Welsh Government

For further support or business advice

CALL 03000 6 03000

Creating a positive workplace

1. Introduction

Being responsible within the workplace is about going beyond the standard legal requirements to provide a safe and healthy workplace for employees. It is about creating a positive working environment that balances the needs of your business with the needs of individual employees and which makes employees fee valued and good about coming to work.

Getting things right in this area means that it’s easier to recruit and retain employees, there’s less absenteeism and employees are more motivated and, as a result, more productive.

A positive workplace is characterised by open communication, trust and fair treatment. Work is interesting and stimulating, everyone feels valued as part of the business and is given the best opportunity to succeed.

Here are some factors that contribute to creating a positive workplace:

  • clear and robust policies and procedures
  • open communication
  • shared vision and goals
  • clear leadership
  • training and development opportunities
  • a diverse and inclusive workforce
  • mutual respect and understanding
  • work-life balance
  • a pleasant and comfortable environment
  • zero tolerance of discrimination
  • flexibility
  • a team spirit or sense of unity

2. Improving employee engagement

Engaged employees are generally happy in their work, proud to be part of the business, are more productive and willing to do that little extra. Increasing engagement in your business is important for your future success. Every employee is different and knowing that they are respected as individuals at work can have a significant impact. Here are some ways to increase employee engagement:

  • share the purpose, values and vision of your business with all employees
  • make sure you understand what their goals and objectives are. Look at how you can work together to balance what they want with your business needs
  • lead by example and demonstrate trust by delegating key tasks
  • ask for feedback on how employees feel about their roles and the support they get - and ask for suggestions on how to improve the business
  • listen and act on what your employees tell you - and allow them to take the lead in developing and implementing changes
  • encourage your employees to understand how they can change things and let them try new ideas 
  • vary the work that they do – provide employer-supported volunteering opportunities to expand skills and experience
  • provide high quality training and development
  • offer flexible working and promote a good work-life balance

3. Training and developing staff

Effectively training your employees can improve your chances of success and accelerate business growth.

Ensure that all employees are:

  • trained appropriately to do the task
  • understand what is expected of them  
  • given everything they need to complete the task
  • aware of the timescales to complete tasks
  • given constructive feedback when a task is complete

Look at the skills you need in the business both now and in the future. Match these against the skills your employees currently have and those you would like to develop. Use this to develop a staff training and development plan.

Explore coaching and mentoring to help employees transfer skills from one to another and enable them to learn from each other.

Consider formalising your employment and training and development procedures by getting accreditation to the Investors in People Standard. Investors in People is a national standard that sets a level of good practice for improving an organisation’s performance through its people.

Provide employees with regular appraisals and constructive feedback. 

Government support is available to employers to offer learning opportunities in their workplace, and provide opportunities for adults to update their essential skills of literacy, numeracy and ICT.

There is a range of skills and training support programmes available from the Welsh Government.

4. Promoting employee health and well being

Having healthy employees is good for business – they are more engaged, more productive and less likely to take time off. Here’s what you can do for the health and well-being of your employees:

  • talk to employees regularly, help them with what they need to do their job and encourage them to talk about issues affecting their home and work life
  • maintain a healthy working environment and encourage healthy living - consider providing a water cooler, offering fresh fruit and healthier options in the canteen, or hosting sports or exercise classes
  • offer employees options on how, where and when they work, for example,
  • flexible working, with multiple start and finish times
  • a shifted working day, where everyone starts and finishes earlier or later than the norm
  • working from home
  • job sharing
  • tailored work patterns for individual employees
  • be pro-active and identify problems early so that you can take action to solve them
  • support those returning to work after sickness, for example, identify work they can do more easily, reduce hours or let them work from home until they are fully fit

5. Creating a positive workplace

A positive work environment makes employees feel good about coming to work and keeps them motivated throughout the day. Here are a few simple ideas to encourage a more positive workplace:

  • say thank you – recognising someone’s contribution is very powerful and can have a long-lasting effect on workplace happiness
  • match work to people’s strengths – using our strengths in the workplace helps to build confidence and increase productivity
  • value everyone – you may not agree with every idea or plan, but respecting their input is important
  • embrace diversity – learning from everyone in the business and gathering different perspectives and approaches adds a broader dimension to the organisation and increases the opportunities for success
  • communicate, even when it is challenging – be open, honest and diplomatic and have those difficult conversations, rather than sweep them under the carpet
  • encourage a team spirit – team-building sessions help individuals work together as a group, but remember more informal team-bonding activities such as celebrating birthdays or socialising out-of-hours are important too
  • acknowledge the small steps that lead to success – celebrating goals along the way helps boost energy and maintain focus

6. Recruiting and retaining transgender staff

Every organisations success is built on its people. Get the people bit right and you are likely to have motivated, productive staff and a more successful business. Get it wrong and you may be faced with low morale, poor levels of motivation and higher levels of absence. And you will often be lacking that creative spark - particularly when it comes to interacting with your customers.

Transgender employees are frequently disadvantaged at work, although this is not always deliberate. However, many still choose not to express their feelings in the workplace because they fear a transphobic reaction from their employers and co-workers. This causes great stress so they are unlikely to perform to the best of their ability. A workplace, in which diversity, including different gender identities, is celebrated, ensures that valuable staff are recruited and retained - an approach that benefits everyone, not just the groups targeted.

Being a responsible employer is about going beyond the standard legal requirements to provide a safe and healthy workplace for employees. It is about creating a positive working environment that balances the needs of your business with the needs of individual employees and which makes employees feel valued.

Getting things right in this area means that it’s easier to recruit and retain employees, there’s less absenteeism and employees are more motivated and, as a result, more productive.

A positive workplace is characterised by open communication, trust and fair treatment. Work is interesting and stimulating; everyone feels valued as part of the business and is given the best opportunity to succeed.

Increasing engagement in your business is important for your future success. Every employee is different and knowing that they are respected as individuals at work can have a significant impact.

Please see below links to useful guidance that will provide employers with practical advice, suggestions and ideas on the recruitment and retention of transgender employees and potential employees. 

 

Further information:

GOV.UK

Stonewall Cymru Guidance:

Transitioning

Working with organisations

Trans inclusive policies

Communicating commitment to trans inclusion

First steps to trans inclusion

Transitioning – advice for employers

 

Share this guide