Creating a positive workplace culture won’t just result in happier employees, they’ll be more productive too. There is a large body of research that shows that when employees feel relaxed and engaged, they are less likely to succumb to stress and will subsequently get more done. But improving workplace culture is not easy.
Often, the culture of a workplace can be difficult to define and even harder to change. When a toxic environment has developed, however, it will be obvious to staff, employers and guests alike. Fortunately, bad culture is not irreversible and here are some steps you can take to improve the situation in your place of work.
Communication is a vital part of relationship building and, as such, plays a crucial role in creating a positive workplace culture. This is particularly important for breaking down workplace silos and ensuring that all employees feel as though they are pulling in the right direction. This means that junior members of staff need to feel comfortable making their opinions known to more senior members. When communication is stifled, disagreements and conflicts are left to fester and minor issues can quickly become major problems. Regular company-wide meetings and the use of suggestion boxes can be a good way of creating open communication channels.
If employees don’t care about their work, it’s easy for a negative culture to set in. Boosting workplace engagement is a sure-fire way to avoid this and starts at the recruitment stage. When hiring, try to evaluate a candidate’s personality and attitude, as well as their skillset. That way, they are more likely to start work with plenty of enthusiasm and new ideas.
Another option is investing in employee engagement software. Digital solutions, like those offered by Questback, make it easy for management to run surveys and collect insights from employees, which ensures that their opinions are being noted. If staff feel their input is valued by the company, they are more likely to feel engaged at work.
A positive culture can only be achieved if there is transparency in the workplace. High-profile decisions should be conveyed to all members of staff and results should be shared – both good and bad. When employees are made of aware of the company’s successes (and failures) they can make better decisions – both for themselves and the company.
Giving consistent feedback is a vital strand of positive workplace culture. This doesn’t mean simply scheduling an annual review as part of a box-ticking exercise either. Feedback should come from managers and colleagues on a regular basis and could consist of a quick email praising a recent project or a lengthier rundown of strengths and weaknesses.
Employee expectations change over time, but workplace flexibility is currently one of the most important factors for members of staff. In fact, 40 percent of workers cite flexibility as one of their top-three motivating factors when making career decisions. This could include granting staff the option of working from home or letting them have greater freedom to choose their work hours. The growth of mobile technologies and cloud computing has granted companies more flexibility than ever before. When staff are granted access to this flexibility, then businesses will be rewarded with a happier, more productive working environment.