There’s a direct correlation between the workplace environment and project success. Therefore, workplaces must invest in positive working conditions such as wellness support in terms of medical aid or professional availability; conducive working hours, effective working policies, and a positive leadership style. Having a positive workspace results in more positive project results.
However, if team members operate in harsh working conditions, their morale, mindset, and attitudes are negatively affected. A lack of dynamics within a workplace reduces the success of a project.
Here are some of the ways that the workplace environment affects project success.
1. Motivation Levels
When working on a project, high motivation levels are crucial for a project’s positive completion. If the workplace environment is toxic, team members might not give their full capacity to the project. For example, if the project’s leaders continuously talk down on team members, belittle their efforts instead of guiding them accordingly, and centralize decision-making, their motivation levels to participate and complete the project will drop.
This is when team members may start to arrive late to work, withhold input, and work the bare minimum required of them because of low morale. On the other hand, in a team project with leaders that motivate, encourage, and applaud when team members have delivered accordingly, the results may be a reflection of high morale and motivation.
2. Team Work Dynamics
Projects may lag if a workplace fails to encourage teamwork as everyone works isolated. For example, togetherness can be encouraged and made into a workplace culture through team building. A team-building exercise before a major project may be one way of encouraging togetherness. The fun and lessons learned during a team building exercise mean each team member recognizes their strengths and weaknesses together with the team; and works accordingly on the project.
If a workplace environment, on the other hand, doesn’t encourage teamwork and rather focuses on individualization or divide and rule strategies, the project is tugged from different goals and angles. The result of such a division is that the project gets completed in a longer time than it could have. It also means that there’s room for sabotage because not everyone’s interests are aligned in such a case.
If leadership sets an example of productive team dynamics, such as listening to suggestions, placing team members in positions where they excel and learn, and flexible decision-making channels, teamwork is bound to produce positive project results.
The environment of a workplace has a direct correlation with the state of mind of the team members. Here are a few illustrations of workspace conditions that may affect mindset;
Whether it’s sexual, racial, or gender discrimination, the mindset of team members working on a project will be affected negatively. A team member may go into a project with a bare minimum approach because they are aware that they are discriminated against and therefore don’t have a position of influence in the project. This is when teammates hardly contribute to the brainstorming sessions or let every other team member take up a position on the project before they do. This means that the project won’t benefit from the strengths of those discriminated against.
Workplaces should have policies and protocols if team members are discriminated against. Not all discrimination is overt, making it difficult to bring people to task. This is why a company culture against discrimination is important for high productivity levels across the board.
Workplace bullying is dangerous as it may lead team members into a state of depression and anxiety. People can be bullied for different reasons and in varying ways at the workplace, including verbal, physical, or emotional. If an environment doesn’t address bullying hands-on by ignoring complaints lodged, for example, this will directly impact project success.
Victims of bullying may have more absent days than those who attend work because of the fear, anxiety, and depression they experience in the workplace. High absenteeism means the project lags, affecting production and productivity levels on a large scale.
4. Dedication Levels
It won’t be a success if team members aren’t dedicated to the project. One of the most determining factors when it comes to dedication is the pay structure within the company. If team members feel they are being paid what they are worth regarding their strengths, hours, ideas, and work output, the dedication levels are bound to be high. If team members are dissatisfied with the payment amount and feel they are being used for the company’s gain without any financial acknowledgment, the project will most likely suffer.
The project may suffer not because of sabotage but because the team members can’t focus on the project at hand as they need to make ends meet financially. This may mean that they have to take on multiple jobs, and juggling means that the project won’t be the main focus. Naturally, the team members will focus on the projects that bring more financial gain. Eventually, if team members decide that the pay structure at the workplace isn’t worth their time, they may decide to quit and leave the project in limbo. High turnover rates then result in poor production and productivity levels.
The public’s brand and perception of a company also affect project success. If the public perceives the company is toxic to work for, they may decide not to boycott the products and services. The public may get an idea based on how employees speak about the company, particularly in the day and age of social media. Once a wave of disapproval begins about a company, it may be difficult to shift the public’s perception, meaning a project’s success may take longer than anticipated.
The workplace environment directly impacts the success or failure of a project. Motivation levels and teamwork are either enhanced or stifled by the workplace environment. Dynamics such as discrimination and bullying make it difficult for team members to focus on the task at hand. Dedication levels by the team and public perception of the company also determine whether a project is successful.