Who doesn’t want to work in a fun, productive environment where they feel valued and empowered to do their best work every day? Whether you are part of an established organisation or just starting up, building a positive workplace culture is an essential part of driving your business forward — and it all starts with understanding how it works.
This article will explain what positive workplace culture really means, how to build one at your company, and what you can do to spread positivity in your team.
What is positive workplace culture?
The term ‘positive workplace culture has been co-opted by management consultants, HR professionals, self-help authors and motivational speakers. But it is the need of our times. Given that we are living in the age of the Covid-19, it has become more crucial than ever to pay attention to employee engagement and reduce stress levels.
A positive culture is one where people love going to work every day and where everyone works together for the betterment of the group. It's a culture that is thriving because its members love to push themselves harder and succeed in what they do.
Positive workplace culture is one that all members of the organisation can be proud of. Everyone feels welcome, respected, and motivated: from the higher-ups to the newest employees.
The importance of a positive workplace culture
According to a PwC 2021 report, 92% of respondents in India say their culture has been a source of competitive advantage during the pandemic.
Creating a positive culture within your office gives employees an environment in which they are more likely to feel valued and respected. Without that kind of foundation, no amount of financial incentives or performance rewards will help keep top talent at your company! Keep in mind that in 2021, mental health is essential for every employee, and it benefits everyone.
On the other hand, if you don't have a positive workplace culture, your employees will be unhappy and/or unmotivated. The end result? Your business suffers. This is also why 66% of C-suite executives believe culture is more critical to performance than the organisation's strategy.
Check out this quick guide on practising kindness at work.
Ways to build and manage a positive workplace culture
Here are some core concepts that can be used by all kinds of business owners and managers to build or keep up a positive workplace culture. See how it works for you!
1. Define and communicate company values
Defining your values is at once a crucial part of an organisation’s foundation and also one of its biggest challenges – especially if your company is still in startup mode.
To determine your values, it can be helpful to start by asking what your company will not be (i.e., you want customers that love you but do not want people who hate you). This can help focus your efforts on attracting users/clients that align with these ideals and helps build a vital culture from day one.
Everyone in your organisation needs to share and understand these positive workplace values, so make sure everyone knows them. You should also use these values as a prism to decide which candidates or applicants are suited to work with your organisation.
Building a positive workplace culture that employees love doesn't have to be difficult. Most businesses already have certain practices or programmes that gets people fired up about their jobs: internal awards, company offsites, friendly competitions, health or personality development workshops, sporting tournaments, and the like.
Or, maybe you have someone on staff who exemplifies positivity, good humour, warmth and other values that you want more people to imbibe. Try taking cues from your current workplace culture as you think about creating new employee engagement activities.
If you can figure out what makes it tick, chances are there's an opportunity for creating new activities based on old ones—that will make it even better!
Employee engagement is about more than raking in big bucks through happiness alone; rather, it's about building a healthy work environment that benefits everyone.
Try Manah's free emotional wellbeing assessment now!
3. Make behavioural changes at an individual level
There is no point in creating a positive workplace culture without having at least some of your employees making changes themselves. Hence, you may want to look into behaviour management as a way of getting your employees invested in their own behaviour.
Rather than trying to monitor every single one of their actions, give them constructive feedback with suggestions on how they can improve.
This way, they will feel like they have an active role in shaping their own behaviour rather than feeling that management is something being forced upon them.
How can leaders prevent work disagreements from turning into work conflicts? Here are some tips.
4. Authentic and trusted leadership
Everyone wants to work for someone they trust; someone who has their best interests at heart. This starts with fostering a culture of authenticity within your company.
When employees can see you're being true to yourself, both in your words and actions, it makes it much easier for them to be open and honest as well. It also allows your employees to feel that they can be themselves while working at your company, which will help make them happier.
If they're more confident in themselves, they'll be more confident in what they do at work—and thus more productive.
5. Encourage feedback and share of voice
When leaders and managers are also good listeners, it improves the positivity of the work environment. Leaders who regularly take feedback also empower their team members to have a stake in improving the work environment, and the processes and systems that run within it.
Ensuring transparency and regular communication is a good way of fostering a positive workplace environment. Hence, it is always advised to have an open-door policy between managers and employees so that people feel heard and conflicts are nipped in the bud.
Click here to read about the importance of psychological safety at work.
6. Focus on employee wellbeing
If you want your employees to be happy in their jobs, provide them with all the resources they need for success.
For example, consider offering wellness programmes that promote healthy living and allow employees time off from work to participate in events like charity work, physical activities like marathons, or to spend more time with their families.
Remember that positive work culture isn’t built overnight. It is the result of sustained and targeted efforts to infuse certain values and behaviours into the work environment. To know more about how to put your people’s well-being at the core of your company’s growth, keep reading the Manah Wellness blog.