Best Practices in Building A Positive Workplace Culture!
Overview: Having a positive workplace culture in the organization has now become an absolute imperative in these times when organizations are grappling with the impact of ‘The Great Resignation’. In this blog, we will try and understand what a positive workplace culture entails, and how it enables individuals to develop greater collaboration, settle conflicts with ease, and produce long-term advantages for themselves, their teams, and their businesses. We have also provided a few tips and touched upon steps that can help leaders create a positive workplace culture in their organizations, especially as employees shift to a hybrid working model post-pandemic.
In an organization, employees deal with people with different backgrounds, idiosyncrasies, approaches, and methods. The ideas, belief systems, thought processes, attitudes, set of assumptions, and synergies that are developed and shared by people in a workplace collectively form the workplace culture. A positive workplace culture is the pivot around which an organization grows as a pleasant and optimistic environment leads to enhanced teamwork, higher morale, increased productivity and efficiency, and higher employee retention.
Following Covid-19, there has been a significant transformation in the way organizations operate around the world. Because of the pandemic, 57 percent of businesses expect major cultural shifts as a result of the transition to remote and hybrid working. It’s an opportunity for businesses to rethink their priorities and create a positive work environment where people can feel comfortable, engaged, inspired, and productive, whether they’re at home, at work, or on the front lines.
We shall discuss the importance of creating a positive workplace culture and the best ways to do it through effective measures such as employee communication, outlining clear tactics, and aligning the workplace with the company’s mission, vision, and long-term business goals in this blog.
What is Workplace Culture?
Culture is a broad concept with many definitions, even in the workplace context. It evolves from time to time, situation to situation. There is no one-size-fits-all culture template that fulfills the demands of all enterprises because each company is unique in its own ways.
Furthermore, workplace culture can take many forms, including leadership behaviors, employee interactions and relationships, manager-employee relationships, communication styles, transparency levels, and the types of internally dispersed messages. Research by Deloitte has shown that 94 percent of executives and 88 percent of all employees believe a distinct corporate culture is important to a business’s success.
Simply defined, a healthy workplace culture stresses employee well-being, provides support at all levels of the organization, and implements rules that promote respect, trust, empathy, and support. Building a positive workplace culture is not possible without a clear, practical strategy to communicate and promote the organization’s values and principles among its employees.
Benefits of a positive workplace culture
Numerous studies have indicated that a positive work culture is effective in improving employee engagement, mental health, minimizing turnover, boosting loyalty, and enhancing job performance.
Let’s look at how a positive workplace culture might benefit a company:
Improvement in Employee Well Being
Positive social ties at work have been demonstrated as an important factor in nurturing employee health and wellbeing. People who have excellent social relationships at work have fewer illnesses, heal faster from injuries, are less prone to experience depression, have better cognitive abilities, and generally perform better at work.
Hence, organizations that want to change how people function — and how they feel about work — must prioritize culture as a focus area.
Enhanced Employee Productivity
Workplace culture has an impact on how people perform, which can have a direct impact on the organization’s bottom line. People are more energized to come to work each day when they work in a joyful, supportive environment which improves mood and concentration. Organizations with strong cultures are more successful and produce higher levels of output.
According to Oxford University research, happy workers are at least 13 percent more productive than workers who do not feel positive in the workplace.
Clearly Defined Objectives
Everyone works toward the same goal when the entire organization is clear on the company’s underlying beliefs and goals. For example, even though a company is selling a product, if customer service is a top priority and ‘helping in any way they can’ is a fundamental value, then all employees will keep this in mind, whether they are selling the product directly or in a more supportive function.
This will also result in increased cohesion and consistency in decision-making across the board.
Positive Initiatives and Innovation
Employees are more inclined to experiment and encourage innovation when they trust their leader and feel comfortable in their position, according to a study on organizational inconsistency.
When an employee believes they will be punished or looked down upon if they fail or even ask for help, they will strictly adhere to prescribed behaviors, even if they are outdated, inappropriate for the project, or inefficient.
Some businesses prefer to hire new employees based on their cultural fit with the existing workforce, putting experience at the bottom of the priority list. A business culture that puts the team first is known to nurture a team-first culture. The concept is that if an employee feels at ease in their workplace and respects their coworkers as individuals, they would be more driven to work hard.
