This article is part 4 of a 5 part series entitled A Guide to Building Better Benefits, which is intended to help companies differentiate themselves as top employers in a competitive job market. This series was created to help promote CloudAdvisors newly launched Bar Score, where you can evaluate how effective, and competitive your current benefits plan is in seconds.
While many employers think work culture is defined by having great perks or by having good compensation, building a positive workplace culture can consist of many things. While perks may play a part, work culture is really about the entire environment that surrounds all employees. It consists of shared values, belief systems, and attitudes.
Benefits of Having a Positive Workplace Culture
What are the benefits of having a positive work culture? Research by Deloitte has shown that 88% of employees, and 94% of leadership believe corporate culture is important to a business’ success. Culture can influence a company’s success by motivating employees through a shared vision. This improves teamwork, productivity, and morale. Also, a strong positive work culture can increase employee attraction and retention.
When employees feel excited about their work, a sense of ownership and pride follows. This ownership has vast benefits for the organization, as organizations with stronger culture outperform their competitors. After all, nobody wants to dread going into work each and every day.
What Does A Positive Work Culture Look Like?
1. Strong Purpose and Core Values
Having a clear vision, purpose, and set of values in your organization sets the tone for what your workplace culture will look like. These values shouldn’t just be stuck onto the door of your office, but should be actively incorporated into company actions. This will help create a shared sense of purpose.
2. Good Communication
Communication between teammates and managers makes up an important part of workplace culture. Effective communication should be encouraged between employees through providing accessibility to the proper tools as well as consistent feedback from managers to reduce uncertainty. Communication strategies should be courteous, clear, and proactive.
3. Growth Opportunities
When employees are able to take initiative of their own work to better themselves and the organization, providing growth opportunities is integral. Companies should give their employees the tools and training needed to excel in the workplace. This may look like setting clear pathways to help employees reach their career goals.
How To Build A Positive Workplace Culture
Starting at the top, leadership must take a proactive approach towards building a positive work culture and demonstrate by example. Here are several ways to create and manage a positive workplace culture that leads to a more happy and productive workforce.
1. Observe and Understand Your Culture
The first step to building a positive workplace culture comes with understanding your current culture’s climate. This includes observing how people interact with one another, and seeing if people feel empowered and encouraged to speak up. Online surveys can be one method of gathering insights about your organizational culture and engagement to help fill in those gaps between where you are, and where you hope to be when it comes to your culture.
2. Establishing a Clear Vision and Core Values
Can you really build a positive culture if the organizational vision and values are unclear? If your values and vision aren’t defined, focus on making them clear and real, with the needs of your employees at the heart of it. After this, then you can start communicating these values effectively during team meetings and company events as well as incorporating them into your company’s actions.
3. Foster Diversity and Inclusivity
Diversity and inclusion plays a big role in workplace culture, as employees need to feel valued and supported. It is important to welcome people from all walks of life and celebrate their different backgrounds. One way to show inclusion is through the use of inclusive personalized benefits. This shows how everyone’s varied needs are respected and supported, with the goal of employee success.
4. Workplace norms and policies
Workplace norms and policies can be used to shape workplace culture. These policies can revolve around onboarding, dress codes, wellbeing, and employee recognition. Craft your policies to fit the company culture you envision, where all employees can feel safe and respected. This can look like having a transparent policy in place for bullying, or even for progression and promotion.
5. Collaboration and Relationship Building
To any team, collaboration is essential. Departments and team members rely on each other to make decisions. Encouraging collaboration and communication between different teams is important to managing a positive work environment as it strengthens relationships.
6. Encouraging Upward Feedback and Approachable Management
When it comes to a workplace, employees want to feel like they can approach their managers and ask for support. This is where the importance of approachable management comes into play. Employees should feel that they can express their needs and share their voice through the encouragement of upward feedback. Afterall, it’s a two way street.
7. Recognize and Appreciate Your Team
Employee recognition goes a long way, and companies need to genuinely recognize their employees’ outputs and contributions. Both formal and informal recognition are valued. Introducing a platform for employee recognition can be extremely effective when it comes to recognizing efforts in a collaborative manner. This can help further motivate employees.
To recap, a positive workplace can improve interpersonal relationships while increasing wellbeing and reducing stress. It can also attract and retain employees by providing an environment of collaboration, communication, and shared vision. These factors then translate into shared financial benefits and success for the organization. Remember, when leaders share a need for a positive workplace, it can flow to all areas of the organization.
However, just following these steps to building a positive workplace culture isn’t the end of it. Managing and creating a positive workplace culture is a continuous process.