How happy are the employees at your workplace? If you were to ask them (and get an honest answer) what do you think they would say? The truth might surprise you.
According to several recent studies, as many as 2 out of 3 Americans dislike their job.
Of course, there are a lot of factors that can influence those worker’s perspectives. Long hours, long commutes, low pay - the list goes on and on. And sometimes these factors are outside of your control.
But as an employer, wouldn’t you want to do everything within your power to create a positive workplace culture?
Culture is a buzzword we hear a lot in any industry. It’s important to recognize the impact that a culture can have on your business and your employees.
A negative workplace culture can lower morale, result in increased injury rates and spike production costs. A positive workplace culture on the other hand, results in less turnover, higher productivity and increased profits. Which would you rather have?
Listed below are six simple steps that you can take to foster a positive workplace culture at your organization.
1. Offer flexible work schedules
Do you have office staff that work typical “9-5” business hours? If so, give them flexible options for start and leave times. Some people are more productive in the mornings and would be happy to start work at 7:00am. Others might prefer to start at 8:00 or 9:00 instead.
You might even consider allowing your employees to work remotely.
Of course, it depends on the nature of your business. Shift work schedules, for example, are pretty much set. But even then you might be able to change things up a bit. Get some feedback from your employees. Would they rather work four on, four off, or come up with something else? Do they prefer to rotate days and nights, or keep it consistent?
Your employees will appreciate you taking their input into account.
2. Celebrate your successes
When was the last time you had a site-wide celebration?
Other than the typical holiday and birthday get-togethers, you should consider mixing in some additional “parties” or celebrations.
You could encourage each of your departments to have a monthly lunch meeting at their favorite restaurants. Reward your employees with a “highest achiever” award every month or quarter. Get creative. People like to have things that they can look forward to.
3. Use positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is a low hanging fruit that can go a long way in boosting morale and creating a positive workplace culture. It motivates people to continue striving for success. We all like to feel seen and appreciated.
Simple gestures, such as saying thank you or writing an encouraging note, is usually all it takes.
Make sure the other leaders within your organization understand this concept. Supervisors and managers alike should consistently recognize the hard work of the people underneath them.
4. Encourage teamwork and collaboration
All employees should feel empowered to speak up and have their voices heard, regardless of their rank or title. A work environment that encourages teamwork and collaboration will achieve greater success.
5. Create a warm and inviting workspace
Even if you work in the industrial sector where workspaces can be dirty, dusty and noisy, there are ways to create a warm and inviting workspace.
Put some thought into the size and design of break rooms. Make sure that members of the management staff are always accessible. And offer up some small perks that go a long way towards fostering a positive workplace culture.
For instance, you could have healthy snacks and drinks available to all of your employees. Keeping a fridge stocked with healthy options is a practical way to show your staff that you care. Most people need to refuel throughout the day anyway. Giving them healthy options instead of junk food or sugary beverages could make them more productive.
6. Trust your team, and allow them to spread their wings
Nobody likes to be micromanaged. Trust your team to schedule and complete their tasks in a way that works for them. If you do run into trouble with your employees, handle those situations as they arise. But don’t assume that everyone needs you peering over their shoulders all day. Micromanagement creates a negative culture and attitude within your workplace.
Any of these six options can dramatically improve the culture at your workplace. It just takes a simple mindset shift. Which of these solutions will you start with?
Featured resource: 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Environmental, Health and Safety Culture