bars, granola and more, they’ll have your team snacking happy with an impressive selection from thousands of brands.
7) Encourage your employees to spend time outside the office
Getting outdoors can improve employee morale, generate creativity, and boost vitamin D – all powerfully positive side effects. Not to mention, a change of scenery is proven to be beneficial for both physical and mental health.
How this promotes a positive work environment: Taking employees out of their comfort zone and allowing them to connect with colleagues they may have never met, is a great way to expand and solidify the relationships within your organization.
How to get things started at your workplace: Request a quote today and get your crew outdoors for a conference-room-free “meeting.”
Outback Team Building offers scavenger hunts, charity give-back events, murder mysteries, and more. Get your employees out of the office and into some fresh air and fun activities to switch things up.
8) Encourage your employees to spend time outside of work responsibilities
Promoting employee engagement using interactive and fun activities outside the confines of their 9-5 is a great way to promote a positive work environment.
How this promotes a positive work environment: Spending time together outside of work, learning a new cooking style or playing a game together, strengthens interpersonal relationships and the overall corporate culture.
How to get things started at your workplace: You can offer activities that are work-free where employees can worry less about “shop talk” and more about having a genuinely fun time together and get to know each other over a bonded experience.
Creating these experiences is simple with Confetti. They’ve collected hundreds of group events, games, and experiences to satisfy all of your team-building needs and bring your employees together in a variety of bonding activities.
9) Solicit feedback, potential improvements, new ideas, and entrepreneurship
Asking for feedback from your employees is essential for creating and fostering a positive work environment.
How this promotes a positive work environment: Giving your employees a voice drives a supportive and inclusive company culture.
How to get things started at your workplace: You can sign up for a free trial for any one of the employee feedback tools available to businesses. These tools make it easy to track and implement your employees’ valuable input so you can make positive changes for your workplace.
We tried out Kazoo and found it to be a really useful workplace software. Since some of the best ideas come from the ones who are in the trenches — they let you solicit feedback over a easy-to-use platform that all employees can help participate. Your team’s feedback is an invaluable resource and Kazoo has just the platform to promote their golden nuggets.
10) Trust your employees to know how to do their job and when to do their job
Micromanaging is not the key to promoting a healthy and positive company culture. In fact, physical and mental health can be at risk when employees don’t feel they’re trusted to perform their responsibilities without constant explanations and status updates.
How this promotes a positive work environment: Having faith in your employees to do what you hired them to do enables a secure and empowering environment.
How to get things started at your workplace: Check out this report from Gallup and see how your management teams’ styles compare.
Everyone in your organization may have different levels of education, experience, and expertise, but you hired the best people for the jobs. Show them you trust them and believe in their skills and talents.
11) Encourage employees to take breaks and eat lunch
Meditating, taking a walk, and using those well-earned vacation days are all ways to encourage employees to take a break and reset before their next project or task.
How this promotes a positive work environment: These little resets reduce burnout and support retention.
How to get things started at your workplace: Check out the employee experience platform called Blueboard that can help you reward your hard working team members with experiences, not just “things.”
12) Have fun at work
This may be different depending on your employees so let them express “fun” in the ways that best benefits them. Some may want to play games, some may want to take a walk and reach their daily step counts, others may want to chat about fantasy football trades.
How this promotes a positive work environment: Having those little duty-free, enjoyable moments at work reduces absenteeism and supports your employees’ overall well-being.
How to get things started at your workplace: SnackNation put together this handy guide to having fun at work in 2021 with a ton of ideas you can implement immediately.
Fun doesn’t have to cost a fortune but the rewards can be immeasurable. Boosting employee satisfaction and the overall morale has never been easier.
13) Set up an on boarding process that makes sense
Onboarding is the first step in your employees’ success with your organization. Having a sensible process removes frustrations and ensures a seamless introduction.
How this promotes a positive work environment: An efficient and welcoming onboarding process leaves a great first impression and creates positive expectations of your company’s culture.
