Have you ever wondered what makes an employee unhappy in their work environment? A study conducted in New York showed that 52.3% of Americans were unhappy or dissatisfied with their jobs. As we spend the majority of our day (and lives) in the workplace, a positive work environment is vital to ensure job satisfaction and productivity, as well as general contentment.

As a CEO or manager, it is of fundamental importance to create a place in which employees wants to come every day. When employees feel encouraged, appreciated, and motivated, they ultimately perform above average and become highly dedicated to their job and the company. Doesn’t that sound marvelous? However, as obvious as it sounds that a positive work environment creates a more productive team, it is easier said than done.

The key is to create an environment that encourages employees and have them feel satisfied in what they do. But how do you achieve this?

A simple thank you

One of the biggest complaints that employees  often have is that they feel under appreciated. Taking the time to mention “nice job” or “you made a difference on this project” allows the person to realize that they, and their work, matter. Positive reinforcement is a psychological trigger and a  simple thank you from time to time, especially when they are not expecting it, is a strong mechanism to give workers a sense of pride, a feeling of appreciation, and essentially drives employees to continually strive towards the next verbal reward.

It takes a village

Every member of your team has an idea that could have potential and be nurtured into something successful. Open a space for brainstorming with your team and encourage group discussion. As the quote says, “One hand alone cannot clap”. Building the relationships between team members establishes unity. Be aware of how the team works together and take steps to ensure high levels of communication, cooperation, trust, and respect between employees. A team that plays together, stays together after all.

It starts at the top

The best leaders can create harmony throughout an organization. When leadership is dictatorial, employees can end up feeling intimidated and resentful, resulting in a hostile working environment.  For a positive work space, it must start from the top with the leaders of the company.  If the leaders provide a positive attitude and inspire their employees, it will inevitably trickle down to all departments, creating motivation.

Encourage fun

It is crucial to create an atmosphere that is challenging, creative and fun for employees. Through fun comes connection, and this kinship is what creates a balance within a team.  Simple steps, such as playing music in the office, providing spontaneous treats, or simply allowing employees to take 5 minutes out of their day to tell stories and have a few laughs will create a positive environment and the employees will thank you for it with higher levels of enthusiasm towards their day to day tasks.

Rethink your interior design

Imagine walking into an office with dull walls, no windows, and fluorescent lighting. Sounds a bit like a prison, doesn’t it?  A work space shouldn’t be somewhere that reminds employees of being confined. A restrictive feel to a space will ultimately stifle creativity. Rethink your interior design and provide an open space that entices happiness and enjoyment. Try creating a lounge area for employees to relax at during lunch, colorful artwork on the walls, and fun ornaments decorating the area. Everything from wood flooring to lighting and the color on the walls can create a happier atmosphere. When employees are happy they are more likely to do their best at work!