Workplace culture is best described as a business’s emotional state; the mood that resonates at its centre and is reflected in how it operates, engages staff, and conducts business.
A positive workplace culture can be the difference between an average workplace and a great one – but it’s something that needs to be nurtured and invested in. Here are some tips to help you can develop your workplace culture to be the latter.
1. Recognise and reward your team’s efforts
If your team is putting in the hard yards and helping your business grow and succeed, thank them for it. More so, show them! It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, it could be as simple as shouting your team lunch or giving them an early mark one Friday.
If you’re looking to create a more performance-led rewards system, talk to your team about what they would consider to be worthwhile incentives. This might be distributing vouchers to those who have met specific KPIs, or achieved a high level result in mystery shop review. Either way your employees will feel appreciated, and this should be reflected in their approach to their work and each other.
2. Arrange social and team building events
Give your employees regular opportunities to get to know each other better in a social environment, by arranging Friday afternoon drinks or monthly team building days. Allowing them to step outside of the hierarchy workplace will help to build and strengthen relationships between colleagues.
There are a variety of service providers that facilitate team building days either in-house or at retreat centres. These kinds of activities improve communication among staff, nurture friendships and contribute to a more positive workplace culture.
3. Stamp out toxic behaviour
Make it clear to all you employees that negative behaviour – such as backstabbing, bullying, intimidation and power plays – won’t be tolerated in your business.
Establish clear protocols to address any complaints or claims, and implement systems for dealing with these issues.
This means forming an escalation or crisis management system which allows staff to file complaints in a formal fashion. It pays to have an external HR representative manage the crisis to maintain objectivity and ensure all parties have a chance to voice their opinions, either in group meetings or one-on-one interviews.
Taking a formal stance on toxicity will show staff that you want to build a workplace culture that is supportive and encouraging.
4. Set a positive example
As a small business owner, how you operate and the way you treat your staff and customers sets the tone for the culture of your business. If you act with integrity, respect and fairness, you set the right example for your team to follow. You’ll also be the type of employer that employees respect and trust.
5. Make communication a top priority
Good communication is at the heart of a great workplace culture. This is created through establishing clear channels of communication and an ‘open door’ policy where staff feel comfortable coming to you with any queries, issues or requests. This will help put fears to rest, get questions answered and problems dealt with swiftly.
Keeping staff up to date with major happenings in the business, through regular meetings even quarterly or bi-annually, will help them feel informed. While implementing regular catch-ups or performance reviews, will allow you to provide feedback and give employees a forum to share their goals and hopes for the future in the business.
Creating a great workplace culture requires ongoing effort but results in a happier, more efficient and engaged workforce.
If you’re looking to grow your small business and need some funds to help you do it, speak to Prospa about a business loan.