How to Create a Positive Workplace Culture

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Creating a culture that works is not as easy as it sounds. An organisation’s culture will reflect its values, norms, relationships, procedures and goals and is a somewhat intangible part of a company. Yet culture can make or break any organisation, and provides the framework from which a company can pursue success.

Many big companies such as Facebook, Amazon and Virgin America pride themselves on their cultures, which are focused on creativity and innovation. Sure, these are large companies with big budgets that can afford to have amazing employee perks and outstanding work environments. But what is it that really supports and empowers a great culture? Drive your business to success and make it easier for your company to recruit and retain staff, with a culture that works.

1. Set the tone with your leadership

It’s all very well to throw around some high powered buzz words and rhetoric about company values of transparency, performance, customer focus or possessing flat hierarchy, but if none of this is actually implemented in the day to day behaviour of the leadership team, it’s all for nothing. In fact, it could even damage employee perception of the company’s culture and values. Identify the key parts of the desired culture and make sure that your leadership team genuinely drive this forward in their day to day interactions.

The people of a company define the culture, and there’s no point forcing rhetoric down your employees throats if in reality, the executive leadership, managers and team leaders are on a completely different level. If your leadership won’t buy into your ‘culture’ then you know you are off target.

2. Increase positive motivation

An article from the Harvard Business Review identifies three key motivations that positively support motivation in the workplace. Performance of an employee will increase when:

  • Their work is motivating in itself – they work because they enjoy it
  • Their work fits their identity – they work because they value the work’s impact
  • Their work benefits their identity – the work enhances their potential

A culture which supports these positive motivators and reduces negative ones is more likely to experience success. Negative motivators may include emotional and economic pressures, which should be reduced to avoid declining employee performance.

3. Explain the why

Keeping communication open with your staff and teams and providing reasons with the right ‘why’ will help support a positive culture. For example, focusing on what business needs are being met, rather than emotional or economic pressures (the boss said so, we have to cut wages, etc.), will result in developing a culture that is focused on meeting business objectives, rather than reluctantly responding to negative pressures.

4. Reflect your priorities in your structure

Your organisation’s structure should reflect the priorities of the company. This includes everything from hiring policies to the management and reporting structure of the company. It also means choosing leaders that reflect the desired culture and ensuring that the processes of a company are aligned to the culture it wishes to sustain.

5. Get a “culture representative” in the office

Sometimes focus can be lost and ideas become forgotten. To prevent this from happening, consider creating a “mission, people and culture” team and a team leader, who would be directly responsible for culture and who can guide the teams in the right direction.

This team can oversee all aspects of maintaining the culture and employee satisfaction, and be responsible for evolving it. Even though the core mission stays the same, things change, and your culture needs to keep up too. Get constant feedback from employees, organise offsites, ask employees for ideas about what type of culture they want to build, what they think is working, and what’s not. This will keep the culture flame alive while also moving forward.

6. Have fun and smile

Relieve the tension and have a bit of fun! Allow for your employees to create genuine connections and to feel like part of a team. Plan a half day activity, or something that breaks up the usual work environment to free up your staff to take a breather, relax, and get to know each other better outside of the roles they interact through at work. At Platinum we think fun is so important, it’s one of our core values.

Culture is important

Setting and maintaining a positive culture is not an easy task, however if done well, it can add substantial competitive benefits to a company. Remember, it’s not one person’s task, but the whole company’s mission to keep the culture relevant, current and effective.

A positive workplace culture enhances an organisation’s ability to provide great customer service. And, here at Platinum Electricians we know we can do just that. If you need any electrical work done in your home, business or multiple locations all over Australia, simply fill out a free consultation form or call us on 1800 PLATINUM (1800 752 846).