Businesses often struggle to create a positive workplace culture. However, it all comes down to leaders — they’re setting examples for their employees.
If a company’s leadership has a positive attitude, the effects will trickle down even to the last employee in the hierarchy.
It’s possible to create a productive and enjoyable workplace environment, but you have to be ready to put in some work.
It’s your company, after all, so we’re sure you’ll leave no stone unturned in making it a place your employees love to come to every morning. That said, here are five steps to creating a positive workplace culture.
5 Actionable Steps to Create a Positive Workplace Culture
1. Determine the current culture…and define the ideal one.
If you want to establish and foster a positive workplace culture, you need to understand what’s currently going on.
You can start by looking at the feedback you get from employees. Have an open discussion with employees from different departments to find out what they believe the current company culture is.
You can also talk to employees who have left your company and ask them why they left. Did anything about the company environment influence their decision to make a switch?
Next, you need to establish the philosophy and culture you have in mind. To do this, you need to set a tone for the organization. Here are a few key questions you might want to ask yourself when setting up your ideal workplace.
- How do I want people to act around here?
- What is the right way to manage people?
- How will we respond to problems and issues?
- What do I want my company to stand for?
- How should we work together as a team?
- How will we handle internal conflict?
- What kind of rewards do we need to offer?
- How should we handle feedback?
- What is the vision of the organization?
- How should we deal with new ideas?
Having these answers will help you set a clear direction in which you want the new culture to steer.
For instance, the vision will tell you and your employees where you want to be in 10 or 15 years. How you handle conflicts will help you have a protocol in place so things stay civil and respectful among employees.
2. Be clear as to what constitutes appropriate behavior.
You want to create a positive workplace culture that allows your employees to feel comfortable and free to express themselves.
However, you don’t want to allow them to say or do anything that is inappropriate. If you’re unsure of what’s appropriate behavior, talk to your HR department. You can pick their brains for ideas and suggestions.
Or, you can simply ask HR to hold workshops to educate employees about the toxic workplace environment, its effects, and how to avoid it.
3. Give employees opportunities to contribute.
The best way to create a positive workplace culture is to actively give employees opportunities to contribute.
The more they feel involved and engaged in their work, the more likely they are to stay with the company. In fact, employees who are engaged in an organization are 87% less likely to leave.
When people possess a sense of ownership, they are more likely to be motivated to get things done and be engaged in what they’re doing.
One way to do this is to let employees suggest ways in which they could help. You can also give them the chance to come up with ideas and propose solutions to problems.
To do this effectively, you need to establish an open environment where people can speak up without fear of being judged or reprimanded.
4. Recognize and reward great work.
If you want a positive workplace culture, you also need to recognize and reward good work.
The culture should encourage employees to experiment, innovate and take risks. If they come up with a great idea, complete a project before the deadline, meet targets or do an excellent job in general, show your appreciation with a reward. This will make them feel valued. You can do things such as the following.
- Offer company-wide recognition for good work.
- Pay for a special lunch for the team that has gone above and beyond in a certain area.
- Provide a few paid days off to recharge after all their hard work.
- Upgrade office space for them, specifically designed to inspire creativity.
- (The possibilities are nearly limitless.)
You can also give employees feedback on their performance and let them know how they did. This is an excellent way to ensure that they know what they’re doing well and what they could improve on.
5. Be consistent.
For a positive workplace culture to thrive, you need to be consistent in your actions.
If you’re not, you’ll notice that your changes won’t last. Plus, you need to ensure that the changes you implement are consistent with your goals and the culture you want to establish.
Moreover, do not make yourself an exception to the new rules.
Employees look up to their leaders so if you are not following the changes you made, why should they? The efforts required to change the culture include everyone from top to bottom.
Once you’ve started implementing the positive culture, you can evaluate how well they’re working and adjust your actions as needed.
Are you ready to defeat toxic workplace environments?
By identifying the current culture and developing an ideal one, you can help your employees understand and adhere to the right behavior.
They need opportunities to contribute, be recognized for their hard work, and have a sense of consistency to remain motivated.
However, it’s crucial that you do not overdo it and make it too bureaucratic. To create the right environment for all employees, start with a clear vision and work towards making it a reality.