Increase Employee Engagement with a Positive Work Environment

What is the feeling you get when you enter your workplace each day? Do employees describe it as an ideal working environment? Are people smiling and interacting pleasantly when you pass by? Or is there something else going on in your company? If people grouse in the lunchroom about not having enough resources to help customers or complete work, feel like there are unrealistic work expectations, or get into tense shouting matches during the work week, your company does not have a positive work environment that drivesengagement.

Candidates are interested in the work environment at your company and its not too difficult for them to find out about it before they even apply. Your company website, job postings, social network profiles, and reviews on Glassdoor are all sources of information for candidates to check out the working conditions in your company. What will candidates find when they want to know about your companys work environment?

Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte knows that work environment is oneof five elements that drive engagementand create irresistible organizations. Deloitte research, as well as studies by the Great Place to Work Institute, convinced him of the importance of a positive work environment to engagement. And companies like Zappos, that work hard to focus on happiness with fun and collaboration, are proof that a magnetic work environment works to engage employees. Zappos even goes as far as teaching other companies how to create a fun and meaningful environment with theirZappos Insights Program.

According to Cardiff University, which instituted aPositive Working Environmentinitiative for the more than 6,000 staff members who work there, communication is an important factor in a positive work environment. They put their staff newsletter online to keep all staff informed and facilitate information sharing and created a series of networks for staff groups such as the Disabled Staff Network and the Women Professors Group. Their positive work environment efforts focus on key themes including positive relationships, health and well-being, and equality anddiversityto recognize and value the people who work for them and the things that affect their happiness and success at work. They work to improve physical and virtual environments and access to create a workplace where the space is pleasant and comfortable to work in.

Author, career coach, and former publisher of Modern HealthcareChuck Lauersays the trend towards creating positive work environments is growing, but reminds people that its not easy. He says it requires total involvement of the CEO, regular training to involve all employees in the mission and vision of the management team, and respect for employees. While he addresses healthcare work environments, his advice about creating positive work environments applies to all industries.

Top companies know that they have to pay attention to employee engagement to attract and keep the top talent they need to profitably operate their businesses, and their work environments are a big part of that. Glassdoor conducts annual Employees Choice Awards based on employee reviews of the companies they work for. The top 10 best places to work in 2015 was topped by, you guessed it, Google, although this is actually the first year that Google has made it to the top of this employee-reviewed list. While weve all heard about the fabulous perks Google provides (they even made a movie about it), the biggest part of Googles engagement is that they provide and encourage opportunities for career growth and career development resources.

Other companies on Glassdoors top 10 list include Bain & Company, Nestle Purina Pet Care, McKinsey & Company, Mayo Clinic, H-E-B, Boston Consulting Group, F5 Networks, Chevron, and In-N-Out Burger. Boston global management consulting firm Bain & Companys employees praise it for a fun and connected officecultureand leadership commitment to work-life balance. In-N-Out Burgers employees love the calm and comfortable atmosphere, great pay, benefits, and hours.

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