All employers want a healthy, productive workplace atmosphere. However, they also realize achieving such a goal does not happen by chance. Building a positive company culture is the first step in creating an environment where employees feel engaged in their work and happy to remain with their employer. Taking this proactive approach is an effective way to prevent a toxic workplace culture from developing in the first place.
How Do Employers Build a Positive Company Culture?
To build a positive company culture, businesses must know who they are, what they stand for and their purpose. Small and mid-sized businesses must ensure their actions reinforce the environment they are trying to create for their employees.
All human beings need to feel like they matter and make a difference. Most managers realize this, but they may not feel like they have the time to nurture employee growth. With deadlines and a never-ending to-do list to consider, it makes sense to assign tasks to employees who will complete them efficiently and on time.
Unfortunately, employees cannot grow personally or professionally when they never have an opportunity to take on a new challenge. Managers can take advantage of the time they have to meet with individual employees during performance reviews and one-on-one meetings to learn more about additional responsibilities they are willing to accept. Workplace culture is most efficient when employees enjoy their responsibilities and do not feel overburdened with tedious tasks.
When assigning new tasks, managers can consider giving one person the primary responsibility for completing it while also giving that employee the freedom to accept help from co-workers. The benefit of this approach is that it promotes a spirit of collaboration among co-workers and increases the level of comfort they feel about finding their own solutions.
The feeling of success of managing a project without supervisor intervention gives them the confidence and willingness to take on future projects. Managers can help to instill this level of confidence by letting their team members know they will not step in unless necessary to get the project back on track.
Model Effective and Professional Communication
Direct, honest communication is the most effective way to facilitate excellent quality work for an entire team. Each person needs to have a clear understanding of what management expects of them and the methods of communication available to address concerns as they arise. Even when managers communicate an expectation verbally, they should follow up by putting it in writing. Taking this approach ensures that no one can claim to have heard something the manager never said.
Most people enjoy receiving recognition for their unique contributions, although not everyone enjoys receiving such recognition publicly. Managers should know and respect the individual preferences of employees when thanking them for a job well done.
Besides expressing appreciation, managers can add weight to their sentiments by providing the employee with a small reward. A gift card to a favorite restaurant or a few extra hours of paid time off is just two common examples of how to recognize employees and keep them motivated.
Model the Company’s Vision to Encourage Employees to Adopt It
Every employee should know the company’s mission and vision well enough to explain them in their own words when asked. Since employees may not have a chance to interact with HR or other departments very often, managers should do their part to live out the company mission and vision through the decisions they make, what they prioritize, and how they treat people both inside and outside the company walls.
Another defining aspect of human nature is that people have a deep need to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. Having the opportunity to frequently hear and read what the company stands for reinforces the importance of each person’s role.
From birthday parties to work anniversaries to promotions, it seems there is always something to celebrate at the office. Recognizing each of these events is an ideal opportunity to build stronger bonds between employees and loyalty to the employer.
The celebration can be as small as someone bringing in cupcakes for fellow team members to an in-house party that gives employees the afternoon off from their work duties. Managers just need to take extra care not to show favoritism in how they choose to celebrate employee milestones.
Related: Employee Engagement and Your Business' Success >>
Schedule a Consultation with Axcet HR Solutions for Greater Insight on Employee Relations
The above suggestions represent just five ways that small and mid-sized employers in Kansas City can create strong employee relations. We invite business owners, managers, or HR reps to request a free consultation to learn more about how we can help. Axcet offers numerous other services in addition to helping smaller companies develop and implement a strong employee relations strategy.