Transparency at Work

Emma Cullen23 of October, 2017
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9 ways to create a positive and safe work environment

We all want to work in a pleasant and comfortable environment. Working in a positive and safe workplace will impact your well-being in a good way and give you a better outlook on your career. It will make getting up for work in the morning a joy rather than a chore! With a little bit of work and support from your team, you can create this positive and safe space. Let these tips show you how!

1. Get your team to show appreciation for each other

One easy and rewarding thing you can do to create a positive working environment is to actively show appreciation for your team, and encourage them to show appreciation for each other. This can be done in an unstructured way, by just encouraging your employees to be thankful to each other. Alternatively, this can be done in a more structured manner by using tools such as Mentimeter to create and hold reflection sessions with your team where you can share feedback. Test out this template with your team:

Template: Say thanks to a team member who helped you this week

2. Make space for equal and open discussions

The workplace should be the perfect place for open discussion. Discussion sessions can be a great opportunity for brainstorming and generating new ideas. When conducting group discussions, you may find that some team members will dominate the discussion. In order to promote a safe and positive environment for the whole team, develop a system where everyone gets the chance to voice their idea or opinion. Try out this discussion template to encourage a fair and open discussion with your team:

Template: What ideas do you have for this project?

3. Learn about different personality types

If you find that there are some tensions between team members in the group, you should tackle this proactively. Usually, any tensions between members are down to lack of communication and different personalities. Therefore, you will want to consider holding a workshop or presentation that looks at different types of personalities. This will help your team to get to know each other and understand how to work with each other better. A team that understands each other will definitely have a positive impact on your working environment.

4. Celebrate team wins

A team that celebrates together, stays together. You will discover that most successes you have in your work are not down to one person, but a whole team. Be sure to celebrate wins in the workplace, no matter how big or small. This will not only help people to feel appreciated but also make them understand that they are having an important impact on the organization too! Get your team to decide on how they would like to celebrate their next win. This will help them feel more invested in their goal. Try out this interactive Mentimeter template to decide:

Template: How should we celebrate our next team win?

5. Spend time together not working

Your employees are human, not resources or man-hours. Take some time to do a non-work related activity together. This can help to rejuvenate the team and also help them to see each other beyond their job title. If your team feels relaxed and comfortable in each other’s presence, this will create a positive and safe working environment.

6. Use anonymity where appropriate

You can create a safe discussion environment by using anonymity where appropriate. This can be useful if you need to discuss sensitive topics or need to ask for very honest opinions or feedback on something. There are a number of ways of doing this, for example by using an anonymous feedback form. You can also use Mentimeter to collect anonymous feedback.

7. Reflect back on the week together

Take time to reflect on what you and your team have achieved during the week. This is something that we do each week at Mentimeter. On Friday afternoons we set aside 15 minutes and use our tool to reflect on the past week. We look at a different area each week, but try to keep the discussion positive and focused on our learnings from the week, so that everyone has a great feeling when they leave the office on a Friday! Test out this Friday reflection template and take a look back on the week:

Template: Reflect on the last week. Do you agree with these statements?

8. Trust your team

As a leader, it is essential that you trust your team. Avoid micromanagement, or taking over tasks that others should be responsible for as this will cause your team to harbor negative feelings. Instead, nurture an environment of trust and give your team freedom (with responsibility, of course) and this will spread positivity throughout your employees.

9. Set boundaries and expectations together

Create a positive and safe environment together by conducting a workshop where your team can set boundaries and expectations together. By creating these commitments together you will avoid team members from feeling that something has been ‘imposed’ on them, and instead they will feel more committed to the team's boundaries and expectations as this is something they have created together. Test out this template to find out what your team thinks is important so that you can create rules and boundaries:

Template: What is important for us as a team?

Creating a positive and safe environment in the workplace is important for the well being of you and your team and it can be easily implemented and managed. Try some of these tips and see if you feel a difference. Good luck!

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Posted by Emma Cullen23 of October, 2017
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