Positive work environment leads to feelings of inclusion among employees: Study

Washington: Looking for better office output from employees? According to a recent study fostering an inclusive work environment can lead to higher satisfaction, innovation, trust and retention among employees.

As part of the study, researchers noticed how the non-profit sector generally suffers from high employee-turnover rates, low work performance and deficits among the leadership, and wanted to find out what could be done to break this cycle.

A team of researchers lead by Kim Brimhall surveyed employees on topics such as leader engagement, inclusion, innovation, job satisfaction and perceived quality of care. The full study also included one-on-one qualitative interviews, as well as several organizational observations.

Analyzing the data, Brimhall found that leaders who seek the input of organizational members from all job positions and encourage everyone, regardless of educational background or job responsibilities, to take initiative and participate in work-related processes are more likely to increase feelings of inclusion. This then leads to increased innovation, employee job satisfaction and quality of services in nonprofit organizations.

“When non-profit organization members believe that they are valued for their unique personal characteristics and are recognized as important members of the organization, employee engagement, trust, satisfaction, commitment and retention improve. Leader engagement, that is, a leader’s ability to actively engage all organizational members in critical decision making, may foster a climate for inclusion and positive organizational outcomes, such as a climate for innovation, job satisfaction and perceived quality of care,” wrote Brimhall.

The implications of these findings have applicability across national settings and for effective management of nonprofit organizations internationally, Brimhall explained.