Building a Positive Workplace Culture: 11 Things Every Leader Should Do
Author: Dana Corey
If you’re leading a workplace in 2020, you’re probably thinking about creating a positive work environment. The job market is in an age of flux, with many millennials (who are the workers of the future) projected to work for multiple businesses throughout their lifetimes; a PWC survey discovered that 75% of millennials believe that they will have 2-5 employers throughout their career.
We also live in an age where people can easily become self-employed in all sorts of industries. If millennials don’t like the workplace, they will probably leave. Therefore, building a positive workplace culture is crucial in today’s age.
Plus, it’s well known that happiness breeds productivity, and it’s always nice to be nice!
What is workplace culture?
Workplace culture is the company’s personality. It is an umbrella term that reflects the company’s goals, ethics, achievements and expectations. Of course, you want this to be as positive as possible!
Here are 11 simple steps to building culture in the workplace.
1. BE THANKFUL FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES
You should never, ever, take your employees for granted. Many of your employees are likely to be highly skilled in what they do, and positively impact your company in a multitude of ways.
You may know this, and be internally grateful for your team – but how often do you tell them?
Physically telling a staff member that you’re grateful for what they bring to your company is a fantastic way to creating and maintaining a positive workplace culture, adding gratitude to each day not only makes the atmosphere a lot more positive, but will make staff feel good and encourage them to keep on doing a great job.
2. HAVE TEAM BUILDING EVENTS
Getting to know your staff is crucial when building a positive workplace culture. Team building events are really helpful for this – getting to know each other outside of office environments helps to establish a rapport and, in turn, a friendly workplace culture.
Furthermore, when your staff get to know you, the boss, on a personal level as well, they will be more likely to want to work their hardest at their jobs.
3. MAKE SURE THAT EMPLOYEES HAVE A VOICE
Nobody likes a dictator, and one of the most important things to do when creating workplace culture is to consider everyone’s points of views, ideas and suggestions. Making your staff members feel like they have an input in how the company or team is run is really helpful in creating workplace culture, as they’ll be more passionate about what they do.
4. OFFER CAREER GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES
As mentioned, retaining employees in this day and age is difficult. One great way around this is to provide people with career development and growth opportunities – and this also helps when fostering a positive workplace culture.
If people have something to work towards, they are much more likely to feel optimistic about their jobs and work hard. And this optimism is contagious – the more people who are excited about work, the more pleasant the workplace will become.
5. MAKE SURE THAT THE WORKPLACE IS A NICE SPACE PHYSICALLY
We’ve spoke about ways to make sure that the workplace has a positive culture socially, but something that also impacts people’s happiness at work is how it looks physically. If the office is dingy, dirty and has dated equipment, people will dread going in and not feel happy while they are there.
However, if there is a modern and functional technology, the space is clean, and there are open creative spaces and lots of natural light, people will automatically feel more positive.
Investing in some new technology like wireless charging or an interactive whiteboard will help jazz your office up and make it a fun place to work in. You can check out our range of interactive whiteboards here.
6. BE TRANSPARENT WITH EMPLOYEES AND PUT COMMUNICATION ABOVE EVERYTHING
Being totally transparent with your employees is the best way to obtain trust in the workplace, which lends itself easily to more positivity. If something in particular went well, make sure that you tell all your employees, and if something isn’t going so well, be upfront and honest.
Equally, it’s important to encourage your staff members to be transparent as well. They should be free to say when things are bothering them, and be upfront about their goals and expectations. Having regular meetings and stressing to employees that open communication is crucial to your business is the best way to go about enforcing this.
7. HIRE THE RIGHT PEOPLE AND HAVE NO ROOM FOR DISCRIMINATION
Having a thorough hiring process is crucial for establishing the right team. You want to make sure you hire positive people who will impact the workplace in good ways, not negative people who will do the opposite!
Be sure to gauge a prospective employee’s character at the interview, and not just go off their qualifications and experience. They may have all the relevant experience, but still not be a good fit for your company.
And of course, while every staff member deserves a good attempt at the job after being employed, be sure to accurately review people’s progress after the probation period. If they have proved themselves to be unsuitable for the job, it might be a good idea to let them go.
And at no time is discrimination acceptable. If any staff members are racist, sexist, homophobic or ableist, particularly if it effects someone in the workplace, they should be seriously reprimanded and maybe even fired on the spot, depending on the severity of their actions. Some workplaces can fire people for posting hate speech online or activities outside of the office, but all workplaces can fire people who act discriminatorily to others.
Discrimination has no space in a positive workplace, and it should be affirmed from the beginning that this will not be tolerated in your team.
8. OFFER YOUR COMPANY BENEFITS
Benefits in the workplace can include free healthcare, more vacation days than required by law and maternity/paternity leave. As well as offering this, building a positive workplace should encourage staff to make use of them. Reminding employees if they have extra days to take off or if they could make use of their healthcare benefits will make them feel appreciated and happy in the job, fostering more workplace positivity.
9. CONSIDER EMPLOYEE WELLNESS
Making sure that your employees are physically and mentally well is vital for a positive workplace culture. Being open about any wellness issues is a great start, but also offering wellness activities is a good way to help your employees deal with any issues. Free yoga or meditation lessons are a fantastic option to encourage employee wellness!
10. THINK ABOUT WORKPLACE FLEXIBILITY
One of the most common needs for workers in 2020 is flexibility. As technology advances, more and more people are wanting to spend less time in the office, or work more flexible hours. Remote working teams can seem intimidating at first, but there are actually lots of benefits for employers as well.
While having people out of the workplace might seem counterintuitive to creating workplace culture, it might be a good idea to have work from home days, or let employees ‘bank’ hours. This means that when they do come into the office, they will be refreshed and renewed, and deal with tasks with a positive frame of mind.
11. TRY TO CONSTANTLY BE A BETTER LEADER
Nobody’s perfect; even if you have been a boss for years, you’ll still make mistakes when managing teams. However, if you’re open about your mistakes, and constantly try to work on yourself taking feedback into account, you’ll have much happier employees!
There are many ways that you can create a positive workplace culture, but they mainly come down to a few simple things. Being open and communicating with your employees is significant, as well as giving everyone a voice. You also want to make sure that every employee feels appreciated while working.
Other important things include considering the workplace of the future – nobody’s going to feel positive in an old, stuffy office, after all – and making sure that the office is aesthetically pleasing. And, if it’s not necessary for every staff member to be in every day, consider introducing remote work days.
With these simple steps, you’ll be on your way to having a more positive and meaningful office, which in turn will create a successful business!
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