Can your work environment make or break how happy you are?
My cousin recently called me regarding a situation that annoyed her at work. She called to vent or rant about an issue that she was having with a co-worker and was wondering if she was overreacting.
She was quite upset over the whole situation and even asked if she should leave her job, the environment is not something she enjoys.
I could not help but wonder, how important is a good work environment?
Causes of Work-Related Stress
Work-related stress can be caused by the factors such as:
- Long hours
- Heavy workload
- Changes within the organization
- Tight deadlines
- Changes to duties
- Job insecurity
- Lack of autonomy
- Boring work
- Insufficient skills for the job
- Inadequate working environment
- Lack of proper resources
- Lack of equipment
- Few promotional opportunities
- Poor relationships with colleagues or bosses
- Crisis incidents, such as an armed hold-up or workplace death.
The American Psychological Association (APA) did a survey on work and wellbeing and they reported that less than half of the 1501 workers surveyed felt their organization supported employee well-being, and one in three reported being chronically stressed.
“A positive work environment has the power to boost productivity and employee wellbeing.”
Only 47 percent felt the recognition they received reflected their contributions to the organization. Fifty-three percent reported a lack of opportunity for growth or advancement, which was the second largest contributor to job stress after low salaries.
A Good Work Environment Starts with Leadership
Why is having a good leader important? How can leadership negatively or positively affect the work environment?
According to an article written by Dr. Peter Cotton, a negative vibe at work can lead to poor mental health outcomes, but proactive leadership can reduce the risks and create a more productive working environment.
A positive work environment has the power to boost productivity and improve employee wellbeing, while a negative work environment can, unsurprisingly, achieve quite the opposite.
In particular, a growing body of research shows that poor workplace culture characterized by unchecked incivility and bullying can lead to what is often called ‘psychological injury.’
“There several factors that help with having and creating a positive work environment.”
This may be associated with the diagnosis of mental health disorders like depression and anxiety that arise from workplace stress – and are a growing source of claims for workers compensation.
There is emerging evidence to suggest that some leadership styles contribute to negative well-being at work. Importantly, however, this also means that everyone from line managers to the CEO can help to improve workplace culture and reduce the risk of psychological injury.
It all starts with leadership, back to that conversation with my cousin, when we tried to troubleshoot the situation a question that I raise was, why don’t you bring this up to your supervisor and see if there is something that can be done?
She responded that the supervisory was not very responsive and that the leadership is lacking in her work environment.
10 Signs of a Positive Work Environment
There are several factors that help with having and creating a positive work environment. Having an open communication and the ability to have an open dialog without fear of negative consequence creates more productivity in the workplace.
Linnda Durre wrote about 10 Signs of a Positive Work Environment:
1. Positive Values
2. Relaxed and Productive Atmosphere
3. Commitment to Excellence
4. Open and Honest Communication
5. Cooperation, Support, and Empowerment
6. Sense of Humor
7. Compassion, Respect, and Understanding
9. Positive Reinforcement
10. Emphasis on Health, Family, and Environment
Creating a Positive Work Environment
Creating a positive, welcoming, uplifting and healthy work culture can be done with the right measures put into place.
Recently I celebrated a work anniversary and thought: man, I enjoy going to work! I like my colleagues and love the exchange that I have with others. Having the ability to brainstorm with other professionals is something that I much appreciate.
For years, I worked without co-workers, and I did not have a support system outside of my husband.
Going to be a place where warmth and excellent leadership is what all work should be. Striving for an environment where people can treat each other with integrity and respect while being encouraging and inspiring to one another should be #workgoals.