Does your office have a problem with negativity?
Disgruntled staff, awkward meetings, and zero water cooler chats? If so, you may need to change your company culture.
What’s the meaning of culture? Simply, it’s the beliefs, knowledge, and behaviors of a certain group— in this case, your company.
To improve your workplace, you may need to create a more positive culture at work. Read on to learn some of the best ways to make your workplace more optimistic, happy, and fun.
Consider Inclusivity in Everything You Do
All workplace policies, activities, and materials should put inclusivity above all else.
What does this mean? Inclusivity means that all employees, customers, stakeholders, and volunteers feel included in the company.
Inclusivity means all people, regardless of age, background, race, gender, mental or physical disability, or lifestyle feel like they are valued by the company.
Try to use non-gendered language in employee writings and HR policies and invest in diversity training. This type of training encourages staff to celebrate their unique and diverse qualities and personalities among other benefits, read more here.
Creating cultures of inclusion can improve staff morale and make everyone feel safe, valued, and welcomed.
All staff, regardless of seniority, should feel comfortable communicating their ideas, suggestions, concerns, and opinions. This means both casually around the office and formally in meetings.
To have a positive employment culture, staff need to feel empowered and feel that their voice matters. Otherwise, it is easy for employees to feel like they don’t matter and aren’t valued by management.
Help with this by encouraging open doors where staff feel they can call, email, or get in touch whenever needed.
If necessary, create a channel where staff can give feedback anonymously.
Culture Starts From The Top
If you are building a positive employee culture, all staff need to be on board. If management is saying one thing publically, yet their actions or behaviors say otherwise, then staff will quickly realize that their efforts are tokenistic.
For positive culture to become embedded in a company, it needs to be genuine. Senior staff must model positive behaviors for other staff to take it seriously.
Positive and inclusive culture takes time to create, and a few posters or emails around the office aren’t enough.
A positive culture requires consistent implementation and effort. Consistency brings comfort, and staff will enjoy knowing that company policies apply to all staff equally.
If services such as flexible work hours or promotion opportunities seem to favor some staff over hours, you’re likely to end up with negative staff who feel that management is playing favorites within the company.
This can quickly lead to low staff morale or an uptick in resignations.
Encourage Personal Growth
Many employees wish to progress within a company, leading to new challenges and a higher income.
Staff want to feel like they are constantly improving, learning, and growing, so support them in their career goals.
Help staff development by providing tailored yearly appraisals, having a staff training and professional development budget, and even helping with their physical health, such as through company gym memberships.
Promote Internally When Possible
It can demoralize qualified staff when they feel they have been passed over for a promotion for an external hire.
When possible, back your staff and help them develop skills to move up within the company. For example, advertise vacancies internally before going public.
Long-term employees are one of your company’s best assets, so try to keep them happy and engaged as much as possible.
Shut Down Negative Behaviors
Negativity in the workplace can be toxic, even if it’s only coming from a small group of people. Underhanded comments, bad attitudes, or being dismissive towards others can make staff feel on edge and uneasy in the office every day.
To help avoid negativity, treat all staff with respect and courtesy. There should also be transparent HR policies on how to deal with bad behavior or conflict.
All policies should be enforced consistently and fairly.
Give Constructive Feedback
When managing staff and assessing performance, there are bound to be issues that come up. Giving feedback politely can always be a delicate situation, so try to approach with tact and care.
It can help to be as specific as possible, offer solutions for improvement, and allow the staff member to respond, ask questions, or clarify any of the issues.
Organize The Occasional Social Event
Many staff dread forced team-building activities, but the occasional social event can be a great way to increase camaraderie and morale.
To increase turnout, have the event during work hours to make it easier for everyone to attend. Consider a Friday afternoon lunch or picnic, an office happy hour, or even just a morning tea.
Or, volunteering as a team for a day is a fantastic way to spend time together while also helping others. Many companies offer corporate volunteering days, where staff can have time off to give back to the community, so this could be a good policy to consider.
Bring in Creativity and Innovation
Employees want to work for a company that is dynamic, innovative, and forward-thinking—not somewhere stagnant and old-fashioned.
Introduce new ideas and encourage staff to share theirs to keep the company fresh. Staff look for things like flexible working hours, companies with clear missions and goals, perks, and benefits.
Be sure to also offer a salary that is on or above market rates.
Bringing in a consultant to manage the process can be a good way to get new ideas and give your staff the opportunity to speak their opinions.
Can You Improve Your Culture At Work?
Creating a positive culture at work leads to happier staff, a more enjoyable and comfortable work environment. It is also likely to improve teamwork and productivity.
Bring in some of the tips above to start changing the culture of your workplace for the better. Although it can take time, the effort is worth it once you start seeing the improvements in your company and staff morale.
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Interesting related article: “What is Motivation?“