Building a vibrant, positive work culture has recently become more popular than ever. In addition to boosting a company's image, it brings a lot of advantages: strong brand reputation, improved productivity and retention, and better profits over the long term. Young people who are coming into the workforce increasingly look for a dynamic environment where they can thrive as individuals and team members. It's a good investment to develop a great work atmosphere — here are several ways to do it.
Enhance the Environment
Take some time to do some searches and walkthroughs, evaluating different ways you might want to configure your work environment. Go for an approach that makes sense for your business and is within your budget. Providing both privacy and common areas that are aesthetically pleasing makes a big difference, with accommodations for both your extroverted and introverted employees. Even providing a stipend to personalize space and equipment — from laptop skins to standing desks — will boost morale.
Set Clear Goals
A sense of accountability and reassurance comes with employees thoroughly understanding the objectives, goals, and benchmarks of your company, and how they tie in with your mission. Then, it's a more uncomplicated process for employees to track their performance and feel invested in their jobs. A recent Gallup survey shows that Millennials value having clear goals communicated to them — and frequent feedback.
Regardless of status within your business, every person should feel heard and valued. New employees offer a fresh perspective, and interns bring much more to a company than errands and busywork. Allow every employee, intern, and community volunteer to know that they're welcome at the table, and free to share their thoughts and perspectives. Great ideas come from diverse places; it's your job to keep the door (and your mind) open.
Bring in Humor
It's a crucial skill to be able to bring appropriate lightheartedness to hard situations, as all work has its stressful aspects. Resolving the issue is the ultimate goal, but a positive outlook and refreshed perspective are actually more productive than the alternative. Keep in mind this quote from Dale Carnegie: “People rarely succeed unless they are having fun in what they are doing.” If the situation affords you the opportunity to look on the bright(er) side, your team will feel more energized and supported.
Focus on Meaning
Purpose and meaning are important to most workers; this is especially true for a high percentage of young employees. While core values and mission statements are important, what'll make the most powerful impression is the way you live them out daily with everyone. The most powerful teaching is through demonstration and modeling; that's a sign of good leadership. Meaning, service, and integrity are more than just buzzwords in the current cultural climate.
Though there's a range of social needs among human beings, most crave interaction and connection. Meaningful relationships and trust can come out of the opportunities you provide for employees to get to know each other better outside of work. You can keep it simple by having a Friday happy hour in the office, forming a running club that meets once a week after work or organizing company-wide potlucks during lunch hours."
Emphasize Inclusivity and Diversity
For a vibrant workplace, it's crucial to welcome people from varying backgrounds, celebrating their differences. That's a big part of creating an inclusive, positive place to work. Make sure the HR department and all supervisors make diversity a part of both recruitment strategy ongoing educational programming, and a foundational element of how your organization operates.
How well are your employees — physically, mentally, and emotionally? The answer to that question has direct implications for the health and vitality of your business. If your employees feel well, they have the motivation and energy to do their best work and contribute in positive ways. Provide constructive and helpful incentives, community resources, and on-site assistance for your workers; also, just knowing that you care about their well-being may make a difference in their health!
When engaging with employees, listen — and listen some more. Forward-thinking businesses regularly utilize ongoing two-way communication about challenges and joys; a safe place to speak compassionately and candidly. Employees only having permission to share concerns if they have the solution in mind is a thing of the past; collaborative problem solving is much more important now.
Many of the factors that promote healthy functioning in families and communities also apply to the workplace. Consider these suggestions to help foster a vibrant culture.