Positive Work

by Isabeau Malan | September 7, 2022

A positive work environment is quite subjective for each individual. For some this may be how close they sit to the coffee machine while for others it might be having a window seat. But the working environment is about much more than just the physical.  
A positive work environment can be defined as a space that promotes the well-being, productivity, and growth of employees. Michigan State University defined a positive work environment as those workplaces where there is trust, cooperation, safety, risk-taking support, and accountability. 
The work environment includes everything from the physical space to relationships with co-workers and supervisors, organizational culture, and personal development. 


A positive work environment can provide several benefits for both employees and employers. The type of environment can lead to employee success and happiness – both professionally and personally. Some of the benefits include: 

Increased Productivity
When you are happy in your environment, employees tend to be more productive and equipped to complete tasks efficiently. Therefore, a positive work environment can increase the output of their work. 

Improves Morale
Employee morale can be defined as the general sense of satisfaction, attitude and outlook that employees have about work. When you view your work in a positive way, you can influence those around you to also have a positive mindset. 

Fosters growth
When employees are motived to succeed, they are more likely to explore new opportunities to further their careers. Make employees feel like valuable members of the team with positive reinforcement from the employers, which will motivate everyone to continue to improve.

Promotes collaboration
Motivated individuals are more likely to support and encourage co-workers. This will enhance professional relationships within the organization. The stronger the bond between co-workers, the greater chance for the company to achieve their goals. Team collaboration is the foundation for success.

Less staff turnover
Content workers are less likely to start looking for other opportunities. A good salary may attract talent, but a positive work environment is what keeps the talent. If the environment and opportunities fall short of expectations, employees will soon seek new employment. Rapid employee turnover comes with a big cost and should be avoided.



1. Create Strong Lines of Communication

Technology makes it so easy to communicate and yet only 24% of all emails are opened. Communication is all about give and take. For example – feedback should be viewed as an opportunity to grow, but feedback should also be given in a constructive manner. An open and transparent communication style can help employees feel that their inputs matter. This gives employees a sense of belonging and meaning because they know that their contribution is valued by the organization. Open discussions allow employees to share their views and perspectives to help achieve organizational goals. When creating a positive work environment through communication, consider how you speak to each other.  

2. Focus on the Actual Work Environment 

Optimal workspaces differ for each employee. Some employees may enjoy collaborative spaces where others might prefer to work isolated. It is therefore important to create a mixture of spaces including open plan, breakout areas and private spaces to give employees the opportunity to work where they are most productive. 

3. Encourage Career Development 

It is crucial to create a positive work environment where everyone is encouraged to develop their individual skills and strengths. With the support of employers, managers and co-workers employees will be able to grow their careers. This will lead to greater motivation which will be beneficial in terms of the quantity and quality of work produced. For the organization this will also mean that employees are able to handle more complex tasks and resources can be optimally allocated.  

4. Host Company Events 

Company events offer great opportunities for employees to interact and build strong relationships outside of the boardroom. Events can be a mixture between on-site and off-site socials as well as formal or informal. Research shows that a sense of community and belonging can boost an organization’s success by up to 350% through increased productivity, motivation, and engagement.   

5. Good work-life balance 

It is important that there is a balance between work and personal life. Having this balance will improve job satisfaction among employees because they will feel that they are not neglecting other aspects of their lives. When employees fulfil both their work and personal goals, they feel more confident about themselves which will ultimately have a positive influence on their work performance. Employers have a responsibility to motivate a good work-life balance. This can be done through rewarding employees who maintain a good work-life balance while still performing efficiently and productively.  

6. Encourage Activity 

We all know physical activity is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Employees often use the excuse for not having time as the reason for neglecting physical activity. But there are actual advantages for creating time for employees for some movement throughout the day. Some of these advantages include less long-term sick leave, reduced stress, a boost of energy levels and even improved productivity. Physical activity can also help the brain perform better in terms of creativity, learning speed, memory retention and concentration. Some ideas to get your team moving can include gym discounts, health initiatives, walking during lunchtime and maybe a table tennis tournament. 

7. Recognition for Hard Work 

Rewards are required to encourage certain behaviour – this can be referred to as positive reinforcement. Rewards do not always have to be monetary in nature and sometimes the necessary recognition can be more than sufficient and spur employees’ motivation. People need to know that their hard work is being noticed by management and by recognizing this, employees naturally feel valued. Valued employees will go the extra mile because they know they are appreciated. Employers can give recognition through authentic compliments, rewards, bonuses, raises, promotions and employee certificates of achievement.  



In summary, a positive working environment is a space that encourages people to perform at their best and makes them feel good about coming to work. This will provide them with the necessary motivation to sustain them throughout the day.

wauperform’s people development process integrates a values-based culture and strengths orientated people development to create a positive environment to the benefit of all stakeholders.

Contact Dale Petersen on 021 819 7802 or at dpetersen@wauko.com to discuss your specific needs to optimise the performance from your people.


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