When most people think of a productive office, they think of heads bent over keyboards, silently working away. While it’s true that people do need a quiet space to work in order to be productive, true productivity doesn’t just happen by magic.
People are the most productive when they’re happy at work. Motivation to do a good job doesn’t come from a micromanaging boss or a paycheck. It comes from feeling inspired and valued in the office. And that feeling starts with a positive work culture.
Focus On The Culture Right When You Start the Company
Although it is possible to change a company’s culture at nearly any point, it becomes more and more challenging the bigger and more complex the company gets. That’s why it’s always best to create strong cultural values from the very beginning and to focus on building a positive culture from day one.
In addition to making your company more productive from the very beginning, starting your business with the intent of creating a positive work culture will help you to attract the best talent. The best talent will help you scale your business and create sustainable growth.
Build a Culture of Genuine Communication & Interaction
The most productive companies are those that treat their teams as teams and emphasize genuine, positive, and transparent communication. Communication can make or break a company’s culture as communication breakdowns can lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, toxic gossip, and more.
To build a culture of genuine communication, it’s important to be open and honest with your team and to expect the same from them. While unnecessary meetings won’t help to create a productive work environment, regular one-on-one meetings and face-to-face team interactions will help everyone feel motivated and bring the team closer together.
Only communicating over chat programs or talking on the phone isn’t enough to create a positive culture based on communication. Even remote teams need to get together occasionally and use video chat to make communication face-to-face. It’s very easy to feel isolated when you’re only communicating online.
(Note: Obviously, the current global pandemic makes it inadvisable to have team members meet in person. Stay safe and take advantage of digital tools during this time!)
Trust is Key for Positivity
No one is going to feel happy and motivated if they don’t trust their leaders or their colleagues. To build a positive work culture, building trust at every level of the organization is absolutely key.
Trust starts with leadership. Leaders within an organization must embody the values of the company and think of themselves as role models for employees. For instance, if they expect employees to leave at 5 and go home to relax and recharge, they should also do the same.
Consistency is important for trust. Employees need to know that leadership has their best interests at heart and will always be honest and consistent. Building trust takes time, but it is foundational for a positive work environment.
Tips for Building a Positive Workplace Culture
A positive workplace culture takes time to build, and you are likely to experience some setbacks along the way. But it’s important to be patient and to work toward a better organizational culture every single day. Here are some tips:
- Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to corporate culture. You must build your culture from your organizational values.
- Encourage communication and teamwork.
- Have empathy and compassion.
- Provide feedback that encourages growth rather than fostering resentment.
- Encourage team members to speak up with their ideas and concerns. Listen and take those ideas seriously!
- Give employees your time and attention.
- Make team and company goals clear and attainable. Tie them into the larger organizational vision to motivate and inspire.
Remember, when people feel valued and are able to see how they make a difference to their organization, they are more likely to be happy and productive!
What Perspective Are You Reinforcing Amongst Employees?
Creating a positive work culture doesn’t mean that problems and conflicts will never come up. That’s just not realistic. In fact, leaning away from problems can lead to bigger issues, like a lack of innovation and creativity, or larger issues within the organization that are allowed to grow and build over time.
Instead, give your employees a different perspective. Teach them that problems are opportunities for growth, learning, and creative problem-solving. You’re all in this together, and sometimes problems and healthy conflict are necessary for building a positive culture.