In my twelve years of career growing brands in the Arab world and beyond, I have the opportunity to visit companies and organizations. if I were to ask myself how many of those companies have a stimulating and positive work environment? The number does not exceed the number of fingers on my hand.
How Can We Improve Working Conditions?
The desirable work environment is based on several elements that can be drawn from both failed and successful experiences. You don’t need ambiance and facilities like Google to make the working environment stimulating. In my view, the most important features of the successful work environment are summarized as follows:
- Sharing values and goals
- Remove restrictions and boost confidence
- Build transparency and ease on communications
- Give motivation and incentives
- The ambiance and general design of the office
Sharing values and goals
It is very important for any department to clarify the goals that are to be achieved for employees, take their opinions and make sure that they understand them and believe in them, as well as agree on specific values and laws governing the work environment, to ensure a positive workflow and create the ideal environment for employees and enhance communication between them. These shared goals and values must take into account the employees’ aspirations for growth.
Remove Restrictions and Boost Confidence
Some procedures and rules diminish trust and inhibit creativity. Rules and restrictions on employees need to be revisited. You need to remove policies and regulations that deprive employees of creativity, innovation, participation, and destroying trust among employees.
This is one of the most important factors that help stimulate productivity and positivity.
For example, if someone proposes an idea for a project, any employee can ask about the feasibility of this project without fear of sensitivities and reactions, because it was agreed in advance that the goal is to advance the work forward and work as a tea. This creates an element of creativity, innovation, and participation among all employees, which reflects positively on the goals of work and employees as well.
Transparency and Ease of Communication
The work environment must be transparent, whether it is between colleagues and managers alike, as well as it should be characterized by ease of communication between employees, and the ease of communication between them and managers and enable them to obtain adequate support. Also, clear and appropriate directions must be given. This allows employees to work easily and conveniently. This includes access to swift decision making to enable employees to work productively..
Before even talking about motivation, the employee must be able to perform his work without being concerned about the basics that are necessary for him to deliver a good job. Such as the employee’s car unavailability, the computer’s malfunction, or the phone does not work. These are problems that employees have to deal with on a daily basis. It is their fundamental right to have the tools they need. Yet many employees suffer from this ‘lack of resources needed which the employer allows them to happen in the first place.
One of the things that can increase your employees’ performance exponentially, is a commitment to official working hours that usually take the employees away from his family. So the employee must have the opportunity to work with more smooth hours or even from the house sometimes, provided that he accomplishes the tasks required of him. This may include giving the employee an opportunity to change part of his office décor and the shape of the place he sits in. All of this helps him psychologically to perform his work and brings him closer to the place.
This is closely related to motivation. There are financial incentives and there are moral incentives both of which are important. But not all employers can afford to dish out bonuses every six months. Here is where creativity comes into play, for example, by giving him leave days paid outside his entitlement, or joining training courses that qualify him to take larger positions and enrich his experience reserve for the performing employees. It can be even a public appreciation program in honoring the contribution of an employee. All of this contributes to pushing the positivity among employees and creating honest competition between them.
Ambiance and General Design
Positive work environments are distinguished by the décor that is a little far from formal, there are rooms for rest and entertainment, and there are several facilities such as a nursery for children, restaurants and cafeteria and even a fitness room and a swimming pool, for example, Google Global provides free food for its employees in the cafeteria in addition to many features and facilities Others, and there are companies that organize various sporting and recreational tournaments and competitions not only for employees but also for their families!
Returning to the question that I asked at the beginning of the article, how many companies and organizations in our Arab world have a positive and stimulating work environment? We have brains, capabilities, and capabilities that enable us to do better than what I wrote above, but why are there so few companies and bodies that focus on the work environment?
Is it a problem of priorities? Or is it the fear of change and the experience of the new?
In my view, the problem is the problem of applying a culture of the work environment. There are many creative ideas that have been written on paper, and I have remained on it on the pretext that the employee may not accept the change, or because of the official’s lack of confidence in the employee. These and other excuses, yes I call them excuses, will eventually make the employee feel uneasy in his work environment. He will search for another job that provides him with comfort, motivation, and appreciation!
And if the employee is not creative in his work, the work will become routine and psychological pressure that he suffers every day until he gets rid of it! What is required is to change the culture, and proceed with trying a new one.
The challenge only lies in taking the first step. So we need just take the first step in treating our employees like a treasured talent and not like a commodity.