If two candidates are in the same position in a recruitment process based on experience and skills, assessment of their cultural fit with the organization’s ethos could be a helpful deciding factor.
A thriving collaborative culture can help teams break down barriers. A toxic work atmosphere, on the other hand, can make people selfish and foster a culture of negativity and disharmony.
Best practices to create a positive workplace culture
Now that we have discussed some of the benefits of creating a healthy workplace culture, we shall now go through some of the best practices in creating a motivated, engaged, and satisfied workplace. Although there is no standard approach to creating a flourishing, motivated workplace environment, there are key processes that can be set and followed consistently for a desirable work culture.
Define and Communicate Company Values
Clearly defined values are the cornerstone of every organization’s culture. Even though there is no right or wrong when it comes to approach, businesses must be able to determine whatever values they believe in, convey their importance, and remind their employees to adhere to them in an engaging manner.
Some of the most common organizational values include:
- Customer experience
Employees’ accepted and encouraged behavior is determined by their ideas and values. However, simply defining them is not enough. An organization must have a well-defined plan in place to ensure that its values are conveyed and followed by its employees.
Provide Emphasis On Employee Wellness
In the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends survey for 2021, well-being was named as the most important trend with 80 percent of CEOs citing it as critical to their company’s performance.
Without healthy personnel, no firm can hope to foster a great culture. To contribute to a great culture, employees must be at their best — physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Employee wellbeing is the cornerstone of positive organizational culture in many ways. Employees should have the resources, skills, and healthcare benefits they need to live their healthiest lives — both inside and outside of the organization.
Try To Grow Through Your Current Culture
Building a positive corporate culture does not imply that businesses should abandon what they already stand for. Employers should work on improving their current culture rather than expecting the staff to make a complete 180 degree turn. A survey about what employees enjoy and dislike about their existing culture and work environment can help in many ways.
Support, Appreciate And Motivate Employees
A good culture supports its employees and appreciates their contributions to the company’s success. Employees who feel like they’re part of a community rather than just another cog in the machine are more inclined to stay with a company. Employee motivation not only fosters long-term loyalty but also lowers the cost associated with hiring new employees frequently.
Once the employees’ basic expectations are met, genuine recognition for their output, talents, and contributions becomes very important. Recognition can be both formal and informal, and it is important for creating good team dynamics where peers and leaders praise each other and openly celebrate when great things happen.
Yet, 42% of employees believe it goes unnoticed when they reach a goal, and less than half of employees say they always feel appreciated at work. Hence, firms must consider creating a communication channel designated for employee recognition and enable the rest of the employees to join the congratulations and praise in order to foster a great culture.
Provide Meaning To Your Employees And Stakeholders
In today’s workplace, meaning and purpose for employees are more crucial than ever. The majority of workers are looking for meaning and purpose in their jobs. Job satisfaction suffers greatly in the absence of these factors. And a corporation can’t establish a culture if the work it does has no defined vision or significance. Organizations must establish clear vision and mission statements and fundamental principles, and their approach must resonate with those values. That is when the team aligns with the purpose of the organization. Concrete examples of how their jobs have a larger significance for the society and communities we live in must be reiterated to the staff on a regular basis.
Encourage Positivity in the Workplace
Employers must begin by supporting positivity in the workplace to create a good culture. Promoting positivity every single day at work is critical. Employers should set an example by expressing gratitude and exchanging pleasant gestures such as smiling frequently and keeping upbeat even in the face of adversity. When employees witness their seniors acting positively, they are more likely to follow suit.
Foster Social Connections Amongst Employees
Relationships in the workplace are fundamental to a strong company culture. A culture cannot grow strong when employees do not interact and understand each other. Leaders must give opportunities for employees to socialize within the workplace. To get things started, considering weekly team meals, happy hour outings, or playing games and sports together are highly advisable.
Create Well-Defined Goals
Without well-defined goals, no company can sustain a healthy corporate culture. Employers should meet with their employees periodically to reaffirm the goals and objectives that everyone can work towards. Creating goals for individuals, teams, and the company unites employees, and offers them something to strive for other than a wage.
