Negativity in the workplace is a curse for any professional environment. Delivering a triple whammy to your business, it zaps morale, wipes out staff loyalty and kills productivity. Hopefully, this is not the situation your company is having to deal with.
But just to make sure it won’t ever happen to your business, we have online blogger Lloyd Wells’ compilation of his 5 top tips to develop a positive company culture – to keep everyone happy, alert and pleased to go the extra mile – for the benefit of all. Much of the information in this post is the result of a research project into office behaviours, where our aforementioned blogger sourced data and opinions from leading news sites, staff management sites like Planday.com/uk and a range of authoritative opinions across the many social platforms.
- Create a vision statement
It is important for your employees to know that their job is contributing to the overall aims of the company, and that each individual job makes a difference. By drawing up a clear vision statement of your company values, where it is heading and what it is contributing towards making the world a better place, you send out a powerful message that you care about more than just profits. Laying the foundation for a positive work culture in this way means that everyone can buy into your corporate values, with all members of the team working together towards a common goal.
- Employ positive people
Positive energy is a powerful motivator in the workplace, and it can move mountains, if necessary. Just as negative attitudes can quickly become corrosive, able to sour relationships and even affect the entire workplace, PMA (positive mental attitude) has the opposite effect. When hiring new staff, actively seek out positive people. A friendly smile and an upbeat disposition are a great start, as are a ‘can do’ attitude and problem solving skills. At interview, find out how candidates would handle conflict and interaction with others – that should give you a good indication. For existing staff, let everyone know that negative attitudes won’t be tolerated and tackle specific issues with relevant individuals.
- Establish an open door policy
Encourage positive interaction with your team at all levels by making sure that your door is always open for them. Actively ask for employees’ opinions, carefully listen to their viewpoints and take their suggestions into consideration. An approachable and accessible boss who is in tune with his team will gain the respect of those working for him. Conversely, a distant manager who is never available to speak to and seems uninterested in anyone else’s opinion will find it much harder to establish a positive company culture. Worst of all worlds is the ‘seagull manager’ who ‘flies in, makes a lots of noise, cr*ps on everything, and then leaves’.
- Engage your employees
If you value your staff, don’t practise ‘mushroom management’, aka keeping them in the dark and feeding them manure. Let your employees take an active interest in what’s going on in the company. A positive company culture comes from above, and keeping everyone informed of company news, commercial successes and exciting new changes or new horizons will help your team develop a shared sense of team spirit. Whether you set up daily or weekly meetings with the entire team, or send round newsletters or regular company updates, honesty and openness will pay dividends.
- Show your appreciation
Finally, let your staff know they’re valued and appreciated. Remuneration is an obvious place to start with, and it’s not just about rates of pay either – don’t forget annual leave, sick leave, health cover, pensions package, training costs, travel loans, car allowance and similar benefits. Establish reward systems for performance excellence, with prizes for added motivation. However, it’s important to bear in mind that job satisfaction goes far beyond the material benefits. We all like to be appreciated for what we do, so an official ‘pat on the back’ for a job well done or a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for going the extra mile can work wonders for reinforcing a positive company culture.