Our professions form a significant portion of our daily lives. It is how we put food on the table and ensure that we have enough saved for a rainy day. Since a major chunk of our day is spent at work, our work environment considerably impacts our physical and mental well-being. The increasing awareness regarding mental health has brought into consideration the need and importance of positive workplace culture. According to Paul Haarman, the key to a successful organization is to develop a culture based firmly on shared values, beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions. It is believed that workplace culture is to an organization what personality is to an individual. Indeed, a constructive workplace ambiance boosts team morale, encourages healthy and mutually supportive workplace relationships, and encourages teamwork and productivity. Here are a few simple tactics to help build an optimistic workplace environment at your organization:
Set Clear Objectives
As a manager or a business leader, it is your job to effectively communicate departmental and organizational objectives to give your employees a sense of purpose and direction. This will help motivate your associates, guide individual performance and encourage team collaboration. Each member of the organization should know that they are working towards the same goal.
Be Open to Feedback
Freedom of speech is another crucial aspect of positive workplace culture. In a supportive working environment, all employees feel safe vocalizing their concerns and sharing their ideas or opinions. Try to change your perspective regarding feedback. Instead of viewing it as criticism, understand that it is just your employees giving their input on how to make the organization better. Conduct quarterly and annual meetings to hear their observations, resolve their issues, and tweak company policies if needed.
Praise and Appreciate
Paul Haarman always emphasizes recognizing and rewarding employees for their hard work and dedication. It is vital to acknowledge their achievements and appreciate them for their contribution to the organization’s growth. Praise doesn’t necessarily have to be in the form of monetary compensation. A heartfelt letter of thanks, extra time off, or taking them out to lunch are all small gestures that go a long way. These rewards boost employees’ self-esteem and encourage their peers to up their game.
Encourage a Work-Life Balance
Optimistic workplace environment can only be created when an organization prioritizes the mental well-being of its employees. Paul Haarman has a pro tip for team leaders: “you must remind your associates that humans work to live and not the other way around.”
Having a good work-life balance boosts productivity, prevents burnout, and enhances the ability to remain present. Encourage your employees to take time off, utilize their annual leaves and keep their health above everything else. Well-rested, satisfied, and fulfilled employees will make a more considerable impact on the growth of your organization than drained and resentful individuals.
Establish a Zero-Tolerance Policy
While establishing a peaceful, understanding, and welcoming workplace environment is great, it is also necessary to be strict regarding specific policies. It should be made very clear that the organization will not tolerate verbal or physical abuse, harassment, and disrespect against any worker. HR representatives should have flexible schedules and offer company employees a space where they can privately report incidents. The rights and privacy of each member, regardless of their designation, should be protected at all costs. Swift and strict action should be taken against offenders to avoid such situations in the future.
A fulfilling and positive workplace culture cannot be created overnight. Building a place where every employee feels valued, cared for and respected may take time, but the process is worth it. Businesses thrive when the workforce dedicates themselves whole-heartedly to a job.