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The Side Dish

Building a Positive Workplace Environment

Falynne Knight / 7.2.2018

As a millennial, there are more than a handful of things I am likely unable to bring to the table. The experience, qualifications, skills, attention to detail… the list goes on. With a checklist of preferred qualifications and responsibilities, there is one bullet point a lot of employers fail to mention when writing a job description – knowledge of creating a positive work environment. This is one piece of knowledge that doesn’t take 5-10 years to learn.

positive work environment

With a checklist of preferred qualifications and responsibilities, there is one bullet point a lot of employers fail to mention when writing a job description – knowledge of creating a positive work environment.

Since graduating from college, my primary 9-to-5 residence has been at an office desk. In the fall of 2015, I started my very first “big girl job.” I was working as a receptionist at a local TV station in Phoenix. The office was located in the second story of a deserted building; I sat in a cubicle for eight hours a day with zero direction, no phone and “fun” or “culture” nowhere in sight.

Did you catch that middle part? No phone. I was a receptionist…

As my first job out of college – with the exception of working in restaurants for the past four years – I was pretty naive.

Fast forward two years and a few companies later, I have found what it means to work in a place where company culture is the number one priority. Where positive energy and cultivating relationships is a part of the job description. Company events are a monthly (and sometimes weekly) routine. Co-workers are friends and you see your boss on a daily basis.

Here are a few “tips” to help make the office an enjoyable place to spend the majority of your week.

Show Appreciation

Every employee brings something different to the table. It’s important to recognize these qualities and give kudos where needed. In my few years of work experience, I’ve noticed that a quick 15-minute huddle to discuss successes and express appreciation will raise the overall office morale.

Tackle Problems Together

I will be the first to admit that I make mistakes in my day-to-day tasks – forgetting to turn off a Facebook campaign, missing a deadline or making a typo in ad copy. Whenever I have a problem that seems irreversible or I have made a mistake that I think might be the end of the world, my coworkers never seem to gasp in anger or disappointment.

Work is never easy, and no single person is perfect. Being a part of a team means helping your coworkers fix the issue.

Don’t Leave a Mess

Similar to what our first-grade teachers would preach, if you make a mess, clean it up. In other words – don’t leave unfinished work for someone else to complete when you go on vacation. Don’t hand someone else your problem when you don’t want to deal with it. Don’t eat someone else’s lunch that’s unnamed in the fridge just because you forgot your lunch at home.

OK, you get it. Respect is a key factor in a healthy work environment. Your colleagues are just as busy as you are, and it’s important to be considerate of their time.

Make Your Team A Priority

Clients are important – but clients shouldn’t always take precedence over your teammates. Don’t push off one-on-ones or team meetings just for an urgent call or last-minute project. The connection between your team is what keeps the positive juices flowing and I believe it is crucial to support a healthy work environment. Meetings and conversations can be rescheduled – but if these conversations are constantly replaced with client needs and deadlines – the connection and culture will quickly vanish.

Company culture will always be the first bullet point I look for when growing in my career. When I stumbled upon BIG YAM, the first thing I read was this, “Individually we are smart, bold and results driven. Together we are fearless.” I’m proud to be a BIG YAMmer.

If you’re also looking for ways to improve your individual work efficiency, check out these healthy habits from public relations account executive, Brooke Benavides, swears by to boost productivity in the workplace.

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