Can a more positive work environment create a healthier bottom line for your small business? The answer is a resounding yes. Some time ago the Harvard Business Review analyzed hundreds of studies showing an average of 37 percent higher sales and 31 percent higher productivity at companies where employees were glad to work.
It would make sense that a business or organization where people wanted to come to work and enjoyed serving their customers would be a more profitable enterprise.
Business owners who consciously invest in their business by doing what it takes to create an upbeat and happy work environment are on to a good thing.
One small business owner, Mitch Lipon of IgniteXDS in Brighton, Mich, strives to make a positive environment for his team of mostly millennial employees. He does this by creating a place that supports lots of open communication and trust. It seems to be working. They have had consistent client growth with corresponding profitability over the past several years.
So what can you do in your small business to create a positive work environment? Here are a few suggestions.
First, make it a priority. That’s right? Put it on your to do list and put together a strategy of how you will roll it out to your team. This might include holding a brainstorming session with your employees and managers where you ask for suggestions on what needs to happen to make it a reality.
Make a list of what needs to start happening and what needs to stop happening, to create a culture of happiness and productivity. Ask the question, how can management and employees be held accountable to do their fair share of contributing to this kind of desirable workplace?
Ask your employees for some of their perceived benefits of working at a company where they would look forward to coming to work each day. Ask questions like: How will this affect the way you approach your job? How will you feel as you leave home and head to work on Monday morning?
Next, walk the talk. One of the best ways to create the kind of environment you want your employees to support is to model the type. This means focusing on positive solutions when problems present themselves. Complaining and dwelling on problems seems to only exacerbate them.
I always tell my clients that when it comes to a negative workplace, if they keep on doing what they have always done, they will get more of it. In other words, if they perpetuate a workplace where there is a lot of finger pointing and complaining, then they will get more of the same.
Finally, don’t be afraid to show the chronic whiners and complainers in your company the door. It is true that some people are happiest being unhappy and they want company – lots of it. You can’t afford to keep this kind of employee on the payroll.
As it has been said that this is the kind of person who can predictably cheer up a whole room – by leaving it! Make it clear to your team that those employees and managers who are not willing to contribute to a positive work culture and who bring down the rest of the team, are not going to be part of your company in the future.
To create a more productive, happier and more profitable company, try these three suggestions:
- Make it a priority to build and implement a positive work environment.
- Get everyone involved in brainstorming and creating this type of environment.
- Walk the talk – be the example.
- Keep only team members who buy into this philosophy — and give the negative ones the opportunity to work elsewhere.