Working Together: How to Create a Welcoming and Supportive Work Environment

Any business, such as a bankruptcy lawyer in Philadelphia, can benefit from having a welcoming and supportive work environment. There’s nothing worse than a workspace that is negative, cold, and disconnected. Creating a positive atmosphere where everyone can work together isn’t always easy but there are many ways to make it happen if you put your mind to it.

Below are the top four tips for business CEOs and employees to create a welcoming and supportive work environment.

Tips for Business CEOs

  1. Acknowledge Achievements

One of the best ways to create a supportive workplace is by acknowledging the achievements of others. When one of your employees completes a big goal or goes above and beyond what was asked of them, celebrate their efforts. This expression of encouragement is powerful in making your employees feel seen and appreciated.

When you acknowledge the achievements of others, your employees will follow suit. Soon your workspace will be full of encouraging words, praise for others, and celebrations of jobs well done. A supportive work environment is created when everyone feels like their contribution is valuable.

  1. Encourage Collaboration

A team that works well together automatically becomes welcoming and supportive. By encouraging collaboration, you’re allowing your employees time to understand how best they work together. The more time spent working together, the more they will learn about their coworkers and their unique strengths. 

Through collaboration, you’re also showing that everyone is valuable toward the success of a goal. This promotes a culture of teamwork and appreciation for the strengths of others. When your employees no longer see themselves as just an isolated gear in the machine, they’ll begin to support their coworkers and feel welcome themselves. 

  1. Care About the Individual

This tip isn’t focused on coworker relationships but rather the relationship between you and each employee. While it’s easy to see your employees solely as the work that’s being done, it’s important to see them as an individual with needs, families, and hobbies. When you act on this knowledge and intentionally build relationships with your employees, you’ll create trust, respect, and understanding.

With this open line of dialogue, your employees will feel heard and supported by you. When they feel supported by the person who hired them, they’ll feel welcome too. Have frequent check-ins, drop-in hours, and the occasional personal conversation.

  1. Develop a Comfortable Workspace

No one will feel welcome or supported in a workspace that isn’t comfortable. Your efforts to create a welcoming and supportive environment should start with the environment. Whatever your work area is, it should be a space that enables your employees to do their best work. It should be clean, organized, well lit, and decorated nicely. Your employees should have all the resources and technology to get their work done as well as a space to call their own.

When your workspace is inviting, your employees will feel welcome. When your workspace is designed for your employees’ success, they’ll feel supported. After that, it’s all about building relationships within the already established, comfortable environment.

Tips for Employees

  1. Communicate Clearly

Miscommunication is a huge factor in unpleasant work environments. When you and your coworkers aren’t on the same page, it can often feel like you’re alone and unwelcome. To help facilitate a supportive, welcoming workplace, be sure to communicate clearly with your coworkers.

There are many factors to create clear communication. You must do it often. It can’t be a one-time thing. Good communication is something that happens in every project, task, and workday. Be sure to express your thoughts respectfully but without holding back any important information. Your thoughts are valuable in the workplace and if you hold back, you’ll only be disappointed when your coworkers don’t fully understand.

Another big part of clear communication is listening. You should speak your thoughts and ideas, but allow others to do the same. Listen to what they have to say intently so you can respond accurately. This will keep the dialogue clear and two-sided instead of one.

  1. Be a Team Player

If you want others to do their fair share and be accountable, the same applies to you. Be prompt with your assignments, extend help when needed, keep an open mind to the ideas of others, contribute your share, and let the strengths of yourself and others shine.

When you act as a valuable part of the team, you’ll feel welcome and supported by your coworkers. By allowing others to shine and by extending help, your coworkers will also feel welcome and supported. 

  1. Express Gratitude

The best way to make your coworkers feel supported is through an expression of gratitude. When someone has helped you, done a great job, or stepped up when they were needed, you should intentionally let your feelings of gratitude be known. This will make them feel appreciated and the work environment will stay positive.

Expressing gratitude is also a great way to feel supported. When you thank others when it’s due, they’re more likely to do the same in return. Once you establish a culture of support, others are likely to follow.

  1. Stay Positive

Work and coworkers can be frustrating. Everyone can agree, but there’s nothing worse than the coworker who complains all the time. Instead of venting your bitterness and frustration at work, save it for later. Stay positive while around your coworkers to keep the environment welcoming and supportive for everyone.

Don’t bottle things inside, but let small things go. Practice clear communication and try to keep the atmosphere light and positive. Be polite to others even when it may feel difficult and as silly as it may sound, smile. No one will feel supported or welcome if you’re scowling all day. If you’re negative, others will be negative too which means you won’t feel supported or welcome either. It’s important to the work environment that you set an example of positivity.

Whether you’re the CEO or an employee, there are many ways to facilitate a welcoming and supportive work environment. It won’t be built overnight, but through intentionality, the positive atmosphere you desire will grow quickly.

About the Author

Veronica Baxter is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area.

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