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Nine ways employers can create a positive work environment for employees

Recruitment | 6 Min Read

Nine ways employers can create a positive work environment for employees

About This Topic


Hiring managers believe keeping employees happy means providing higher salaries, larger office spaces, or glamorous perks. However, what employees truly need is intangible benefits that enhance the work environment, increase workplace satisfaction, and boost productivity. Most workers today prefer benefits such as flexible hours, professional growth opportunities, a positive workplace culture, and recognition for hard work. These benefits make the work environment enjoyable and allow employees to achieve their personal and professional goals.


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Nine things that employees want at work

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1. Clear expectations and goals

Regular one-on-one meetings and team discussions help ensure clear goal-setting for employees. However, this is not a one-time event; therefore, it should be conducted periodically throughout the year.

Additionally, the traditional practice of annual performance reviews and feedback is not enough in today’s work environment. Performance problems often arise due to a lack of clear expectations and inadequate recognition. Regular feedback can help overcome these challenges and set the right expectations for employees.

2. Recognition

Recognizing employees can increase their motivation and willingness to perform better. When employees are recognized, they feel valued. It promotes a positive work culture and a sense of camaraderie.

Employee recognition can be achieved through various methods, such as verbal praise, written notes or emails, public recognition, or rewards and incentives.

Additionally, offering competitive pay and employee benefits help attract top talent. Job seekers look for mental health benefits, generous paid time-offs, workplace flexibility, and better parental leave options.

3. Work-life balance

Employees like the freedom to decide when, where, and how of their work. It leads to increased productivity, less stress, higher retention rates, and an engaged workplace.

Educating team members on healthy work-life balance, unplugged hours after work, use of paid leaves, opportunities for learning and development, and clear and open communication between leaders and employees helps boost better work-life balance.

4. Career opportunities

Most employees work towards enhancing their careers in the future. They want to be coached and mentored rather than just managed. They seek leaders who are committed to employees’ personal growth and development.

Hence, leaders must understand employee demands and offer better career opportunities within the organization. Mercer | Mettl provides a range of assessments to help organizations with high potential identification, succession planning, leadership development, and virtual ADCs. These assessments evaluate employees’ potential for lateral or vertical job positions, help hiring managers plan for promotions, and promote leadership intelligence in employees.

5. Trust and respect

A positive work environment is built on trust and respect. Team members want an inclusive work environment that makes them feel a part of the larger purpose, and leading by example is a wonderful way to promote trust.

Employees also seek leaders who trust them with responsibilities. They want managers who demonstrate confidence in them even when working remotely.

6. Using employee strengths

Using employees’ strengths is a fundamental factor in creating an enriching workplace. Employees who are not able to use their strengths often seek other jobs.

Ideally, when hiring, recruiters should understand what excites candidates about their work and offer them suitable positions. Providing a realistic job preview and information about the team help candidates gauge expected duties and make the right decision.

7. Job security

Job security is necessary for employees because it fosters loyalty and commitment. When employees feel secure, they are more likely to invest in the larger personal and professional growth goals. Job security can also reduce turnover rates and associated hiring costs. It reduces employee stress and anxiety and creates a positive company reputation among current and potential employees.

8. Inclusiveness

Creating an inclusive workplace is crucial for employees’ mental well-being and productivity. When employees feel valued regardless of their backgrounds or identities, they are more dedicated to the company’s goals and mission.

Additionally, an inclusive workplace helps attract and retain diverse talent, which brings different perspectives and ideas to the table.

To foster inclusivity in the work environment, organizations can take the following steps:

  • Provide opportunities to emphasize diversity, inclusion, and cultural sensitivity.
  • Acknowledge and celebrate unique backgrounds. This can include cultural celebrations and diversity days.
  • Establish clear policies for addressing instances of discrimination or harassment.

9. Outcomes over output

The traditional methods of measuring employee productivity require change. Employees prefer working for an organization that rewards outcomes instead of outputs.

Leadership must shift from metrics like hours worked or keystrokes to specific objectives and key results (OKRs). This framework measures what truly matters, the results, rather than just the time put in.



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Offering benefits beyond just compensation, creating an inclusive workplace culture, promoting job satisfaction, and enhancing an employee’s career aspirations, are critical success factors for employees’ growth. Forward-thinking companies should recognize and implement these benefits for positive employee engagement. A positive work environment assures loyalty, innovation, and a higher happiness quotient, which ensures a future-proof workforce.



What makes a happy workplace for employees?

What are three good areas of improvement at the workplace?

Originally published March 20 2023, Updated March 20 2023

Written by

Vaishali has been working as a content creator at Mercer | Mettl since 2022. Her deep understanding and hands-on experience in curating content for education and B2B companies help her find innovative solutions for key business content requirements. She uses her expertise, creative writing style, and industry knowledge to improve brand communications.

About This Topic

Employee engagement is a process by which companies undertake specific activities to interact with employees and engage them. The activities include employee development, team building, skills development, trainings etc.

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