How to get things started at your workplace: Explore SnackNation’s guide for 7-Steps To A Perfect Employee Onboarding Process For New Hires and let them show you how easy it can be.
From recruiting and week-one checklists, to swag packs and ice-breakers, SnackNation can help your new employees feel welcomed and hit the ground running.
14) Promote learning, training and personal development
Supporting your employees’ personal and professional development reaps immeasurable rewards.
How this promotes a positive work environment: Providing your employees with opportunities for growth and improvement fosters a positive and healthy company culture.
How to get things started at your workplace: Schedule one-on-one meetings to learn more about your team’s short and long term goals and career aspirations.
Promoting personal and professional development inspires your employees to hone their skills and expand on their expertise. It’s also an investment in their futures, which encourages loyalty and their investment in your organization.
15) Create a comfortable work environment
Keep your employees’ productive juices flowing by ensuring they’re comfortable while they work. The ergonomics of their workspace is a great place to start.
How this promotes a positive work environment: Being physically comfortable at work can have a direct impact on how your employees feel about being there at all.
Ergonomics isn’t just a buzzword. Improving your team’s comfort is an investment you can’t afford not to consider. Branch can get your office set up with all the right angles. Even gifting your employees something small to spruce up their work spaces can make an impact on their opinion of the workplace.
16) Dedicate someone as the “Chief Culture Officer” (or “CCO”)
The CCO is essentially the link between your employees and the (i.e. HR and Senior Management). The CCO listens to the concerns and suggestions of the organization related to improving the company culture and helps push those ideas upstream to implementation.
How this promotes a positive work environment: Your employees’ voices matter. A CCO gives them a greater sense of purpose and the direct support needed to turn their ideas into actual improvements.
How to get things started at your workplace: Decide who to crown as your organization’s Chief Culture Officer and get started making healthy changes to positively impact everyone’s day-to-day.
Use this valuable feedback to help develop a culture your employees can appreciate and be appreciated for. Watch how engaged they are when they have the support of management and a dedicated resource to drive their ideas.
17) Encourage your employees to set SMART goals
SMART goals are focused and clearly-defined targets your employees can set to help reach their personal and professional milestones.
How this promotes a positive work environment: Setting SMART goals helps your employees set clear career objectives and drives the motivation to accomplish them.
How to get things started at your workplace: Check out SnackNation’s Guide to Writing SMART Goals in 2021 and get started planning your team’s accomplishments.
This “dummy proof guide” makes setting and reaching those big goals less intimidating and more manageable.
18) Prioritize employee health and wellness
Prioritizing your employees’ health and wellness is more important now than ever. Having an effective wellness program in place helps to reduce health risks and healthcare costs and also boosts productivity and morale.
How this promotes a positive work environment: Healthy employees are happier, less stressed and more engaged.
How to get things started at your workplace: SnackNation has put together this list of Employee Wellness Program Ideas, Tips, & Activities to get everyone feeling their best.
This list is sure to have some ideas to help get the whole team healthy. From office parties and pet-friendly work days, to weight-loss challenges and recipe sharing, start scrolling to find the solutions for your employees’ needs.
Positive Workplace Culture Examples From Real Companies
ADP has been providing human resource management and payroll solutions since 1949. Their services support customers all over the US in a variety of industries like IT, cosmetics, and real estate.
Tool they use to support a positive work environment: Caroo
Because a large number of their employees were working remotely, they brought Caroo on board to help them show some simple, yet much appreciated, recognition to their teams at home.
How Caroo cultivates a supportive work environment: Caroo provides your employees with awesome gift boxes chalked full of customized swag, techy tools, and snacks galore. Show your team that, even if they’re out of sight, they’re NOT out of mind.
How to get things started at your workplace: Follow ADP’s lead and take this 60-second quiz to learn more about putting employee care first at your workplace and how Caroo can help support your vision.
ZipRecruiter is an online platform, whose mission is “Actively connecting people to their next great opportunity” by bridging the gap between employers and qualified job-seekers.