Listen To Your Team Members
One of the simplest ways for employers to start building a healthy culture is to be good listeners. According to CultureIQ research, 86 percent of employees at organizations with strong cultures believe their senior leadership listens to them. This number drops by 16 percent in case of companies without strong cultures. Paying attention to the staff and making sure they feel heard and respected goes a long way in establishing a positive culture at work.
Empower “Positive Culture Champions”
Employees who represent and embody their company’s values and missions are known as “culture champions,” similar to “health champions.” Such employees are enthusiastic about promoting a company’s goals and encouraging others to do so as well. Organizations must identify these individuals, empower and incentivize them to continue spreading positivity and motivation.
Companies that know how to recognize those who are actively striving towards creating a positive workplace culture are much better at encouraging others to do the same. Firms that make recognition public, collaborative and visible to the entire workplace are much better at exemplifying the message and motivating others to give their best.
Leader’s Contribution to a Positive Workplace Culture
Leaders of successful and profitable businesses set an example by demonstrating their cultures daily. They have a good understanding of how to express their cultural identities to their employees and other stakeholders. Leaders who are clear about their values and how those values define their organizations are significantly more likely to align their entire organization to live by those principles.
Leaders must be open and truthful to foster a positive workplace culture. This necessitates frequent communication through both formal and informal channels within the firm.
To develop an engaging work culture, leaders must explain the purpose behind all its decisions.This is especially important now when many firms are undergoing rapid change. Employees are more inclined to accept change if they understand why it is being implemented.
Here are a few examples of how leaders can help to create a positive workplace culture:
- Leaders should first assess how they connect with their employees. They should be more genuine and active in encouraging staff to speak up.
- Leaders should congratulate and acknowledge those who have the greatest influence and who exhibit positive work habits.
- Leaders should be emotionally intelligent. Emotionally competent leaders spend additional time cultivating team spirit. They make sure that everyone in the team is aware of each other’s abilities, personalities, backgrounds, working styles, and objectives. This eliminates future uncertainties, animosity, and disagreements.
- Leaders should initiate and facilitate conversations across the firm’s communication channels to ensure that company values are clearly stated and remembered.
- Leaders should also collaborate with their internal communications departments to provide motivating and inspiring messages at internal events and town halls to reinstate the company’s ethos and values.
Creating a positive work environment is one of the most critical duties a leader plays. Make a conscious effort to foster a positive workplace culture that values talent, diversity, and happiness. One of the best — and easiest — methods to convince your employees to invest their talent and future in your firm is by creating a unique, positive, healthy culture.
Experiential Learning as a Culture Enabler
How can leaders employ effective ways to enhance the productivity of their teams? What’s causing a team member to perform a certain way? How do leaders keep their employees engaged while building conducive work environments? What steps should leaders take to build a culture of inclusion? These are some of the burning questions that concern leaders at all levels.
With the hybrid workplace models taking the center stage and enabling organizations to significantly shift their operations, building a positive workplace culture is a prerequisite. Organizations can do a lot when it comes to fostering a positive workplace. From encouraging teamwork and creating a culture of psychological safety to establishing inclusion, building a holistic workplace can have compounding effects.
At KNOLSKAPE, we are going full spectrum to equip the future workforce with skills like resilience, emotional intelligence, building trust, and combating biases at work. Whether you are a first-time manager, middle manager, or an individual contributor, KNOLSKAPE’s simulation-based courses, namely, “Emotional Intelligence at Work”, “Happiness at work” and “Overcoming Unconscious Biases at work” are specifically curated to help leaders tap into what their employees are best at doing, report issues early on, strengthen workplace morale, encourage collaboration and allow for risk-taking, translating into a happier workplace.
Our simulations are also best suited when it comes to retaining new-age talent in the long run and are a perfect opportunity for learners to reflect on the decisions they make in a risk-free environment, thereby giving them the confidence to apply the learnings to everyday life. Interested in a demo? Contact us today and take the first step towards redefining employee wellness!
Note- This blog was originally published as https://knolskape.com/blog-best-practices-in-building-a-positive-workplace-culture/