There is no denying that positive work culture can make employees more productive. That’s because it leads to creative, happy, and collaborative people.
In fact, research from the University of Warwick revealed that happy employees are 12% more productive. And all they did was watch a comedy movie and receive free chocolates, drinks, and fruits.
Imagine how much more productive they can be if you can find better ways to make your employees happy?
If you want to reap the benefits of having productive employees, then you will need to set a positive culture in your company.
How to Set the Foundation for a Positive Work Culture
Improve Your Onboarding and Training Programs
According to a BambooHR survey, an ineffective onboarding is what causes 17% of new hires to quit within the first three months.
That said, it is recommended to plan the first two weeks of an employee to help them get through the initiation phase. Some onboarding activities you can do are:
- Orienting new hires about the company and its process
- Let them shadow a colleague to learn their usual day-to-day
- Allow them to sit in on meetings to learn the issues they usually face
You can also include educating employees about workplace safety and your company’s code of conduct. That way, you get to inform them of what you expect from an employee. This can also be a great time for the hires to assess how they can manage your expectations.
Have an Open Line of Communication
If you want to foster a positive working relationship within your company, it is important that you establish an open line of communication for your employees.
Doing so allows you to get your message across, such as what you want your business to achieve and how they can help the company reach its goals. On the other hand, an open line of communication allows your employees to inform you of what they expect from you.
As a result, you get to build a collaborative work environment.
The key here is to be clear and direct. Do not pretend that an issue does not exist. It is best to address it immediately and point out why it is an issue.
That way, you are not just only encouraging your employees to speak up. You are also allowing them to share their ideas on how to best solve it.
Be Open to Your Employees’ Ideas
Whether you admit it or not, you hire employees because you want to leverage their knowledge and skills. That said, it is only fair that you should be open to their ideas.
Take Swartz Kitchens & Bath, for example. During their weekly meetings, employees are encouraged to share a design tip. That way, everyone in the team gets to learn something new every week. Not to mention that it also helps them find ways to innovate their designs.
You can do the same by setting a specific time and day when everyone can layout their ideas on the table. Even if it is imperfect, encourage everyone to have their say on the matter.
Who knows? That simple and imperfect idea can work well with another, and having both can offer you a solution.
But the most important of it all, encouraging employees to share their ideas, let your employees know that their opinions matter.
Prioritize Their Health and Safety
It may sound like it is not a big deal, but a clean office is one component of positive company culture.
That’s because other than making a great first impression to clients, a clean workplace offers a lot of health-related benefits to your employees:
- It prevents the spread of diseases. According to a 2014 study, the virus can spread to at least 40% of the employees within 2 to 4 hours. Hence, it is important that your office is cleaned thoroughly.
- It helps reduce stress and anxiety. A cluttered and unkempt workspace is stress-inducing and can distract an employee from his work ‒ making him less productive.
- It reduces accident risks. A messy workplace could pose dangers to employees like slips, trips, and falls. Hence, a clean office can help improve safety among employees.
Provide a Comfortable Working Environment
Apart from ensuring that your office is clean and tidy, it is also important that you are able to provide a comfortable working environment for your employees.
It can be as simple as having adjustable standing desks and well-positioned computer screens. Or you can install ergonomic furniture and temperature-regulated interiors.
You can also consider having a creative space where people can work on their collaboration or a quiet room where people can do their jobs in peace. Another idea is having a breastfeeding room for your female employees who are nursing a kid.
But this is not just about physical comfort. It is also important to consider your employees’ cognitive and psychological characteristics. That’s because you can never expect a job well done by someone who is outside of his element.
Keep in mind that no one, not even your best employees, can work in a disruptive environment. Thus, if you want to establish a positive company culture that encourages productivity, provide a comfortable working environment.
Recognize a Job Well Done
It is never a bad idea to recognize and reward an employee for a job well done.
For one, it encourages them to keep on performing well. Second, you are instilling in them that people who work hard are acknowledged and appreciated.
You can show your appreciation to your employees during staff meetings or by letting them leave work early. Some companies also reward gift cheques, free dinners or spa sessions, or Netflix subscriptions.
If you are generous, you can bring your top employees to international conferences. That way, you are not just rewarding them for their hard work; you are also allowing them to improve their skills.
Let Them Know That You Trust Them
It is common among business owners and managers to micromanage their employees to ensure that everything is running the way they want it. What you do not know is that micromanagement can suffocate them.
It is like invading their personal space and not letting them do what needs to be done. As a result, employee morale suffers.
If you truly trust your employees, here’s what you can do:
- Make sure that you inform them of their task and what you would want to achieve from it.
- Step back and let them do their jobs.
- Establish a specific time and day when they can send you an update of how the project is getting along.
Think of it this way: The less time you spend hovering over your employees, the more time you get to focus on what matters.
Learn to Have Some Fun
There is truth when they say that “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Here’s the thing, your employees spend eight hours a day, five days per week in the office. If all they do is work, then they will eventually get bored and be boring.
This is where team building activities, company events, and company outing can help. For one, it gives themselves a break from work. Second, it reinforces your company values, such as trust and collaboration.
Keep in mind that what you want to achieve here is for your employees to enjoy and have fun. That way, they will feel reinvigorated when they get back to work the following day.
If outdoor activities are something that your company cannot afford yet, you can start by letting your employees decorate their desks or encourage them to take quick breaks in the afternoon.
Practice What You Preach
It is your responsibility as a business to set the tone for your employees.
Instead of telling them that you are open to ideas, show it by always making a positive response. More so, if you do not agree with what your employees are saying. Keep in mind that it is impossible to please everyone.
Instead of saying that you value their opinion, approach them, and ask for their opinion and see how you can come up with an agreement. Instead of saying that you trust their decision, do not micromanage them.
Let Everyone Know About Your Company Values
According to Lucidpress, brand consistency can help increase a company’s revenue by 33%.
How were they able to achieve that? Everyone in the company knows and understands their company’s primary goals.
Your core values define your company’s character and identity. But regardless of the values, what matters is that employees can align their own values with your business.
After all, core values differ from one company to another. What’s important is that it sets a clear direction for everyone.
It can be a challenge to encourage your employees to work hard. However, if they find it difficult to be productive at work, you might want to check whether you are providing a positive company work environment and culture. Luckily, the ten tips above can help you improve your work culture.
This is a guest submission.
About the Author
Raymond Chiu is the Director of Operations for Maid Sailors Commercial Cleaning Service New York, a top-rated office cleaning service provider. He likes to write about business, HR management and share his ideas about managing people with others.