Workplace culture is best described as a business’s emotional state: the mood that’s 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 must be nurtured and invested in. Here are some tips for developing a high-quality workplace culture.
1. Recognise and reward your team’s efforts
If your team is putting in the hard yards and helping your business grow and succeed, reward them! It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture – shout your team lunch or give them an early mark on Friday.
If you want to create a more performance-led rewards system, ask your team what they consider worthwhile incentives. This might include distributing vouchers to staff who hit KPIs. No matter what you decide, your employees must feel appreciated, which will be reflected in their approach to work and each other.
2. Arrange team-building events
Give your employees regular opportunities to meet in social environments, such as Friday drinks or monthly team-building days. Stepping outside of the standard hierarchy will help strengthen relationships between colleagues.
There are a variety of service providers that facilitate team building days either in-house or at retreat centres. These activities improve communication among staff, nurture friendships and contribute to a positive workplace culture.
3. Stamp out toxic behaviour
Make it clear that negative behaviour – such as gossip, bullying and intimidation – won’t be tolerated in your business. Establish clear protocols to address any complaints, and implement systems for dealing with toxic issues.
This may require an escalation or crisis-management system that allows staff to file complaints formally. 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 hard stance on toxicity will show staff that you desire a supportive and encouraging workplace culture.
4. Set a positive example
As a small business owner, how you treat your staff and customers sets the tone for your business culture. If you act with integrity, respect and fairness, you set the right example for your team to follow. You’ll also be an owner that employees respect and trust.
5. Make communication a top priority
Good communication is at the heart of any great workplace culture. It’s created through establishing clear channels and an open-door policy where staff are comfortable coming to you with queries, issues or requests. This will help put fears to rest, get questions answered and have problems dealt with swiftly.
Keeping staff across major happenings in the business, through regular meetings, will help them feel informed. Implementing regular performance reviews will also let you provide feedback and give your employees a forum to share their hopes and goals.
Creating a great workplace culture requires ongoing effort, but it’s well worth it for a happier, more efficient and engaged workforce.
If you’re looking to grow your small business and need funding, speak to Prospa about a small business loan.