The common sentiment that one must drag himself to work and suffer through the workday does not have to be true, though it often is. If this is the case, it may be necessary to start improving the work environment by first analyzing what the common problems are in a workplace and addressing them directly. The first and most important step toward improving work environments is to foster an open communication between employees and managers to ensure all parties feel comfortable working together to make changes for the better.
Managers must, of course, lead by example when improving work environments. If the managers want to see improved production from employees, the managers must demonstrate these traits in their own work habits. Constantly avoiding work will only give employees a reason to do the same; motivated managers, on the other hand, will give employees an example by which they, too, can be motivated. A manager should not seal himself off in an office and avoid interacting with employees; on the contrary, a good manager will interact with employees regularly and positively.
A good way to foster this sort of atmosphere is by developing employee recognition programs that show the employees their work is valued and their contributions are important. Improving work environments means ensuring everyone in that workplace feels valued and respected. A simple thank you is often enough, but really improving work environments will involve ideas such as making certificates of recognition, having office gatherings at which excelling employees are recognized, or even creating a rewards structure that allows an employee to earn a monetary award or other valuable item. Doing so not only recognizes the employee who has excelled, but also motivates other employees to do the same.
Every person in the office, including managers and low-level employees, should have set goals for daily functions as well as long-term activities. These goals can be outlined in a professional development plan, or they may be personal documents that each individual refers to on a daily basis. The employee should focus on achieving the goals he or she has set out for himself or herself; a manager or owner can have a hand in developing these goals, but it is important that the employee take responsibility for himself or herself and develop the plan. Rewards can be given for achieving goals, and employees can work in teams to achieve other goals.