How To Create a Positive Workplace Culture in 2023
Why is creating a positive workplace culture necessary for an organization’s success?
Workplace culture is how organization leaders engage employees, so they show up to work excited and ready to perform at their best. It’s the driving force behind the day-to-day motivation and long-term commitment to company values and business goals.
This article explains how positive work culture impacts your employees and your business. I’ll also recommend strategic ways to create a positive work culture with examples of positive environments from real-world companies.
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
What is a positive work culture?
A positive work culture promotes employee well-being, creates psychological safety, and empowers employees to do their best work through policies, leadership, and company values.
A company’s culture is defined by the values, goals, beliefs, behaviors, and practices that represent work in this organization and what employees strive to achieve.
While leaders may develop unique approaches to company culture, most positive environments have a few typical hallmarks:
- Business leaders are actively cultivating trust, equity, and collaboration
- Employees are encouraged to take risks and innovate (and get the autonomy and support to do so)
- There is organizational support for personalized employee development
- Feedback and recognition are continuous and encouraged outside of hierarchical structures
- Leaders make work meaningful by aligning project goals with the company values and mission
Why is an empowering workplace culture important?
A positive work culture improves employee engagement and productivity by valuing employees at all levels and enhancing their overall work experience.
When employees are invested in their work and feel valued by their organization, they feel loyalty toward the company and are motivated to achieve goals.
A positive culture also improves morale and creates a productive office with true bonds between employees that can prevent negativity from festering.
Benefits of creating a positive culture in the workplace
Creating a productive environment is beneficial to the company and its employees in multiple ways:
- Companies with better work environments have a hiring advantage. They are more likely to attract talented employees and prevent the existing ones from leaving the company.
- The company will be able to create a positive brand identity that potential employees and even clients recognize.
- Employees are able to attain their goals and those of the organization in a positive culture.
- There’s room for growth and development, so employees become better at what they do improving their efficiency, productivity, and job satisfaction.
- Employees know that they’re equal and are evaluated solely based on their performance.
Which factors affect business culture?
Creating and sustaining an empowering company culture isn’t easy, as the business and employees’ needs constantly change. Here are some factors to consider when considering ways to improve the business culture:
- The company’s missions and policies should create an empowering workplace. Business practices should focus on realizing definite goals and making them attainable
- Leadership and management styles can make or break a company’s culture. Since managers guide others, they should always ensure that their actions align with the company’s goals, beliefs, and behaviors.
- The company’s environment and business style impact how flexible and inclusive the office will feel.
- People-related office practices like hiring and promotion should focus on creating a supportive and collaborative system that benefits the employees and doesn’t work against them by understanding their needs.
What are positive company culture traits?
Good organizational culture takes planning and continuous efforts to establish and maintain. The company’s management and the HR department need to focus on certain traits to ensure that employees work in an empowering environment.
Here are some traits that characterize a productive environment within an organization:
- The company’s leadership should clearly define the business purpose. Goals should be meaningful, tangible, and measurable so that employees can be aware of the sense of purpose of the business.
- Clear, open communication is crucial to explain to employees how to contribute to achieving the company’s goals. Regular updates in meetings where engaged employees can discuss their roles will help them stay focused.
- An established feedback-based system, where employees can understand what goes right and where to improve, will increase their confidence, which leads to high performance.
- Building teams that work together is essential to increase positive outcomes. Managers can rely on software tools, hold regular meetings, and provide continuous feedback to ensure teammates work harmoniously.
- Although hiring people who already fit the company’s culture is important, diversity will positively impact work.
- Working on improving employee engagement and loyalty, where people feel recognized and appreciated, will impact the company’s efficiency.
- Managers should foster empowerment by providing opportunities for growth and learning through informal and formal training. Employees who feel stuck in dead-end jobs with no purpose are more likely to look for other opportunities.
Eight ways to create a positive work culture
Building a growth-promoting business environment doesn’t happen overnight. It takes alignment between leaders, HR team, and management to improve the overall business atmosphere.
“As the stewards and keepers of the culture, HR leaders are responsible for inspiring desired employee behaviors and beliefs — and in turn, realizing the performance gains of a thriving culture.”
That said, HR leaders are uniquely positioned to align an organization to a shared purpose. Here’s how to create a good work atmosphere in your organization:
1. Evaluate current practices, policies, and employee needs
Assessing the company’s current practices is essential for detecting what needs to be altered. This includes analyzing the current working style, behaviors, goals, values, and work policies.
2. Define the company’s mission, values, and goals
Redefining the company’s goals, values, and strategic direction is crucial for detecting practices that need improvement or identifying goals that should be focused on. After that, you, as a manager, should make sure that all practices are designed to implement the traits of a productive and welcoming office culture that benefits employees.
