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Creating and Maintaining a Thriving Work Environment For Employee Longevity

Diverse group of business people standing in a row all are smiling

COVID-19 not only had businesses rapidly changing how they operate essentially overnight, but it also started a spark for workers to leave less than stellar jobs in exchange for jobs that can simply offer more.

Pre-pandemic the main reason workers would quit was either an issue with their pay or their ability to move up in an organization, according to, a review conducted from April – September 2021 between 600 businesses, the biggest factor that led to high turnover rates was toxic workplace cultures. If as an employee or business owner you are questions the state of your business culture, there are several notable red flags for a toxic workplace such as:

  • Unclear Business Goals
  • Obscured Values/Beliefs
  • Conflicting Roles
  • Aggressive/Passive Aggressive Communication
  • One-Way Communication
  • Neglected Employee Feelings/Concerns
  • Frequently Avoided Conflicts
  • Unpassionate or Narcissistic Management
  • Unmotivated Staff
  • Blatant Discrimination
  • Stifled/No Potential for Growth
  • Minimal/No Work Life Balance
  • Staff Battling Burnout
  • Unreasonable Workloads
  • Cliques, Gossip, Rumors
  • Microaggressions
  • No Employee Recognition
  • Physical Symptoms: Lack of Sleep, Joint Pain, Muscle Aches, Nausea, Frequent Employee Sickness
Close up of hand holding a red flag

Shifting For Solidity

Transforming a work culture does not happen overnight and takes a mutual commitment from both management to staff. Mainly though new initiatives need to be created and followed through by management and a business should have leaders in place who are willing and passionate about creating a welcoming, stable work environment.

According to it shows that 88% of employees think a positive workplace culture is essential to success. A positive work environment also increases employee happiness by 33%, reduces long-term sick leave, decreases employee turnover, increases company revenue, and boosts creativity, productivity, and profitability.

Creating a positive work environment is much more than the occasional pizza or quick meeting party, it also comes down to how the employees are supported physically, intellectually, and emotionally daily. Creating this type of work environment enables employees to WANT to stay and help bring in new talent as well. As much as the cliche “we are like family here” usually means a business is usually considered toxic, employees do need a certain level of support from upper level roles so they can feel enthusiastic about coming to work, find joy in their daily job, and openly express their concerns and ideas.

Implement Inclusive Hiring

An inclusive hiring practice actively recognizes diversity and embraces it. This means an organization is open to a wide range of qualities, beliefs, personalities, and perspectives that candidates can bring. According to, 86% of candidates globally say that diversity and inclusion are important to them in the workplace and promoting diversity has been shown to increase productivity, profits, and more creative thinking from all staff. Having staff with diverse backgrounds and ways of doing things leads to a variety of ideas, skills, values, perceptions, and knowledge that an organization did not have access to before, giving them the edge over any competing business.

For contrast, if a business hires staff with all similar beliefs and backgrounds, they are typically stagnant when it comes to moving forward. Be sure to include a diverse range of candidates that have varying ethnicities, religion, sexual orientation, and educational backgrounds during the hiring process to include inclusivity from the beginning.

Business people sitting around a wooden conference table smiling and working together

Emphasize On Communication

While technology has made it easier than ever to collaborate and communicate, sometimes it is not the most efficient way of communication. Typically, employees usually only open 24% of emails, behind the screen communication can feel incredibly impersonal and it is easy for correspondence to be lost in the chaos of the computer. Poor communication between employees can lead to negative effects on customer service, productivity, the ability to meet deadlines and profit as a whole.

To help combat this, management can begin having regular in-person check-ins with staff, be mindful of how they communicate (for both employee recognition and when employees are voicing concerns), address concerns head on and encourage open communication. When staff feel heard and experience positive communication it can lead to employees feeling more motivated, more valued, builds trust, increases innovation, and drives profit.

Enable Room For Growth

According to, 63% of employees have left jobs because they felt there was no room for advancement or career growth. Usually, employees want the chance to move their careers forward, take on more challenging roles and climb the corporate ladder. If an organization lacks the ability to offer any of this, it is an incentive for even the most content employee to leave. Employers should get creative, offer at least some type of growth opportunities, and encourage employees to grow personally and professionally.

If businesses do not have the ability to create new titles, they can at least offer opportunities such as new tasks, new responsibilities, more training, mentorships, or better pay.

Focus On Employee Mental Health

With the new generation of workers, mental health is slowly becoming a top priority when considering a new workplace. In a survey done by, over 46% of American workers struggle with mental health and 83% suffer from work related stress. Mental health symptoms employers can look out for are depression, confusion, mood swings, low energy, and excessive hostility. While symptoms are not always recognizable, management can implement practices to help manage employee mental health such as:

Addressing Common Workplace Stress

Stresses such as heavy workloads, pressure to perform, job insecurity, poor benefits, long hours, and hostile work environments

Promoting Mental Health

Implementing social support groups, setting up anonymous portals for employees to reach out to leadership, offering mental health resources, promoting employee assistance programs, and keeping up regular communication with all employees

Proving Mental Health Training For Management

Training that can help identify signs of mental illness, hostile work environments, excessive workplace stress, identifying employee burnout and learn how to address and manage potentially difficult conversations about mental health with their employees

Create A Physically Comfortable Environment

Employees need to feel empowered and comfortable to do their work and with organizations ranging from remote workplaces to hybrid, to physical office locations, all environments need to be evaluated and optimized.

For hybrid and in-office workplaces, organizations can keep offices clean, well-light, have temperature-regulated interiors, comfortable furniture, adjustable desks, well-positioned computer screens, up-to-date equipment, and offer the flexibility to allow employees to work where they are comfortable.

For remote workplaces, beyond physical accommodations, organizations can supply up-to-date equipment and offer the best tools for seamless communication and collaboration between the rest of employees, minimizing the stress on employees with the transition to remote work.

Man standing and working on his computer

Prioritize Training

Sometimes training can be a daunting, draining, and overwhelming ordeal – especially if an organization does not have the right people as trainers or the right resources to professionally train new staff. When implementing training, it should incorporate both hard skills and soft skills and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth. Regular training and career development, allows employees to set and meet their own goals – leaving them feeling more motivated, productive, and efficient with their everyday job roles.

For a business, they can retain top talent, increase overall job satisfaction, and improve their bottom line. Training opportunities should be offered regularly, there should be a variety that can challenge employees while teaching or improving upon skills.

Closing Thoughts

Creating a positive workplace, where employees want to stay, is a two-way street that starts at the top. While changes will not happen overnight, it is important for organizations to put more focus on creating a thriving, stable work environment for their employees. This thriving work environment will create a warm opening for new talent and excite all employees to grow with the business.