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Ten tips for a positive workplace culture
‘Workplace culture’ is just another term for a company’s ‘vibe’ - it’s your organisation’s character or personality. It’s built from your values and beliefs – how you behave internally and expresses yourself externally. It’s all your quirks and traditions - your attitude and the way your employees interact.
Workplace culture is what defines a brand as a living, breathing social organism, created by the people who dedicate their time to it. So, it’s important to get it right.
Why is it so important?
If you have a positive workplace culture, by definition, you have a positive and happy team – the output tends to be positive too, as does the feedback. A company is only as good as the people who work for it. People who’re satisfied with their jobs put more enthusiasm into their work, but this is not all.
If you’re hiring, your candidates are going to check to see if the environment suits them. Why? Because we spend most of our lives at work! If the atmosphere is great, the best people are going to want to spend their time there. No one wants to work somewhere dull.
We perform better when we’re happy.
When we feel included and valued, we care more about what we produce. When we feel supported, we’re less likely to resent our colleagues or steal their thunder. If we look forward to Monday, we’re more likely to put passion into our work. And it’s having a workforce that’s fully onboard that creates the best culture – and it’s this that gives a company its edge.
Our top ten tips:
Define your values and vision
You need to know what you’re here for! Is your mission inspiring? Do your employees understand your values? You can’t create a positive culture without clearly defining your value and your vision – it’s like trying to build a house without any tools.
Hire people who’ll add something new to the team – your workplace culture will take the shape of the people who work within it. Bringing together a variety of different personalities can create the most innovative and stimulating cultures.
Inclusion goes a long way – it’s the difference between being a colleague and being a teammate. If people feel included, they feel valued – it gives a job meaning and drives engagement.
Sometimes people just need a chit-chat. Occasionally there are problems that need to be discussed. But as with any relationship- communication is key. If people feel free to speak and voice their concerns and worries, ideas and enthusiasm, they’ll feel connected.
Bonding is essential – whether it’s Friday lunch-time debates, post-work drinks, or occasional team outings- giving people something to giggle about and reminisce over always helps create a rapport. After all, people are social creatures.
Reward good work
You can make someone’s day with a simple ‘well done’ or ‘thank you’. When we spend all day doing something, we want our efforts to be acknowledged. We feel valued and connected and it gives us drive and enthusiasm.
Create a comfortable environment
Culture and environment go hand in hand. What is your space like? Does it allow for social interaction and is it inspiring? If you want the office to buzz with energy, you need to encourage this energy to blossom. Think about how setting can influence your mood – the ideal setting will make your team feel relaxed, happy and inspired. Music, colour schemes and eye contact for employees are like sunshine for plants – eerie silence isn’t what you want.
Lead with empathy
Leadership only works well when it takes people’s feelings into account – no one likes a tyrant. People need to feel valued, respected and safe in order to be on their best form. Nothing positive comes from yelling at your staff – you just create distance that’s difficult to patch up. Listen to your employees and try to be sensitive to their wants and needs. In return, they’ll be more likely to work harder.
Leaders also need to be respected. This requires a setting by example – if the employees see a leader as inspiring, they’ll do more to impress them. It’s like having a good teacher at school – you listen and remember and care about your work.
Define your style
Are you Silicon Valley-style hipsters or the traditional pinstripe type? This has as a lot to do with what your clients expect from you, but don’t be afraid to add some finesse. How people dress influences how they act and either attracts or detracts people from joining your team.