Building a team is a two-way street. On one side, your employees agree to use their talents and experience to drive the organization forward. On the other, companies agree to compensate them for their work.
But there’s more to it than that. Setting your team up for success comes down to the emotional, intellectual, and physical ways that you support them. And it’s not as complicated as it may seem—the simplest things can foster a positive work environment and leave employees feeling like valued members of the organization.
Prioritize onboarding and training
Companies are realizing that a sink-or-swim mentality doesn’t work when the aim is to cultivate high-performing teams and a positive work environment.
In fact, it is identified ineffective onboarding as a major reason why 17% of new hires quit in the first three months. That’s why the online shoe retailer Zappos provides new employees with a five-week course that teaches them about the values and culture of the company.
Not every organization can dedicate five weeks to onboarding. But employees’ first two weeks, at least, should be planned out in full. If possible, make sure to include scheduled time for the following to get them through the awkward initiation phase:
- Shadowing coworkers
- Sitting in on meetings
Locating and reading through important company files and process documents
Employees should also be educated on workplace safety and codes of conduct to help them understand how the organization works as a whole.
Create a comfortable work environment
A workspace should empower employees to do their best work. Adjustable standing desks and well-positioned computer screens can not only alleviate pain but can also affect employees’ emotional well-being and promote focus. Remember, employees can’t do their best work in an office they find disruptive. Consider creating a comfortable, productive space that encompasses everything from ergonomic furniture to temperature-regulated interiors.
Facilitate opportunities for learning
When it comes to setting teams up for success, it’s tempting to focus on the things that will make them more productive in the short term. Workplace learning and experimentation, however, is equally important. Employees thrive and performance increases when a company becomes a true learning organization that prioritizes professional development. Providing opportunities for informal learning and knowledge sharing is also key, especially with new hires. A company can save millions in lost productivity by making sure that employees have access to the information they need to do their jobs.
A positive work environment begins with a collaborative foundation. Building high-performing teams hinges on the team atmosphere that you cultivate, the physical environment you create, and the relationships you build. If you want to retain your best people, you can’t just put them to work; you need to give them something that can often be rare to find: a workplace and work that they find fulfilling.