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How do I Create a Positive Work Environment?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
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If you are like many people, you spend a significant amount of time at work. You have probably learned how terrible it is to have to dread going. Research suggests that stressful and unpleasant working conditions can affect numerous things outside of work including health and personal relationships. For these reasons and many more, creating a positive work environment can be a benefit to you and your co-workers. You can contribute by being positive, making people feel important, and caring for others.

The first thing you can do to create a positive work environment is to be positive. Try to counter negative thoughts and occurrences with positive rebuttals and solutions. Do not become a participant in groaning groups or manager-bashing sessions. Instead, try to encourage everyone to have a positive opinion about everyone else and about their work.

Do not gossip and try to dissuade others from doing so. If you do not have experience with being the subject in the rumor mill, surely you can imagine what it must be like to have your co-workers whispering and giggling behind your back. When you hear people gossiping, refuse to participate and be proactive. Make comments that suggest that their behavior is inappropriate or that the topic they are discussing is not your business.

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A positive work environment is one where people feel they are surrounded by people who care. Professionalism should never be jeopardized, but people should feel as if there is someone they can talk to if they have problems inside or outside of work. Building frustrations in peoples’ lives can often be averted by a kind act or a listening ear. If you notice someone seems to be experiencing problems, reach out to her.

While it is a part of life that some positions rank higher, pay more, and involve more important duties than others, no one wants to feel as if they are at the bottom of the barrel. A high level of respect and inclusiveness are elements of a positive work environment. Try to eliminate caste systems, whereby employees working in certain positions display blatant attitudes of haughtiness or exclude other employees unnecessarily. Also, make everyone feel as if their efforts are being recognized.

A positive work environment is one where people can see a positive future. There are several ways to help people recognize their potential or to spark the motivation within people to go beyond their current positions. One way to do this is to institute a policy of giving preference to promotion over new hires or to suggest such a policy to those who can make the decision. It can also be motivational to identify workers’ strengths and talents and to encourage them along those paths.

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Discuss this Article

KoiwiGal
Post 3

@pastanaga - It depends on what you mean by bad treatment though. If you're being sexually harassed, for example, you should really take the matter to the boss, or, if necessary, to the courts. That's not just a question of workplace motivation. You have a right to feel safe and relatively stress-free in your workplace.

If your workmates or boss are making that impossible, then you've got a right to complain about it.

pastanaga
Post 2

@browncoat - I think that's a good idea in some cases, particularly when you're working in customer service and being positive and friendly can make a huge difference to your day.

But I've been in situations where I was simply being treated badly and it shouldn't be up to me to meet every insult with a smile. If it's the boss who is doing the bad treatment, then that can actually lead to them treating you worse.

I think if you're miserable in your job you should try a few positive work environment ideas, but if they don't make a difference you might have to think about leaving for somewhere that will appreciate you better.

browncoat
Post 1

I've been in a position where I've dreaded going into work because I didn't like the people I worked with and there was a lot of squabbling. In one case it was stressing me out so much I was tempted to quit.

But your own attitude can really make a huge difference. One day I just made myself promise that I would be kind and generous to everyone I interacted with, even if that wasn't my first impulse. I made myself plan out different ways in which I could get people involved in projects by using positive motivation. I wasn't in charge or anything, and I didn't try to claim credit for anything either. I just actively tried to help everyone get along.

And it really worked. People find it really difficult to be nasty when they are met with kindness. Even after the first day, I felt much happier.

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