The average work hour for an American is usually around 8 hours a day on weekdays. During these hours, the employee is constantly exposed to one aspect, the atmosphere of the workplace. In fact, for most employees, the atmosphere or the environment will be perceived the same way. Therefore, to ensure a healthy and productive workplace, there needs to be an implementation of positive work culture.
The Definition of a Work Culture
In essence, the work culture is the environment that a working individual is exposed to at all times. It consists of several aspects like social interaction, personal beliefs, general attitudes, and even preconceived notions that employees have of each other. The culture can differ based on the upbringing of each employee and the cultural norms of that particular region.
For example, the American offices can be laid back and offer more freedom to its employees to express themselves than some other countries. Therefore, creating a positive work culture can depend on a range of unique factors in every office.
What Does a Positive Work Culture Look Like?
As mentioned before, positive work culture is an amalgamation of many factors, which in turn create an environment that encourages the growth of the company and the employee simultaneously. The reason why this is possible is because of positive work culture has the following features:
- Improves Communication
A communicative relationship between an employee and the company is of two forms. There is a relationship that an employee has with their peers or co-workers. The other form involves an employee and the manager or someone in a position of power. In both these cases, communication will be the basis to promote the creation of a healthy workplace.
Communication between an employee and a manager will help an employee understand what is required of them on a daily basis and the general objectives that need to be accomplished. Between co-workers, communication comes into play when working as a team or even day-to-day interactions.
- Encourages Collaboration
As mentioned before, the ability to work as a team is an essential component to the success of any project. Team projects help to lessen the burden which would otherwise be shouldered by a single person. In addition to this, a collaboration between co-workers has been shown to boost morale in a workspace contributing to the desired levels of positivity.
It also contributes to the personal growth of the employee as they tend to interact with their co-workers. Aspects like “learning on the job” can easily be carried out when employees are accustomed to working together.
Another morale booster is the reward systems that are usually implemented. Be it verbal or written; in the form of an actual award or bonus, recognition is a great way for all employees to know that their hard work does not go unnoticed. It can also help to foster healthy competitiveness between co-workers to boost their productivity and the quality of their work. In addition to this, 69% of employees prefer a positive work culture that constantly recognizes good work.
- Purpose-driven Culture
The company creates a culture that makes every employee feel as though they have something to contribute. This sense of purpose will be the driving force that will help an employee understand what the company requires at the moment. One way of doing this is to disclose the long-term goals that the company is going for. These should be actual goals that are plausible to help the employee actually contribute towards accomplishing them.
Proven Strategies That Create Positive Work Culture
The strategies that implement a better work culture usually involve the following:
- Focus on Employees
A company that thinks of its employees first in a positive light is more likely to establish a positive workplace culture. By “positive light”, we mean that the company should consider the welfare of the employees’ physical, mental and emotional states. In other words, employees should be treated as humans rather than a faceless group of individuals. This includes providing healthcare resources to them to ensure that the employees are capable of being in the best frame of mind as they work.
- Organizational Roadmap
As mentioned before, creating a purpose for every employee is important as it encourages hard work and orients their efforts towards the benefits of the company. One way of doing this is to create a map that has several goals, which are usually short-term, along the way. By accomplishing these short-term goals, the team will also be inching towards completing long-term goals as well.
- Better Policies
The creation of policies holds an important place when a company is looking to create a positive work culture. This is because policies have a direct impact on the employees. Therefore, the policies should promote inclusivity and collaboration between employees. The focus should be on implementing principles of cultural diversity and inclusion.
In addition to this, it can also be used to help aspiring employees work towards promotions or progress.
For example, some policies could outline what an employee should be doing to attain the promotion. This can be done by considering performance evaluations and so on. Thus, an employee is encouraged to work harder.
- Empathetic Leadership
The executives and managers play a more important role than anyone else while creating a positive work culture. For many employers, managing their workforce involves many restrictions and rules. They refrain from providing exceptions to the rules that are put in place. Therefore, there are chances that this lack of empathy could negatively affect an employee instead of encouraging the employees.
Some researchers at Harvard found that employees who speak about their non-empathetic employers display brain activity concurrent with avoidance and negative emotion. In another study, it was revealed that leads who show compassion to their employees are able to foster resilience both at an individual and collective level.
- Evaluating Workplace Norms
A workplace norm refers to the behavior that is considered “normal” which the employees display while they are at work. For many people, this type of behavior comes naturally to them. However, it should be evaluated to ensure that it is capable of creating a positive work culture rather than a harmful one. In fact, the norms are subject to change sometimes to create an inclusive space for every employee. In case some certain aspects or norms require change, it is possible by bringing that particular behavior to their attention.
- Promote Social Connections
Social connections are an important aspect of the workplace as it is a part of the human psyche to be social. Some studies even found that workplaces that encourage positive social connections between co-workers reduce stress and allow individuals to retain more information while working. In addition to this, employees are more likely to imbibe a diverse mindset when they are more social.
Therefore, a company can ensure that its workplace possesses a work culture that encourages and includes every employee. Fostering a healthy workplace will not only make the company more profitable in the long run, but it also makes it more desirable to other investors or even individuals looking for employment. Thus, a positive work culture brings nothing but positive results to a workplace.