3. Train your managers
All managers should be on the same page when it comes to emphasizing positivity within every company. They need hands-on training to understand new processes and master team-building activities which are shown to improve productivity and encourage collaboration. In addition, managers need to learn to be compassionate and understanding, so employees know that they can safely approach them.
4. Make changes at an individual level
Changing a company’s environment requires working at an individual level by changing the employees’ behaviors and practices. This means holding more feedback meetings, emphasizing better work-life balance, and identifying hardships that employees deal with.
5. Provide continuous support
Encourage a continuous performance management model where employees have frequent check-ins with managers. Providing continuous real-time feedback and support is crucial so employees feel supported, know they’re on the right track and are working toward meaningful goals.
A Workhuman survey found 47% of respondents who identified as highly engaged checked in with their managers at least weekly. When compared to employees who met less frequently with their managers, Workhuman discovered these highly engaged employees were:
- 2x as likely to trust their managers
- 2x as likely to respect their managers
- 2x as likely to believe they could grow in their organization
6. Promote better communication
In an empowering business, managers are approachable and employees are able to express their opinions. They know that they can speak their minds in a safe environment, and they’re not afraid to share their views, which might involve changing a current practice to a more efficient one that benefits the company in the long run.
This is why it’s crucial to provide employees with different communication channels to be able to communicate timely and efficiently with other team members and supervisors and build better social connections.
7. Recognize good work
Providing employees with good feedback by acknowledging their efforts is crucial for establishing an empowering company culture and creating a better work experience. This can be done through verbal means by saying “thank you” and creating a rewards system that works for multiple teams.
8. Be flexible
It’s essential to focus on creating a stress-free environment where employees and managers can have fun. This is why it’s important to be flexible and make changes when things don’t work out to avoid creating a toxic environment. Happy employees will be more eager to come to work, and this will result in improved performance.
Positive workplace culture examples
Many companies have established and maintained positive business practices that fulfill employees and can be used as examples. Here are some real-life cases of some of the most successful companies when it comes to building positive cultures:
As one of the most successful companies in the world, Google has maintained its reputation for creating a positive work environment by encouraging flexibility. Employees are passionate about their work and can work whenever and wherever they want, and remote teams are provided with all the support and training they need.
The company has a shared set of values with all its employees and is able to retain talents from multiple locations by offering an excellent work-life balance. Moreover, the company sees that employee development is a priority, so staff members are allowed to move within the company, which typically reduces turnover.
Tesla focuses on innovation and allowing employees to experiment and work outside of their comfort zone. Staff members are not afraid to make mistakes, and they receive encouraging feedback that allows them to identify what went wrong.
Moreover, Tesla has a policy that supports small groups where people feel more engaged. Team members are able to collaborate and learn, so they’re more dedicated to the results of their teams, which align with the company’s goals.
Microsoft has recently shifted its core values to support more growth by encouraging experimentation, even if it involves short-term failure. The company also strives to focus on inclusion and diversity, which positively affect the amount of talent Microsoft is able to attract and retain.
Salesforce has an uplifting environment that focuses on making every employee feel empowered regardless of their level. Managers are in frequent contact with their team members and can assign tasks to individual employees based on their talents, which allows them to be more productive.
Hilton focuses on investing in its employees by training them and providing career support so they can be better at what they do. Since the company’s primary goal is to provide a seamless customer service experience, it achieves this goal by teaching employees to improve their busy work practices. This is done by treating every employee as a family member, and everyone feels more engaged and loyal.
Creating and maintaining an empowering environment is done by redefining the company’s goals and making sure that they align with the personal goals of its employees. It’s all about creating an inviting environment where staff members feel valued, seen, and heard.
Establishing a good workplace culture keeps employees engaged and affects their life outside of work. They feel loyal to the company, and they do whatever it takes to achieve its goals. It also creates a productive office that can prevent negativity from festering.
A positive team culture involves empowering team members and making them feel like family. They all collaborate and efficiently communicate to achieve the company’s goals because their collective effort is recognized and appreciated. These positive emotions help in creating a sense of connection between the managers and the rest of the team.
Several companies are industry leaders when it comes to creating a flexible and inviting business that focuses on diversity, inclusion, and development. Organizations like Microsoft, Google, Tesla, Hilton, and Salesforce are successful in their growth-promoting efforts, representing some of the best workplace culture examples.
Building a positive work culture isn’t easy. It impacts employees’ physical and mental well-being and improves productivity. Therefore, managers should cooperate with the HR team to create and cultivate an environment that guarantees that the organizational goals are aligned with the staff’s personal goals.
It’s essential to allow room for growth and provide continuous support to ensure that you don’t have a toxic workplace; otherwise, your company won’t help you attract top talent employees to your industry. Let us know in the comments how you’ve implemented measures to make your workplace more inviting and welcoming.