Unless you were born to wealthy parents or won the lottery as a teenager, you probably have to work.  When you think about it, you spend more time during your day with your co-workers than with your own friends and family.

Creating a workplace with a positive culture is not hard or expensive.  The basics are built by nurturing the existing relationships between both the management and staff and the co-workers.

How can you nurture these relationships?

1.  Get to know your team.  Life is too short to spend eight hours a day with people you don’t know and enjoy.  Spend a few minutes walking around and talking to your employees.  Show them they are appreciated and that you are genuinely interested in them.

2.  Recognize and reward good performances.  This can be done with compliments, smiles, thumbs-up gestures, saying “thank you ”, public announcements of achievement, promotions, time-off, etc.

3.  Encourage communication between workers.  Set aside a short coffee break on Monday mornings to share each other’s weekends and the week ahead (both personally and professionally).

4.  Create an environment where fun is accepted.  Although work shouldn’t be the set of an Adam Sandler movie, it should be fun.  After all, “laughter is the best medicine”.

We spend way too much of our time working to not enjoy coming to work and studies have shown that a happy workplace is also a healthy workplace.  Often, the best defense against workplace injuries is the emotional environment within that workplace. Studies have shown that unhappy workers, especially those who feel unappreciated, are often more likely to take unscheduled days off and file lengthy workers compensation claims.

So foster a happy workplace environment and you’ll likely benefit from a healthier workplace as well. Do you have other ideas of how to create a healthy and happy work environment?

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