Good leaders keep a close eye on their employees, from how productive they are to whether they’re happy and thriving at work. These factors can represent an organization’s workplace culture — a term growing in importance in the business world — and level of employee engagement.
The pandemic caused shifts in how many organizations accomplish their work, including moving from offices to remote working. More than ever, leaders are looking at how best to maintain an effective workplace culture and reviewing what they need to do better.
According to Indeed.com, work culture is a “collection of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that make up the regular atmosphere in a work environment.”
As owner and president of TrainingPros, workplace culture is top of mind for me. Part of my role is to transform how our team members work and how they feel about work. I value having happy consultants because it leads to better client outcomes — regardless of the client’s industry. That’s why our staff members consider not just a consultant’s expertise when determining which candidate will be the best fit for a client but also the client’s workplace culture.
So, what can leaders do to cultivate successful work cultures? Here are five ways to build a work environment where employees feel engaged and productive.
Being a good listener and proactively communicating with associates helps create mutual respect and trust. Open communication in the workplace, including two-way conversations with leadership, is impactful.
These types of communications help foster an environment where staff members, at all levels, are comfortable speaking freely and contributing in constructive ways.
It’s also important to continue communicating what your company’s culture means to the organization’s success and how your company does business using a set of defined values and beliefs.
Let’s face it: Work is hard. It can be stressful and difficult, but it shouldn’t be that way all the time. Creating a work environment that inspires employees to take joy in their work can reap enormous benefits.
Many studies have shown that happy employees are loyal employees. Employees who genuinely enjoy their work are more likely to be more productive and successful too.
Some approaches that can add to your employees’ happy factor are:
- Have fun internal celebrations and events for your staff
- Establish internal awards and recognition such as employee of the month
- Build new teams for project work
- Offer creative company perks
In the end, creating a culture that values work/life balance and shows appreciation for hard work will make everyone happy.
According to Investopedia, productivity in the workplace refers to how much “work” is done over a specific period of time. The strength of your company’s culture, its success (as measured by corporate profits and shareholder returns), and high employee productivity are inextricably linked.
Achieving goals contributes to a feeling of accomplishment, so set realistic and attainable milestones for your employees. As a leader, it is easy to mistake productivity as the equivalent of someone putting in an excessive amount of work.
If an employee doesn’t have adequate time to successfully and efficiently complete a project or task, stress and burnout can occur, leading to high turnover.
Creating a culture that promotes physical and mental health is another effective way organizations can show they care about their employees.
Consider offering wellness incentives that encourage employees to engage in behaviors and activities that help them feel better, both at work and at home. While it may not seem like much, these types of internal efforts can go a long way.
For example, at TrainingPros, we provide a virtual mindfulness guide to help our team get centered. Our culture also encourages having a work/life balance and being of service in the community.
It starts at the beginning. Having a strong onboarding program that shares your culture and your company values can set the desired tone for new employees.
Additionally, onboarding can also explain what employees are expected to do in their new roles to feel grounded and confident in their new roles. For example, I have ensured that each of our new staff members has a mentor and weekly web meetings, online tutorials, and coaching calls to help build the foundation to be successful at TrainingPros.
Train your managers well, too. Help them develop competency in the skills needed to do their jobs at tactical, strategic, and human levels. Effective interactions between managers and their direct reports contribute significantly to employee well-being and fulfillment.
Organizations and their leaders are increasingly realizing that creating a better workplace culture is not just the latest hot trend or something to help recruit talent.
It’s an essential component of employees’ well-being, engagement, and productivity. In the end, these are the factors that will directly impact your company’s bottom line and overall success.
How healthy is your workplace culture? With all the changes in the past year, are you finding it easy or hard to maintain your culture? Share your insight; I would love to hear your thoughts.