Articles // June 28,2022

How Do You Build A Positive Work Culture In An Office?

By Meenakshi Girish , Editor - Swetha Sitaraman

A recent study revealed that a majority of employees feel more motivated to work if they have a sense of connection to the organisation. With a solid company culture in place, you can create a set of mutual values and beliefs to help everyone move towards a common goal. Having a positive culture will ensure that people feel their purpose in the company and want to contribute more for the benefit of the whole team and organisation.

There is no ‘me’ or ‘you’; there is only ‘us’ and ‘we’. Accomplishing that mindset is when you know you succeeded in maintaining a positive culture at work. Read on to know how important a positive work culture is and how you can create one at your office.

How do you treat people?

Your work culture is reflected in the way you treat your customers and employees. While a lot of companies want their staff to address each other by name, some go by informal ways of addressing one another. “I work at a digital marketing agency, and we think it is unprofessional to use ‘Sir’ or ‘Mam’. Instead, we use ‘bro’ and ‘dude’. It has reached a point where ‘bro’ is a professional term of respect which we have kept exclusively for our older staff. The young ones or freshers who joined recently are called ‘Dude’ or by the nicknames they prefer,” said Vaishali, a senior content curator at a well-known digital marketing agency in Chennai.

Be aware of how you treat people and how they treat you. Even if the work culture is very informal, ensure that there is mutual respect, and the work gets done on time. Having a toxic workspace will drive people away, create distrust, and will fail to keep your team inspired. If you wish to enhance engagement and make your organisation thrive, listen to what your employees have to say and try to arrive at a common ground.

Importance of core values – Do they affect customers?

Customers check employee reviews on social media and career sites before making a decision. They sometimes even make direct inquiries with sales teams to know whether to do business with the company or not. To create a good impression, lay down your core values and ensure that everyone is aligned with them. Try to figure out how the office will look, how frequently employees will interact with managers and their colleagues, and how to prevent negativity from entering the workspace.

Setting departmental goals

Each one of your employees needs to have a purpose and goal to work towards. By creating a positive culture, you are ensuring that every individual feels connected to the company. They align their goals to the department and organisation goals. Rather than worrying about their salaries or promotions, they care about the team and the company at large. It encourages collaborations between teams and employees, and they arrive at tangible results through high quality work. 

Encourage diversity and be inclusive

To create a positive work culture, you will have to be more inclusive and welcome people from various backgrounds. The beauty of culture is to celebrate each other’s differences and promote inclusive language and gender diversity. A diverse group of people bring in diverse ideas, which can benefit the business. It promotes creative thinking and innovation. While building diversity, ensure that you are inclusive as well. A good diversity plan without inclusion will not be successful.

“We encourage our employees to share their pronouns and establish committees to organise diversity initiatives. I make it a point to take time out with HR and make diversity a part of our recruitment strategy. Our employees are spread all over the globe – be it the USA or Nagaland. We encourage people to call each other by their first names and it often leads to laughter in the office when people mispronounce names! It adds a touch of humour, and we request our employees to not get offended by such things,” says Vinoth, the CEO of a reputed agency in Coimbatore that specializes in curating email databases.

Welcome fresh perspectives and positive outlooks

The end goal of any company is to sort out the issues that pop up and prevent them from recurring in the future. The idea is to welcome new perspectives and respect your employees. This will automatically motivate them to work productively and bring overall success to the company. Every individual should feel valued and heard – whether they are an intern who joined today or a senior member who has been a part of the company for many years.

A good work culture welcomes a positive outlook and recognizes that good ideas can come from anywhere. Even interns who have no professional backgrounds can bring new ideas to the table and generate profits. Give people the ability to feel empowered and share their thoughts with the whole team.

Incorporate an employee recognition program

There are many ways you can make an employee feel heard and acknowledged for their efforts. One of the best ways is through recognition programs during which rewards are offered for their efforts and key contributions. This will incentivise them to work harder in the future and motivate them to win the next reward. Employees will continue to perform at impressive levels and will stay loyal to your company owing to how valued they feel.

On the whole, you will have a high performing team due to friendly competition. Work culture must not be based on rivalry and peers trying to outperform each other. It must be friendly and sportive to ensure nobody gets burned out or ends up hating each other. Another approach to make people feel valued is to have one on one sessions with them. This provides employees a platform to discuss their performance issues, ask for a salary hike to support their family or talk about their grievances. 

Similarly, if an employee is facing harassment at the workplace and wishes to report it anonymously, don’t hesitate to have an anonymous system to encourage people to report malpractices.

Be flexible and transparent

Most companies don’t have fixed work hours and opt for flexible shifts. It is sufficient if the work gets completed within the allotted deadlines and the profits are smooth. Some organisations are also amenable to permitting their employees to work from home. It helps engaged employees invest their full potential to bring success to the company.

It is also advisable to be transparent and promote open communication between departments, the management, and team members. Every individual matters and must feel heard to bring their best to the table. Try circulating newsletters or have frequent meetings with the team to share important information with them. If there is a change in the fundamentals or your core values, you must keep your employees in the loop at the earliest.

What can you implement right away for better work culture?

The first step would be to outline your goals and values. Ensure that everyone is on the same page and is aligned with the targets set. Revamp your business plans and even the physical workspace to align with the goals and values. Create a workspace that makes your employees want to come to work every day. This could be a fun workspace; you could even switch up the stairs with slides! Go for cool colours and have a free vending machine for your employees to indulge in snacks and coffee while working.

Creating a positive work culture is key to making your employees feel valued and welcomed. By giving them respect, you are motivating them to work to their best potential and bring success to the team. You are making everyone feel a purpose and connection to the team with tangible results to work towards. It is also vital to consider your employees’ feedback and work on improving your business further.

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