6 Ways to build a positive work environment
How BVTI creates a company culture that inspires its employees
While it's been studied a thousand times, most employers can tell you: Employees simply work better, faster and smarter when they're happy. A positive work environment is crucial not only in the lives of workers, but also in a company's success. Here are six ways BVTI creates a positive work community that motivates its employees to go above and beyond.
1. Strive for a small company culture, no matter the size of your business
A small company culture means getting to know your employees. It's important to treat everyone as individuals and not as numbers, says Scott Deibler, VP of Humans Resources and Security. BVTI reaches out to all its employees on issues both professional and personal, despite its growing size.
“We want to engage with our employees,” says Deibler. “We have a small company culture to us even though we are not a small company. We have individual touch-points with our employees. We find out how things are going on the job, how things are going at home. It allows us to reach out if there is an issue. Sometimes we find out about an illness in the family. We try to reach out to our employees that way, where a big company may not. I think that is a big difference in what we do.”
2. Encourage employees to grow in their careers
In order for a company to grow, its employees must grow. Providing employees with fresh opportunities encourages them to gain industry knowledge and motivates them on new levels. Training is ongoing at BVTI.
“We encourage our employees to try and grow in what they are doing,” Scott Deibler says. “We don't want to have employees that have three years, four years, five years of experience doing the same job. We want to have employees that have grown their jobs so that five years actually mean something. We are willing to send people to training. We are willing to help people get certified, whatever it might be. I think those are some of the things I think that keep people here.”
3. Family is just as important as work
Employees shouldn't have to choose between family and work, especially during times of emergency. It's important to promote a healthy work-life balance in order to increase job satisfaction and create a positive work environment. The winning formula includes a team that's always willing to help.
“If there is an illness, an issue, or anything, family comes first. We will pick up the slack – the rest of us,” says Scott McCrae. “We had an issue in Texas, where I had to go to Texas for the month of January last year to support a program because the Project Manager couldn't be there. I just packed up and I went. Anybody will do whatever to help anybody. I think we encourage that, and people see that.”
4. Healthy employees are happy employees
It's time to incentivize healthy living. Companies must invest in a health and wellness program in order to have a healthy population of employees. A lifestyle revolved around exercise and eating well increases productivity and job satisfaction.
“We're really health conscious in the company,” says Dan Zimmerman, President of BVTI. “What we try to do is promote a healthy lifestyle for people because we realize that when someone is healthier, they are happier.”
5. There are no turf wars
As a company grows, it's important to emphasize the collective whole. Each department and team contributes to a business' success. All hands must be on deck, says Scott McCrae. Small jobs like changing the toner in the printer or running copies should be a team effort, not one person's duty.
“I think the make-up of the executive team, the leadership team, anyone will do anything for everybody,” says McCrae. “I think that has made change possible. There's no turf wars of this is my area, this is not my area. I think all of us would gladly give our work to anybody else that wanted it, yet we also take the responsibility to jump in and help.”
6. The president is not just a figurehead
Employees are happier when they feel recognized and appreciated by the leadership within the company. Often times, it's the personal touches that can help motivate workers to go above and beyond. BVTI President Dan Zimmerman listens to his employees with weekly surveys and personally recognizes their work.
“In the surveys, they will respond profusely, ‘Thanks for the birthday card. Thanks for recognizing what I'm doing.' Every anniversary, President Dan Zimmerman sends a note to every employee acknowledging their accomplishments,” says McCrae.