Regardless of how big a company is, where it is located or its purpose, every company needs to build a thriving culture. You may have heard this from Millennials and younger professionals as it is one of the latest workplace trends valued above others by job seekers. Although building culture in the workplace may seem like a trend itself, a positive workplace culture can be one of the essential keys to creating a better team.
A strong culture can increase employee productivity and well-being. Yet, it is more than just happy hours, creative spaces and team building activities. Culture defines our office environment and can be difficult to development. The main reason why is because our workplaces are extremely busy and it is hard enough to complete every responsibility in a workday, let alone put in the time needed to develop culture.
Research tells us that when employees are more engaged they are more productive. Building culture in the workplace can be completed together by employees and employers. The Harvard Business Review reports “… disengagement is costly. In studies by the Queens School of Business and by the Gallup Organization, disengaged workers had 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors and defects. In organizations with low employee engagement scores, they experienced 18% lower productivity, 16% lower profitability, 37% lower job growth… ”
1. Develop a positive workplace atmosphere.
Positivity is a crucial step for both employees and employers to take to build a thriving culture. A negative attitude from just one person can create negative energy throughout the company. Employers should work on creating the environment and establishing the tone, while employees should work on responding to it. For example, when a project is successfully completed, employers should gather the entire team to share congratulations. Employers should let everyone in the office know how proud they are of the company. Employees can help develop a positive workplace atmosphere simply by responding to stress in a positive way. Being supportive and positive, even when something goes awry, creates a simple change in the culture.
2. Understand work-life balance.
A thriving culture is created when both employees and employers pay attention to work-life balance. When there is too much or too little work, companies can become off-kilter. Employers should value their employees’ hard work and do their best to understand when time needs to be taken off for personal responsibilities. Employees should endeavor not to abuse time-off or vacation leave. There may be instances when leave or a time-off must be denied for the good of the company but this should be balanced as the result can be low morale.
3. Allow employees a space during the day.
Rows upon rows of cubicles paired with a designated break room are part of a past workplace culture. Designing a work environment that allows employees to do their best work can be a critical part of workplace culture and dramatically increase productivity. Remember that each person works differently and therefore may require a different work environment. Consider repurposing an unused meeting room into a place where employees and employers alike can reflect, relax, recharge and socialize. In addition, while ping-pong tables may not always be the answer, employees should feel safe to take occasional breaks throughout the day and pursue personal interests without ridicule. Even the simple act of allowing headphones while working can improve culture and efficiency.
We know that a thriving culture does not occur overnight. It is important, however, not to ignore office culture. The latest technology and great office spaces will mean nothing if employees and employers do not support each other. Happy hours and social events are not culture alone, instead they can be the product of good culture. A thriving culture results when employers and employees come together to foster communication, work-life balance and productivity. Don’t wait to contact a member of our experienced legal team on this or any other employment related issue.