Company culture is literally the backbone of any organisation. Toxic workplace culture can harm people as much as the company profits. However, if employees feel safe and valued, they are more eager to unleash their full potential. Isn’t a highly engaged workforce what you are aspiring to promote as a company? Then, let’s discover 7 steps to create a positive workplace culture.
The meaning of a Positive Company Culture
Marvin Bower once shared: “the way we do things around here”. It is a simple and easy way to define what a workplace culture is. So what are we talking about when we refer to a positive workplace culture? This expression gathers a lot of aspects of a company. Nevertheless, it can mainly be described as a work environment where the employee’s well-being is at the heart of the business.
What are the characteristics of a positive workplace culture? An organisation that has great values, cares about its employees and offers them everything they need to realise their work in the best conditions is on the right path to developing a positive company culture. A workforce working in such a positive environment is more likely to perform better as well as to be grateful and happy to be part of it. So how do you put this into practice?
Step 1: Observe and analyse the current culture of the workplace
Letting a company culture grow organically can be a risk. Yet, this is an aspect that you can control and grow according to your values and visions. So first, observe the work atmosphere that has been created until now. Do your employees look happy when coming to the office? Is there a high people turnover or not? Does the workplace culture that you see matches your values? If not, it might be time for a cultural reset.
Another way to understand which atmosphere prevails and have an insight into your employees’ experience is to implement regular surveys. The results help build workplace culture goals based on their feedback. It also encourages to keep everybody in the loop, so even the quietest of your team members can give their opinion and share how they feel.
Step 2: Put your employees’ well-being at the top
What can be worse than employees who feel anxious coming to work or lacking motivation? Creating a safe and healthy environment should be one of your main goals when talking about the culture of a workplace. The well-being and mental health of your workforce can have a great impact on the office atmosphere and the collaborators’ relationship with the company.
Over the last years, workplace flexibility has been one of the best answers from employers to take into account employees’ well-being. Among the reasons, this new working model enhances a better work-life balance and also reduces stress levels.
Step 3: Set up and share your core values
Once all those feedbacks have been taken into account and you know in which direction you want to go, saying them out loud won’t be enough. You need to set your corporate values up and let your collaborators know what you stand for. For example, your values can be sustainability, inclusion and diversity, trust, mindfulness, empathy or solidarity.
Once everything is set, share them widely and regularly so everybody is aware of the right attitude and how to interact with each other. As a team, it is important that you all have the same destination goals. Otherwise, those values might evolve in a direction you don’t want and that could hurt your workforce and therefore, your business.
Those values shouldn’t be kept inside the company walls. Enhancing a positive workplace culture through common values is an important aspect to share with your customers and maybe future collaborators. It can totally inspire people to work with you and work for you.
Step 4: Make communication your priority
Talking about interactions, communication is key. To create a working environment where people feel comfortable, it is essential to keep everybody in the loop. For companies based on a hybrid work concept, this aspect is even more important to avoid exclusion and promote team interactions. Therefore, make sure your communication strategy includes everybody and promotes sharing information as well as knowledge.
For hybrid companies, the office layout can be a great help to reach this goal, we will tell you more about it in the next step.
Step 5: Build an office space that enhances a Positive Workplace Culture
As mentioned before, employees should feel comfortable and have the ideal working conditions when coming to the office. For this reason, a workplace layout matching employees’ activities is highly beneficial. Some of them spend hours on the phone while others need a quiet space to focus. If not taken into account, this can create frustration and tension among the teams. To avoid it, try to build an office space that matches their needs according to the moment of the day and the tasks they have to accomplish.
An office space layout can also help promote team building and interactions. Providing a place where people can gather to work together, or simply share a moment, is a great way to encourage a positive company culture. With the same idea, creating space where employees can enjoy a break and relax is also part of putting their well-being first. It can definitely help them to take a break to refocus and go back to work with a clearer mind.
Step 6: Value your team members and their backgrounds
One of the few positive effects of the pandemic is the switch of organisations to hybrid work models. This opens the recruitment process to a wider and more international range. HR teams can look for talents all around the world in order to find people sharing the same visions and values. Working with people from different backgrounds is a real chance for a company as each individual has different points of view and ideas according to their background, studies, experiences, etc. Therefore, encouraging a team culture gives them the chance to learn from one another. This aspect is obviously easier to put into practice if your communication strategy and company model are designed toward this goal (steps 4 and 5).
By now, you have probably started to understand the benefits of positive workplace culture and of putting people first. So as much as it is key to give them the opportunities to work in the best environment possible, it is also essential to empower them, boost them when needed and mostly, reward them.
Step 7: Don’t underestimate the impact of leaders and ethical practices
When talking about teams, leaders have a huge role to play. In research carried by SHRM in 2019, 76% of Americans said that their managers set the workplace culture. 58% of those who quit their job admitted that the ultimate reason was their manager.
This is why we encourage you, as an employer, not to underestimate the power your leaders can have on the office atmosphere. They should share the same positive values and help you to make sure they are known and applied.
Last but not least, nowadays online media can destroy a company’s reputation. However, it can also have the opposite effect if your main focus is your employees and their well-being. Companies that care about their workforce and implement ethical practices simply attract more talents and therefore, increase their success. Furthermore, people who feel safe and empowered are less likely to leave. Workforce retention is a great proof of a company that has a positive workplace culture.
Your workforce is the key to success but in order to work, you need to implement a positive workplace culture with people sharing the same values. This is what deskbird tries to do within its team but also when providing you with a desk booking software that is people-centred.