10 signs of a positive workplace
Does your office bear the marks of a negative work environment or a positive one?
As a business consultant, corporate trainer, and psychotherapist for many years, I have been asked by many people, “How can I cope with negativity at work? Are there good companies to work for? How can I spot one and get hired?”
Positive workplaces tend to exhibit a common set of traits that foster excellence, productivity and camaraderie. Here are 10 characteristics of a healthy workplace to look for:
1. Positive values
A positive mission statement outlines the goals and demonstrative behavior that exemplify the highest commitment to quality and service to each other, the company, customers and shareholders. The company sets out to achieve its goals in ethical, honest ways with an elevated sense of purpose to improving the planet and humanity.
2. Relaxed and productive atmosphere
People enjoy coming to work and feel appreciated, acknowledged and rewarded. Signs of fear, domination, bullying, sexual harassment, and intimidation are absent. Creativity, productivity, and thinking outside the box flourish.
3. Commitment to excellence
Employees give 200%. They strive to be the best and to deliver top-quality products and services. They take responsibility for their actions and decisions.
4. Open and honest communication
Everyone communicates in a cards-on-the-table manner, solving difficulties in a positive way. They don’t play nasty revenge games when given difficult feedback. Instead, they view feedback as an opportunity for growth.
5. Cooperation, support, and empowerment
Can-do, go-the-extra-mile and win-win attitudes are evident. Employees have a sense of camaraderie, cooperation, and empowerment. Healthy competition exists without vengeful, spiteful backstabbing.
6. Sense of humor
Employees keep things in perspective, have fun, and laugh. Laughter generates endorphins, our natural antidepressants.
7. Compassion, respect, and understanding
Kindness and understanding prevail when employees face challenges such as accidents, illnesses, personal tragedies, and natural disasters. People will usually go the extra mile for others when they’re treated well and with understanding, compassion, and respect.
The company and its employees embrace change, accommodate new trends and technology, and incorporate new skills. They know if they don’t, the business will end up a dinosaur. As the saying goes, “Change is the only constant.”
9. Positive reinforcement
People need acknowledgement, appreciation, and gratitude to be motivated. Genuine compliments, rewards, bonuses, raises, promotions, and certificates of achievement are oil in the machinery. The company thanks employees regularly in these ways.
10. Emphasis on health, family, and environment
The company offers comprehensive health insurance, with weight-loss, smoking-cessation, and substance-abuse programs. The corporate cafeteria features a low-fat menu, and the company gym is stocked with exercise equipment.
The company offers reimbursement for childcare and/or on-site childcare. The office itself features natural and recessed lighting with incandescent bulbs rather than halogen or fluorescent. The organization is environmentally-aware by encouraging solar power and recycling.
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[Linnda Durré, PhD, a psychotherapist, corporate consultant, national speaker, and columnist, is the author of Surviving the Toxic Workplace: Protect Yourself Against the Coworkers, Bosses and Work Environments That Poison Your Day. She has been interviewed on “Oprah,” “60 Minutes,” “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Good Morning America,” and “The Today Show,” among others. She has been featured or cited in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and CNN Online, and has written for Forbes Online, American City Business Journals, and Orlando Business Journal.]