The environment can be termed as a man’s closest surrounding which he can manipulate for his survival or existence. If this surrounding is wrongly manipulated, it may lead to unsafe situations rising and making it difficult for man’s survival. Hazards as a result of the poorly managed surrounding can hinder employees productivity rate and lead to a low morale. This makes the workplace environment a very crucial determinant of the employee performance, morale, and productivity.
The workplace entails an environment in which the worker performs his work while an effective workplace is an environment where results can be achieved as expected by management. Task performed in the workplace can be directly affected by the physical environment where the task is being performed.
The physical environment as an aspect of the workplace environment has direct impact on the human sense and can slow change interpersonal interactions and thus productivity. This is so because the characteristics of a room or a place of meeting for a group have consequences regarding productivity and satisfaction level. A large number of work environment studies have shown that workers/ users are satisfied with reference to specific workspace features. These features preference by users are highly significant to their productivity and workspace satisfaction, they are lighting, ventilation rates, access to natural light and acoustic environment.
Lighting and other factors like ergomic furniture has also been found to have positive influence on employees health and consequently on productivity. Ambient features in office environments, such as lighting, temperature, existence of windows, free air movement etc, suggest that these elements of the physical environment influence employee’s attitudes, behaviours, satisfaction, performance and productivity.
When the employees physically and emotionally have the desire to work, then their performance outcomes shall be increased. Absenteeism can be reduced by having a proper workplace environment; which can in turn increase employee performance and productivity. Chandrasekhar stated that the connection or relationship between the work, workplace, and tools of work had become the most important aspect in their work itself. The management has a challenge to establish an environment that will affect, effect, attract, retain and motivate its employees toward increased productivity.
The physical environment at work plays a vital role in employees’ productivity. Management must take an active part in defining the physical environment in which the health workers carry out their daily task to make it conducive. Management style can also influence worker’s commitment and this should be monitored, these styles can be altered to suit the workers. This refers to changing aspects like ethics, behavior, commitment, drive, interpersonal relations and professionalism.
Today’s management has to change the style of functioning in order to bring about effective changes in these aspects. Management has to spend more time on controlling these factors of the work environment rather than micromanage. This can be achieved by improving on the physical workplace and facilities, delegating responsibilities, increasing accountability, and encouraging team work. This will promote trust and loyalty among the workers and encourages better teamwork among them. Besides, they develop a sense of ownership and belonging towards the organization. Maximizing health worker’s productivity is centered on personal motivation and the infrastructure at the work environment.
Effective workplace communication is a key to cultivation of success and professionalism. A company that communicates throughout the workplace in an effective manner is more likely to avoid problems with completing the daily procedures, and less likely to have a problem with improper occurrence and will generate a stronger morale and a more positive attitude towards work. When employees communicate effectively with each other, productivity will increase because effective communication means less complains and more work getting done.
It removes confusion and frees up wasted time that would have been otherwise spent on explanation or argument. It makes workplace more enjoyable, less anxiety among co-workers which in turn means positive attitude towards work and increased productivity.
Furthermore, another aspect of communication that affects productivity is noise level. Noise has negative influence on communication, frustration levels increase while productivity decreases in relation to persistence and loudness of noise. A reason adduced for this is that spoken communication becomes progressively more difficult as noise levels increase.
The ability of a health worker to effectively work in a crowd of many uncontrolled patients is limited. In a survey in a survey reported that nine out of ten workers believed that a workspace quality affects the attitude of employees and increases their productivity. Chandraseker also confirm that unsafe and unhealthy workplace environment in terms of poor ventilation, inappropriate lighting, excessive noise etc. affect workers’ productivity and health.
Workplace environment factors
Health worker’ performance can be influenced by salary increase and bonuses, but this is short lived and have a limited effect compared to the impact workplace environment has on the performance of the employee. It is the quality of the employee’s workplace environment that most impacts on their level of motivation and subsequent performance. How well they engage with the organization, especially with their immediate environment, influences to a great extent their error rate, level of innovation and collaboration with other employees, absenteeism and ultimately, how long they stay in the job.
Many studies have revealed that most employees leave their organization because of the relationship with their immediate supervisor or manager, or because the physical environment is no longer conducive. The most important workplace factors that can affect health workers’ performance include; job aids, goal-setting, supervisor support, workplace incentive, performance feedback, defined processes, and other physical, social and environmental factors.
Job aids: Providing templates, guides, soft training, checklists etc. to the health worker to assist in improving their performance. This is to make their work easier and minimize error rate and improve patients’ satisfaction.
Goal-setting: When health workers are being involved in setting meaningful goals and key performance indicators (KPI) for their work. This can be done informally between the health worker and their immediate supervisor or as part of an organization’s formal performance management process.
Supervisor support: Immediate supervisors act as advocates for employees, gathering and distributing the resources needed by the employees for them to be able to do a good job and providing positive encouragement for a job well done.
Workplace incentives: The organization determines what motivates its employees and sets up formal and informal structures for rewarding employees behaving in the way required.
Performance feedback: A feedback process where the health worker’s performance assessment is fed back to them. This consists of both positive feedback on what the health worker is doing right as well as feedback on what requires improvement.
Defined processes: The organization constrains the variability of how work is actually performed through documenting processes and communicating such expectations to employees.
Physical factors: Physical factors in the workplace such as poor layout or overcrowding can lead to common types of accident such as tripping or striking against objects.
Social factors: Here the relationship between the health worker and the employers and the patient is considered. Poor inter-personal skill and attitude among the colleagues can affects performance.
Environmental factors: Environmental factors such as temperature, lighting and ventilation can have a direct impact on health-for example very high temperatures can lead to heat stress and heat exhaustion. This in-turn affects the performance of the health worker.