Whether you’re working at corporate headquarters or coworking offices, workplace culture will affect you, your team, and the company as a whole. If that culture is negative and toxic, it will bring everyone down and drag profits along with it. If the culture is positive, however, it will boost employee morale, company productivity, and the bottom line.
How do you foster the positive and keep away the negative?
Below are five tips to get you started:
1. Allow regular breaks
When deadlines are looming, it can be tempting to just knuckle down and push through. While putting in long hours without a break might work in the short term, as a long-term strategy, it’s bound to lead to burnout sooner rather than later. To avoid that, encourage regular breaks.
Giving employees regular breaks not only prevents burnout but also increases productivity. Overworked employees full of stress are far more likely to make mistakes, be inefficient, and find it hard to concentrate. Plus, their tired and stressed attitudes will only contribute to an unpleasant workplace culture.
2. Recognize achievements and give useful feedback
A positive workplace culture requires recognition and feedback. When employees set goals and achieve them, it’s important to recognize them. You can do that verbally (a simple “great job” goes a long way) or monetarily (with vouchers, corporate gifts, or bonuses). Such gestures recognize an employee’s achievements, which can boost motivation in the workplace.
Even if an employee hasn’t reached a goal yet, it helps to give useful feedback. Fostering a feedback-rich culture can build trust and boost engagement. Regular feedback lets employees know if they’re making progress in the right direction, and it gives leaders a bird’s eye view of the overall direction of the company. In turn, this can improve decision-making.
3. Be flexible and prioritize work-life balance
Since the pandemic, many employees have come to prefer a flexible schedule—either a fully remote job or a hybrid model. For many, this type of flexibility offers better work-life balance. Rather than getting stuck in rush-hour traffic each morning, they can work when they want—so long as they finish what’s required. Unsurprisingly, many employees look for this kind of flexibility in a job. Indeed, many prefer it over a higher salary.
Even if jobs are on-site, companies can still foster a healthy work-life balance. What that looks like changes from company to company, so it’s important to determine what kind of flexibility is realistic. In the end, it will greatly improve workplace culture.
4. Provide learning opportunities
Alongside work-life balance, employees also appreciate leaders who provide them with learning opportunities. Whether it’s support for an online course or the ability to work on a new innovative project, these opportunities help build confidence, improve job satisfaction, and contribute to personal growth.
In addition, they make companies more successful. By providing learning opportunities, you can build a positive workplace culture that attracts top talent and gives them plenty of reasons to stay and grow.
5. Curtail toxic elements
To truly create a positive workplace culture, you need to do more than simply add positive elements. You also need to eliminate toxic ones. If you let toxic attitudes fester, soon you’ll find yourself mired in a workplace full of microaggressions, exclusion, harassment, and inequality. That, in turn, leads to high levels of employee disengagement—alongside a host of legal problems.
To avoid that fate, stamp out toxic behaviors and practices whenever they arise. Your organization will be much stronger for it, and your employees much happier.
Implement the above five tips in your office to see the benefits of a positive workplace culture firsthand.