Figures show that in 2015-16, 11.7 million working days were lost due to stress, depression or anxiety, with 488,000 cases in the UK. The main factors causing work-related stress were cited as workload pressures and tight deadlines, too much responsibility and lack of managerial support.
Stress is often overlooked but it can play a vital role in affecting the attendance and performance of your employees, so it’s worthwhile thinking about the ways that you can encourage a positive environment in your workplace. This will help to reduce any work pressures and give your team incentives to stay productive, without work pressure mounting.
Here are a few ideas that your business could consider adopting to ensure a positive working environment in your workplace:
Rewards and Incentives
Bonuses and cash awards can motivate employees to work more productively and it also encourages friendly competition between colleagues, which can improve work performance.
Consider introducing an annual staff awards ceremony to recognise staff who have worked hard in the year. Employees who receive recognition tend to have a positive attitude at work, feel more encouraged in their job and have increased morale. Giving out verbal praise, an award and even a prize can have long-term positive effects on your employees and your business as a whole.
The NHS warns that office workers are more prone to leading a sedentary lifestyle and as a result, there’s an increased risk of health problems for workers. Those who stay sitting at their desks for eight hours a day with no exercise are more likely to be absent due to illness and have a negative attitude towards work. So, how can you prevent this?
Give your employees the opportunity to get away from their computer screens regularly with a relaxation area or break room. If your employees use laptops, an area with standing desks will give them a change of scenery so they can move away from their desks. Some workplaces have even invested in treadmill desks in a bid to encourage their employees to do more exercise during the working day.
By getting involved with local charities, your business can enjoy giving back to the community, as well as promoting a positive and caring work environment.
Whether you want to set up your own activities or you want to plan activities that coincide with annual national events, such as Red Nose Day, there are plenty of things you could do. Here are a few ideas:
- Bake Off – ask people to bring in some home-baked treats and colleagues can donate to sample them.
- Sports Day – you could set up a range of activities like skipping, pogoing and skating for your employees. There’s plenty of fun and affordable options for sports days activities from suppliers like Skate Hut.
- Fancy Dress – choose a theme for a fancy dress day and ask your employees to donate money. You could even have a competition for the best outfit. It’s a great way to establish an informal atmosphere for a day and encourage staff to chat with each other.
- Quiz Day – employees who want to participate can set up teams and you can act as the quizmaster, setting the questions. This encourages teamwork and it’s a cost-effective way to raise money.
Encouraging collaboration within the workplace can be an important investment for a business owner. It builds trust within the team, encourages communication and helps to avoid conflict. Team building means that you can have engaged colleagues who work together in harmony.
Try not to be too corporate with your team building activities as it may be less effective in helping your team members get on – forced fun won’t help organic bonding. Instead, try to find ways to help people connect and engage with each other, perhaps a team paintballing trip or go karting.
It’s unlikely that you’ll get on with every single person in your workplace, but it can improve the atmosphere and the positivity in general if your employees feel comfortable communicating with each other.
Encourage a positive working environment in the workplace with incentives and activities to help your employees feel valued and engaged. Even if the plans are small, showing your employees that you care about their well-being and their hard work on a regular basis can make a huge different to the productivity within your business.