Tool they use to support a positive work environment: Bonusly
In seven short years, ZipRecruiter has grown from less than one hundred fifty employees, all in California, to nearly one thousand employees across three continents. Their rapidly growing workforce needed a way to stay connected and acknowledge each other and Bonusly came through in BIG ways..
How Bonusly cultivates a supportive work environment: Bonusly gives everyone in the organization an opportunity to show their appreciation for coworkers across the room or across the world. They provide a simple platform that makes saying “thanks” a little more fun and tangible.
How to get things started at your workplace: Request a Bonusly demo and sign up for a free trial to start dishing out the appreciation.
Diversified Insurance Group is an independent brokerage firm who specializes in handling “the risk management and benefits of high growth companies.” They’re also an employee-focused company so they needed a recognition program just as robust and diverse as their business.
Tool they use to support a positive work environment: Nectar
When Diversified decided they needed to shake up their recognition program, they turned to Nectar for help. After the switch, they recognized a serious increase in employee participation and engagement and haven’t looked back.
How Nectar cultivates a supportive work environment: Nectar provides a user-friendly platform for your employees to acknowledge their colleagues in real time. There are also extra activities they can do to earn bonus rewards for even more giving power.
How to get things started at your workplace: Book a demo and find out how Nectar can help boost your organization’s recognition program.
GoPro was conceived because of one man’s desire to capture live surfing footage of himself and his friends. Today, GoPro is a global company with millions of users, and is still pushing the limits of action video recording.
Tool they use to support a positive work environment: Blueboard
Considering GoPro is an activity-driven brand, it only made sense for them to use Blueboard for their experiential employee recognition options.
How Blueboard cultivates a supportive work environment: Employees can share their experiences on social media and with the rest of the organization. It’s proven to be fun for the team and allows GoPro’s management to learn more about their employees’ interests and hobbies. Their staff love the rewards and the program has fostered connections and improved engagement within their organization.
How to get things started at your workplace: Request a demo and start rewarding your employees with experiences they’ll appreciate for a lifetime.
Apploi is a platform created for attracting, assessing and hiring qualified healthcare personnel. By partnering with other recruiting platforms, they’re able to handle all the credentialing to ensure their customers have the best candidates on their teams.
Tool they use to support a positive work environment: Assembly
Assembly is a peer-to-peer rewarding program that supports employee recognition and drives a positive company culture.
How Assembly cultivates a supportive work environment: Management recognition is always appreciated but giving your employees the power to reward their peers, supports collaboration and open communication across the business.
How to get things started at your workplace: Check out their peer-to-peer recognition platform to see if it is a good fit for your organization.
People Also Ask These Questions About Creating A Positive Work Environment
Q: What is a positive work environment?
- A: A positive work environment is one where employees feel respected, valued, and appreciated for their contributions.
Q: What are the benefits of fostering a positive work environment?
- A: Some benefits of fostering a positive work environment are improved morale, lower healthcare costs, and increased employee retention.
Q: What does a positive work environment look like in 2021?
- A: A positive work environment in 2021 may offer benefits like a flexible work schedule, physical and mental health initiatives, and ergonomic furniture.
Q: What steps can you take to make sure remote employees have access to a positive work environment?
- A: Some steps you can take to make sure remote employees have access to a positive work environment are doing regular check-ins with them, minimizing micromanaging, and implementing an effective recognition program.
Q: What are some signs that your workplace is a positive environment to be in?
- A: Some signs that your workplace is a positive environment to be in are happy, healthy employees, good collaboration across the organization, and low employee turnover.
Q: Why is it important to cultivate a positive work environment?
- A: It is important to cultivate a positive work environment in order to retain the talented employees you already have and drive a culture that attracts more.
Q: How do you measure workplace positivity?
- A: Some ways to measure workplace positivity are employee surveys, one-on-one discussions, and analytics provided by some recognition platforms.