Workplace culture is a tough concept to define. It’s a constantly evolving guide to behavior and expectation, but it’s also what motivates your employees to perform at their best.
Fostering a positive workplace culture can drive achievement, minimize turnover, and attract new employees to your company.
Want to stay on top of your workplace culture (see also “Why You Should Put Culture First?“)? It requires effort and engagement, but the results speak for themselves. Find out how to keep your workplace culture healthy with this guide.
Workplace culture needs to be cared for (see also “How To Stop Passively Killing Your Culture“). If you don’t pay attention to the culture, it can grow stale and stifling. If you want to keep a consistent and positive culture, you need to engage with it consistently.
Refresh Your Business Values
The values and ethos of your business are crucial to the company culture. This should be what motivates both you and your employees to put in the effort and work together.
If you don’t know what these values are, then your workplace culture won’t be able to thrive.
These business values should be at the forefront of communication. Employees should be aware of these values and feel responsible for maintaining these values.
From time to time, it might be necessary to reassess your values and refresh them. This will ensure the company’s values and your values remain on the same track.
Update Communication Tools
How do you spread the word around the office? Do you have a chat channel that can be used for quickly composing messages? Or do you still rely on email to share information?
An outdated communication tool might be eroding your company culture, as it makes staying in contact that much more difficult.
Use modern HR and collaboration tools to ensure everyone is kept in the loop (see also “What Is The Workplace Maturity Model ©?“). Improved communication services will make it easier to remain transparent, and provide people with a collaborative space to share opinions and information.
As well as updating communication tools, update the way you use communication tools. Transparency is key. The workplace should feel collaborative, and that means the aim should always be sharing, rather than concealing.
Be Involved From The Start
Who you hire and how you hire them are crucial to ensuring you stay on top of your workplace culture. The best employee might not be the one with the most impressive resume — it’s the person who recognizes the values of your company, and wants to be a part of it.
Getting involved with hiring and onboarding will show new recruits that this is a collaborative company. By emphasizing the culture from the start, the employee will carry this positive attitude with them.
During the hiring process, focus on diversity and inclusion (see also “What Is The Role Of Diversity In Workplace Culture?“). Everyone should feel safe and supported in the workplace.
Everyone likes to know when they’ve done a good job, but it’s easy for success to get lost in the cogs of a modern workplace. However, when people aren’t recognized for their good work, they’re less likely to put in the effort and more likely to look for a new job.
Identify employees who are contributing to the workplace and draw attention to their achievements. Find employees who help build a positive workplace culture, and reward them for their work.
Employee recognition should happen across the company and everyone needs to be in on it. It doesn’t have to be just the big boss — peer-to-peer recognition can be just as, and potentially even more, beneficial as recognition from a superior.
Give Employees Autonomy
It can be difficult to strike the right balance between “involved” and “over-involved” in the workplace, but when you get this balance right, you can really feel the benefits.
Employees should feel they have autonomy over their work while being supported in their choices. It shows that you trust them, and it can encourage employees to use their initiative.
The modern workplace is changing rapidly, with 9 to 5 days at the office becoming less and less common. Consider how you can embrace a more flexible schedule to give employees autonomy.
As employees gain autonomy, they can begin to feel like more than “just” a worker. Instead, they recognize they’re a vital part of the company.
A sense of purpose is what drives most of us to succeed in the workplace. When you feel you’re doing something that matters, you’re more likely to engage fully. A key part of workplace culture should be creating this sense of invigorating purpose.
One of the most effective methods to create purpose is by sharing your own passion. As a leader in the workplace, it’s important not to come across as unengaged. Be open with your enthusiasm, and share how the work impacts the world.
People respond to passion, and when employees can see that you derive purpose from the work, they’ll react in the same way.
Organize Team Activities
The term “team building activities” might conjure up some less than positive images, but there’s real value to scheduling these events. It’s far too easy for a workplace to become disconnected.
When employees don’t feel like they’re part of a team, there’s less motivation to perform.
Team activities encourage employees to get to know each other. These don’t have to be structured days out, but they should provide a chance for bonding beyond the office environment.
Ask For Feedback (And Listen To It)
Feedback in the workplace should be consistent and encouraging. It’s one of the easiest ways to recognize achievement, and it allows you to tackle small problems before they become major issues. An end-of-year review simply isn’t enough.
Instead, feedback should be integral to the running of the company. Schedule meetings every few weeks, organize employee satisfaction surveys, and encourage employees to speak up when they feel compelled to.
As well as giving feedback, you need to be open to receiving feedback. Ask questions that will provide insight into the employee’s relationship with the workplace. Make a note of the feedback you receive so you can track trends and identify issues.
A positive workplace culture needs to be cared for and nurtured. You have to stay on top of the culture, or it can diverge from your company’s purpose, and begin to affect your results.
By prioritizing transparency, feedback, and collaboration, you can keep your workplace culture growing strong.