Every year, more than 627,000 new businesses open their doors in the United States. No matter what industry they’re in, those companies always face challenges from attracting qualified employees to keeping their team members happy on the job.
The best way to do both is to focus on creating a positive workplace culture. When employees feel comfortable in their work environment, the better off your company will be.
But creating that positive culture and inspiring environment can feel like a huge task when you’re first starting out. Here are a few simple steps to help you create a culture and environment that brings out the best in your team.
Look at Your Values
Every company has values. These are the things that you stand for and want to represent to the world.
What most businesses fail to consider is that values can and will change over time. Use this to your advantage.
Take a look at the values you have in place and ask your team for their input. Keep the ones that resonate with your company today and add new ones as needed.
Just make sure your team is on the same page. When everyone understands what the values are and how they impact the way your company operates, you’ll be better able to focus on growth and employee retention.
Encourage Open Communication
Positive workplace culture often starts with open communication. If employees feel they can’t talk to leadership or express their concerns without fear of punishment, the culture will shift for the worse.
Encourage your employees to express their ideas and concerns and pay attention to what they say. This will make them feel like a valued part of the team. Besides, you never know when the next great idea will come across someone’s desk.
Play to Your Team’s Strengths
Asking employees to push themselves out of their comfort zone is fine. It helps foster personal growth and gives them a chance to develop and hone their skills.
But putting people in roles that they’re not good at is a great way to create a toxic work environment. When your team feels constantly challenged and can’t focus on the tasks they’re great at, their workplace satisfaction will suffer.
When this happens, you’ll likely notice people feeling more negative about their jobs and may start losing the employees you rely on. By letting your team do tasks they enjoy and are genuinely good at, you help make the workplace positive and show your employees that you care.
Focus on Your Company, Not What’s Trendy
Pool tables, bean bag chairs, and free soda may work to make some newer startups seem like fun places to be, but that doesn’t mean they’re what your company needs.
The key to creating a happier workplace and building a positive culture is focusing on what your team needs. What would make it easier for them to do their jobs? Which amenities can you offer that will improve their quality of life at work?
Ask for input if you’re not sure and take steps to implement their suggestions.
Celebrate When You Reach Goals
A positive workplace culture is one in which team members feel that their management team appreciates their work. The easiest way to show appreciation is by celebrating goals and milestones.
Keep in mind this doesn’t have to mean throwing a huge party. Sometimes, all it takes is making an announcement at a company-wide meeting or letting someone know when they go above and beyond.
Save the bonuses and parties to mark the major milestones, but take the time out to recognize and celebrate the small wins, too.
Let Your Team Collaborate
It’s normal for your team to focus on their individual tasks for the majority of the day. But that doesn’t mean it should be the ONLY thing they do. They need to be able to communicate and talk to their coworkers without fear of retribution.
Encourage your employees to collaborate and ask each other for help and ideas. If you see them talking, don’t leap to conclusions and assume they’re slacking off.
Micromanaging and keeping employees separate from one another is a great way to promote a negative workplace culture. You’ll get better results and have a more positive environment if employees feel they can help one another out.
Prioritize Your Team’s Health and Wellbeing
Sick employees are a drag for everyone in the office. And when people feel pressured into coming to work when they’re not feeling well, the workplace culture will suffer.
Make your team’s health a priority. Be flexible whenever possible and encourage them to take care of themselves first and foremost.
When you show that you value their wellbeing, your employees will be happier at the office. The happier they are, the easier it will be to maintain a positive and upbeat culture.
Keep Things Clean
No one likes to come to a dirty workplace. It makes people feel that you don’t value your own company or your employees.
Over time, this can make even the best work environments feel depressing and rundown. Instead of letting the dirt and junk pile up, keep the space clean.
Make trash and recycling bins accessible throughout the office. Hire a cleaning crew to give the space a good deep cleaning at least once a month and encourage your employees to keep their workspaces clean.
It only takes a few extra minutes each day, but it can make all the difference in your workplace culture.
Start Building a Positive Workplace Culture Now
When you make your company’s workplace culture a priority and take the time to listen to your employees and implement their suggestion, you can’t NOT be successful. The result will be an environment that your employees will love being a part of for years to come.
Remember, it’s never too late to start improving your company culture. Use these simple tips and get started today.
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