Company culture is a shared set of values, beliefs, and attitudes that move your organization forward. It is reflected in the way that employees are treated and how everyone interacts with customers. It also impacts the type of candidates your company attracts for open positions. A strong, positive workplace improves employee engagement, boosts productivity, and decreases turnover. Employees who are valued, and receive empathy and consideration from their leaders, will want to stay at a job.
Work culture naturally forms within every organization and can literally make or break a company. When negative behaviors and toxic habits begin to take over an environment, things can become difficult, and can even cause a company some serious money. According to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), toxic workplace cultures cost U.S. employers $223 billion in turnover over a five-year period.
It takes everyone within a company to create a positive team culture, and it starts with the leaders of an organization. When everyone moves with intent, you can build a positive workplace culture that will inspire both employees and customers and that will help your company thrive.
If you are a leader within your company, the positivity begins with you. If you want to improve your workplace environment, here are some key steps you can take.
The number one thing you can do for your employees is to be flexible with their needs. Your employees have entire lives outside of the workplace, and although your company is important to them, so is their time with their families and friends. By providing your employees with a competitive salary, a reasonable amount of vacation time, and other benefits, your employees will be motivated to do their best work. This is the first step in creating a positive relationship with every employee you have.
Promote a Team Atmosphere
Don’t think of your employees simply as people you work with. Think of them as integral members of your team. If you create a positive, team-focused atmosphere, your employees will follow in your footsteps. People who work together with the same goal in mind will always succeed.
Set Clear Goals
With the latter being said, make sure to set clear goals for your company, within each department if necessary. Both new employees and those who have been working with you for years need strong leadership to help them reach their full potential. When your employees know what your expectations are, they will be more confident to take action.
Establish a Zero Tolerance Policy
Protecting your employee’s rights and individualities in the workplace is just as important as creating a welcoming environment. A vital aspect of positive work culture is providing employees with the opportunity to speak freely about the issues they are facing, in and out of the workplace. Make sure to hire trusted HR representatives and give them flexibility in their schedules for personal conversations. Issues like sexual harassment, bullying, and discrimination are just some of the problems that can occur in the workplace. Be prepared to deal with these issues accordingly.
Create an Employee Recognition Program
By recognizing and rewarding employees for achieving outstanding results, you will make them feel valued at your company. Doing this will also motivate other employees to up their game, creating a work culture of friendly competition that leads to goals being met.
"Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first." - Simon Sinek
Accept and Utilize Employee Feedback
Employee feedback can directly improve your company. Instead of thinking that feedback indicates what you’re doing wrong, think about it as just the opposite – it is your employees showing you how to do better. When employees want to help you improve, it means that they truly care about your company and they want to fix problems instead of accepting them in frustration. These employees want to grow with you instead of leaving your company out of resentment.
Always Strive for Improvement
We all get stuck in our daily routines and responsibilities. Don’t let monotony stop you from always reaching for the very best. As a leader, you should always have your employees’ best interests at heart. Plan team-building activities that will enforce workplace relationships and encourage coworkers to get to know each other. Surprise employees with a free lunch or happy hour. Congratulate your team on a job well done. If you strive for improvement on a weekly or even daily basis, your positive energy will remain contagious, and your employees will aim to reach their highest potential.