5 Ways to Make the Workplace More Welcoming - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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5 Ways to Make the Workplace More Welcoming


In the workplace, it’s incredibly important to create an approachable environment that will encourage employees to want to come to work every day and give their best possible performance.

It’s crucial to avoid a negative atmosphere, so, how exactly can you make the workplace more welcoming?

Start Off Prepared

It’s beneficial to know a bit about your employees before they begin working. The more you know about who is working for you, the more you will be able to connect with them and make them feel like a part of the team.

Photo: LandCare

“We’ve found that establishing and building personal relationships is most effective in making new team members feel welcome,” says Jennifer Burnett, VP of organizational development for LandCare.

LandCare, Lindgren Landscape, and Ground Works Land Design make new employees feel welcomed by offering them gifts, such as branded t-shirts that they prepare ahead of time.

It’s also necessary to assure that when your employees walk in the door, they will have everything they need to be successful for the day. If you’re committed to their success, it will make them feel much more valuable.

Provide Them with a Buddy/Mentor

Providing your employees with someone they can ask for help, share experiences with, and offer them guidance is crucial to establishing a welcoming workplace environment. This way, each employee feels like they have a safe zone to fall back into when they’re confused about something or feel uncomfortable.

Carruthers Landscape Management Inc. stated that in the past, it wasn’t unusual to just push someone right into the mix after they had been hired. However, Carruthers learned from that mistake.

“Now, when we get a new hire, we assign them a buddy — another crew member who can show them around and introduce them to people,” Carruthers says. “It’s made a really big difference. Crew members go from not knowing anyone to automatically having one familiar face — so they don’t feel as though they’re totally on their own. We’ve also found this helps everyone get to know each other much faster.”

Show Interest in Them Being There

It’s important to engage with your employees to make them feel more welcomed in the work environment. If you take the time to hear their ideas, ask them how they’re doing, and acknowledge their presence, it shows that you are taking the time out of your day to greet them, making them feel important.  You want to show them that you care about their personal life. The more important they feel, the more welcoming the workplace becomes.

Photo: Mullin

“Sometimes our personal lives end up affecting our work lives,” says Nubia Guiterrez, human resources manager for Mullin. “I listen. If I’m able to do something, then I’ll do it. Most recently we had a team member’s father that passed away. We sent flower arrangements to the funeral, and we had a couple of team members along with myself and the owner attend the funeral.”

Mullin assures everyone that providing support to others is part of the job, and everyone should be participating in making others feel appreciated, especially new members.

Be Informative to Employees

Being informative about things around the workplace is beneficial to employees when it comes to them feeling welcomed. Telling them where the bathrooms, the kitchen, the conference rooms are, and introducing them to whom they’re going to be working with makes the environment more approachable. Try to inform them of their tasks, and whom they can talk to in case they need help with anything.

“Another one that I always like to do is making sure that they have an opportunity to meet the other managers that they’re going to work with on a regular basis so that there’s no mystery of who the new person is, what do they do and things like that,” says Chris Psencik, vice president of McFarlin Stanford.

Keeping your employees out of the dark is one of the best ways to make them feel like they fit in, which makes the workplace significantly more welcoming.

Have a Positive Attitude

The more positive your attitude is, the more approachable you come off. Walk around the workplace with a smile, and make sure to say hello to employees who you encounter or even ask how they’re doing. Even something as small as nodding your head at them can make a notable difference in how welcomed they feel.

“Just a handshake or a fist bump or a pat on the back kind of thing, it’s very genuine and very organic,” says Krisjan Berzins, founder of Kingstowne Lawn and Landscape. “Literally, that 10 seconds can potentially be more powerful than a $50 gift card.”