The concept of workplace culture is something that is being talked about with increasing regularity in modern times, and it’s easy to see why. In recent years, troubling news reports and worker surveys have shown that a lot of workers feel unhappy at work or even scared of going to work because of toxic environments and unwelcoming situations.
Negative or toxic workplace culture can be truly poisonous for any business, harming its reputation, decreasing its brand value, and leading to a general lack of motivation and passion on behalf of its workers. A positive culture, meanwhile, can help everyone feel welcome, motivated, and happy to get to work each day. It’s clear to see which kind of culture is best for any company.
But how do you go about creating a positive workplace culture? This is one of the most commonly asked questions, especially for entrepreneurs who are just starting out and setting up their first businesses but also be more experienced CEOs looking to make improvements at current companies. Here are some tips to help out.
Promote Diversity and Inclusivity
One of the biggest signs of a toxic workplace culture is a lack of diversity or a situation in which people from different backgrounds are treated differently or made to feel unwelcome or unwanted. It’s vital, therefore, to promote diversity and inclusive attitudes throughout your business in order to make the shift towards a more positive and welcoming workplace culture. Work with HR to promote inclusive language in your company’s documentation and make diversity a bigger part of recruitment too.
Hold Everyone Accountable
Another major sign of a toxic workplace culture is when some workers, especially those in management or other senior positions, feel that they can get away with certain kinds of behavior that simply wouldn’t be tolerated by those at the lower levels. These workers might abuse their positions of power to harass or bully others. It’s very important to ensure that everyone is held accountable for their actions and that everyone is made to follow the same rules to promote a sense of fairness.
Give Your Teams the Tools They Need
It’s not uncommon for companies with negative workplace cultures to expect their workers to carry out all kinds of tasks without providing the proper tools and assistance to help them with those tasks. Too many businesses fail to value the time and effort of their workers, simply expecting them to find solutions without offering a helping hand. You can make your workers feel more valued by giving them the tools, software, and help they need, like AP automation for the AP department and the latest marketing systems for your marketing teams.
Value and Understand the Mental Health of Your Workers
Mental health is something that has been misunderstood many times throughout the past, but attitudes are slowly progressing and our understanding of worker mental health, in particular, is expanding. It’s imperative for employers, therefore, to comprehend the stresses, worries, and doubts their workers can experience and be ready to respond to those negative emotions. Promote positive mindsets and find ways to help workers feel less stressed, as well as offering mental health days to show you care.
Make Your Working Environment a Safe Space
Ultimately, the vast majority of workers just want to be able to get on with their jobs, putting their years of training and experience into action, without any unnecessary fears, pressures, or worries. They should be able to step into work each day feeling motivated and safe, not having to worry about any kind of negative behavior like bullying, discrimination, or harassment. Develop and implement policies to make your working locations safe spaces where everyone is respected, and get rid of toxic elements that could interfere with this process.
Be Constructive with Feedback
Far too often, employees of many companies actually fear feedback sessions and meetings, because they’ve grown accustomed to being criticized unfairly or made to feel small or ineffective in their roles. The feedback you and your managers provide should be constructive, and any negative comments should be balanced with positive reinforcement too. Being overly negative or critical of anyone worker will simply pile more pressure onto them and make them more stressed and more likely to make mistakes.
Negative workplace cultures can be so bad for any business, not just from the point of view of profits and productivity, but also in terms of the human and ethical costs too. Make the change today and follow these tips to make your workplace culture much more positive for everyone.
Photo credits: eOffice