Every organization or industry has its own unique vibe, shaped by its values, priorities, the people who work there, and many other variables. These factors blend together to create the everyday environment (or work culture) that people turn up to. No one needs a definition to know what a bad or good culture looks like, you can simply feel it. Having a bad culture has all kinds of ramifications ranging from dissatisfaction to lower productivity to things as extreme as less safe working conditions.
We recently had Minstaff Operations Manager Jake Laing on the Full Production podcast, and the issue of work culture was one (of many) that we touched on. According to Jake, a big part of creating an appealing and healthy workplace is simply offering people choices. Being as flexible as the business allows and never forget to put yourself in the shoes of others. It’s not rocket science, but its small touches that make all the difference.
Whether you’re in management or not, it’s in your best interest to work at a place with good culture. This isn’t just a top-down thing either, employees contribute just as much as a company policy.
Here are five tips for creating a healthy work culture.
Lead By Example
Instead of telling people to do things differently or complaining about something that wrong makes a change through your own behaviour. People don’t like to be told what to do but they will definitely follow the successful lead of others.
Offer On-site Support
You don’t have to empty your budget, but setting up coaching or stress management sessions, or whatever makes sense in your business, can yield large returns on investment. When implementing change with employees,, suggest something and back it up with data and a solid support structure.
Foster Clear Communication Channels
Apply the open door policy, leave room for dissenting opinions, reward people who provide meaningful feedback and provide ways for a healthy communication within the company.
Mix Up Your Approaches
Recognize that a one-size fits all approach is never going to make everyone happy. You may have millennial-age staff along with more tenured employees, find ways of making sure they’re both respected and catered to in the right ways. If you don’t know how to do this hire someone with the social intelligence to get it done.
Make Trust and Transparency Part Of Your Approach
A culture that embraces transparency will benefit from employees that are far more engaged. When leaders are transparent about the current health and future goals of the company, employees will have a better understanding of their role within the bigger picture. Also, trust people and don’t micromanage them. From the employee side, find a place to work with people you trust, without that factor a workplace will never feel quite right.
You can dismiss work culture as something only HR people worry about, or you can start by building a culture worth buying into, the choice is yours.
Listen to my entire conversation with Jake here.