The Do’s and Don’ts of Creating a Positive Work Culture
In our February newsletter, I shared my thoughts on the importance of evaluating employee performance. As a business owner, I think it’s equally, if not more, important to look in the mirror and evaluate your own efforts to create a positive work culture that will inspire your employees to perform – and in turn help your organization thrive.
Your company work culture is the shared set of values, beliefs and attitudes that guide your organization. It’s reflected in the way you treat your customers and employees – and impacts the types of candidates you attract for open positions. A strong work culture boosts productivity, decreases turnover and improves employee engagement.
Is your company’s work culture in need of a makeover? Does your company even have a work culture? If not, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get busy building one.
Before you do anything else – take some time and think about the type of organizational work culture you want to create. Consider everything from the physical layout of the office to how frequently employees interact with their colleagues, managers and executive leadership. Once you’ve done this, the real work begins. Here are Ten Helpful Tips to guide you along your way:
1.Set Clear Department Goals
Outline the objectives of each team so employees have tangible results to work toward. Not only will this help guide individual performance, but it will encourage collaboration between team members. Be sure to adjust as needed. If a team is reaching their objectives without breaking a sweat, you might want to modify their target goals to push production further.
2.Promote the Organization’s Goals
Is every employee clear on the organization’s long-term objectives? This will help individuals cultivate a sense of professional purpose. Having a source of motivation will demonstrate the value each role has toward achieving the company’s mission.
3.Allow for Humor
As Dale Carnegie said, “People rarely succeed unless they are having fun in what they are doing.” Wherever possible, seek out the bright or humorous side to a sticky situation and let your team know that you have their back. They’ll return the favor by working even harder.
Every individual should feel valued and heard, regardless of their status within the company. New hires and entry level employees bring a fresh perspective. You never know where the next big idea will come from, so let everyone have a seat at the table and feel empowered to share their thoughts.
- Establish a Strict Zero Tolerance Policy
Just as important as creating a welcoming environment is ensuring employees know their rights and individualities are protected within the workplace. A key facet of a positive work culture is giving employees the opportunity to speak openly about issues they are facing — in and outside of the office — and have access to the support and resources they need.
- Create an Employee Recognition Program
Recognize and reward employees for achieving outstanding results. Doing so will encourage employees to continue performing at impressive levels and make them feel valued within the company. It will also foster a culture of friendly competition.
- Accept and Utilize Your Employees Feedback
Employee feedback can be a very positive asset. When they bring their pain points to your attention, you get the opportunity to fix them – and avoid having employees stew over them and eventually leave the company out of frustration.
- Be Flexible
Life happens. Allow your employees the room to be human and address things (family life, etc.) that come up unexpectedly without (extreme) repercussions. You’ll earn the respect of your employees rather than the reputation of being unaccommodating and unapproachable.
- Be Transparent
Promote transparency and communication between executives, managers and team members. This creates a positive work culture where employees feel heard and valued.
- Plan Social Outings
Creating opportunities for employees to get to know each other outside work will help them foster meaningful relationships. You can keep it simple by having a Friday happy hour in the office or organizing company-wide potlucks during lunch hours.
At The Solutions Team, we make a point to routinely schedule company events off-site – crawfish boils, picnics for employees and their families, etc. Just about every Friday during the warm weather months we fire up the grill and cook lunch for everyone at the office.
We also give employees the flexibility to bring their pet to the office on occasion – so it’s not uncommon to see a four-legged creature wandering our hallways. It puts a smile on our employees’ faces, which in turn boosts morale and motivates them to give their best effort.
Creating a positive work culture where everyone feels valued, welcomed and respected is vital to an organization’s success. It won’t happen overnight, but if you will keep to your values, listen to your employees and have some fun it will eventually take shape organically – and be well worth the effort.
CEO & Founder
The Solutions Team