There is a buzz in the market place advocating for positive work culture as the only option to increased engagement of the workforce.
So, what is culture? Culture is a way of life of a group of people laying out their behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next. Culture is symbolic communication.
More specially, Work culture is a combination of qualities in an organization and its employees that arise from what is generally regarded as appropriate ways to think and act. The “work culture” of an organization is a product of its history, traditions, values, and vision. “
Creating a positive work culture is one of the most important things you can do when you establish your business entity, enterprise or brand. No one likes working for an establishment that they feel is toxic or stagnant in terms of the work environment.
A Positive work culture is one which is full of trust and creates a warm atmosphere for everyone to grow. A positive culture is NOT entirely dependent on employers alone; employees also have a stake in creating a positive work culture where your team mates want to work as well and grow.
What are some of the ways of encouraging a positive environment in your workspace?
Happiness is a habit that needs to be modeled. Happiness that is based on gratitude. As a manager or business leader, your demeanor and attitude in the office has an impact on your employees. When you demonstrate happiness you are training your employees to follow suit. Get in the habit of being grateful and showing gratitude for what you have. It can be a small thing – I am thankful for this cup of coffee, for the good weather. When you make an effort to find things to be grateful for, you are training your brain to be on the watch for more of what is good in your world. By making gratitude a habit, you will set the example for others and create a positive work environment. Focus on the positive when interacting with your employees. Point out their accomplishments and abilities. Remind them that they are a positive force within your company and that they have much to offer. This is a powerful motivation tool and it will help to create a “can-do” attitude in your workforce.
People need to have a sense of purpose at work. Their happiness is directly connected to knowing that they make a difference. It’s not enough for a manager to distribute tasks. Take the time to explain why the individual task is important to the company as a whole. This will give your employees a sense of purpose and belonging that will motivate them to strive for more. Engaged employees are efficient, enthusiastic and are willing to do what it takes to help your organization succeed. Creating a sense of purpose for your employees is an investment in developing a positive workplace.
Work does sometimes get monotonous and overwhelming with some team members feeling frustrated and unappreciated. As a business leader you are influential, your opinion matters, especially to your employees. Make it a goal to compliment people. Recognizing even small accomplishments and praising your team members in meetings or in an email can make a big impact. It does not have to be a big gesture.
Turning bad experiences into positive events. For example, if you have a situation where a customer is irate, this can bring down the morale and damage the positivity within your company. Instead of letting this negative experience fester, turn it into something that can be viewed as productive and positive by making it a learning experience. The team can devise scenarios similar and agree on best approach to handle scenarios. As a leader you need to be willing to look at the bad things that tend to pop up during work and learn to make them positive and educational.
With our busy work schedules, sometimes all we want to do is close ourselves off from the rest of the world, focus on our computer and just get it done. But often the best thing to do when we are in that mode is to take a break. Although it can seem counter-productive, taking a break can be rejuvenating. The key here is to seek a bit of social interaction. Encourage your employees to take breaks and provide them with an area in the office to chill out and talk to one another. Taking breaks is important to both mood and concentration. Helping your employees relax and connect with each other during the day is a great way to help them stay motivated and productive. Everyone needs a break from the daily grind. Encouraging your employees to take breaks can increase producitivity, improve mental acuity and even relieve pain.
Cultivate a healthy environment at work for all employees to help lower stress. Encouraging your employees to focus on self-care, such as going for a walk outside during the day, is a great way to keep morale up. Provide them with information on how to reduce stress, the importance of getting enough sleep and eating healthy. Being proactive as a leader shows you care about your workforce and that you are there to help. Connecting with your employees and encouraging them to connect with each other during hard times will help lift morale and keep your business moving in a positive direction.
As a leader you need to create an environment where communication is always happening. If people are able to reach each other at a moment’s notice, it reduces the risk or a miscommunication or toxicity in the workplace. Consider holding weekly physical meetings, creating internal chat programs like office what’s up groups. You will find that it’s much easier to keep things running smoothly when you can contact other employees or your employer as soon as an issue arises.
By creating a positive workplace you will retain top performing employees and increase your business success.