5 steps to building a positive culture

It’s not Rocket Science

As human beings, when we feel good, we put more effort in and have a better attitude and if we feel bad we withdraw, disengage or move away.

We also have countless statistically robust studies, quantifying the benefits of a positive workplace culture and yet many organisations are not prioritising culture as a key driver of business success. 

A study from Deloitte revealed that 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is indeed important to business success. However, this study also revealed there is a huge difference in what employees feel make up a great culture compared to management.

And this has many implications, especially when it is management who make all the business decisions for the organisation, when employees may be wanting something different for their culture.

The chicken or the egg?

Now, I don’t mind a challenge, but it is definitely easier to come in to a new organisation that is beginning to build their culture as opposed to an established organisation with an established and ingrained culture that they would now like to change.

A strong culture (positive or negative) has a substantial effect on the behaviour of the individuals within this structure and conversely, I believe we do have the power to change our culture into something more positive and connecting as long as everyone is working together towards the same outcome.  

Where to begin on the road to a great culture

We know there are certain ingredients that make up a strong positive culture and that it is more of a journey you embark upon and something you continually work on and make changes to.  

A positive workplace culture is not simply being happy all the time and thinking positively. We are human and with that comes an array of beliefs, emotions, perceptions and experiences. Being human is messy and complex….. And that’s ok.

Actually, it is more than ok… being human is what connects us all and it is time to find that balance between business and bringing more human to work, in order to create a great culture (and great humans!).

here are our main 5 steps to begin to create such a space.

1/ Ask Them!

As I mentioned before, there is often a discrepancy between a leaders perception and the employees perception. So if you want to know what your employees value most about creating a great culture … simply ask them. 

I can just about guarantee some of the answers will surprise you. 

Always set the intention with this enquiry with a focus on what you want to create and not what is going wrong.

2/ Create Meaningful Connections

Authentic connections at work are incredibly powerful and have many positive benefits for both the employee and the organisation.

More and more studies are revealing that having at least one colleague we are close to at work improves our perception of work, productivity, engagement and physical health. 

Encouraging more authentic deeper relationships at work should be part of your culture and there are countless ways to do this. Anything from a weekly pizza night, a team building event with a strong focus on connection or cross functional days, where people from different departments get to experience working in a different field. 

3/ Create Core Values

When implemented correctly,  core values determine what is important in the business as well as being the guidance system for all actions, behaviours, processes, communications, customer service, culture, on boarding, hiring etc. 

I am going to be honest and say this is not a quick and easy initiative to embark upon. However, when implemented successfully can be the strong foundation upon which everything is built. 

I am still very surprised at the number of businesses that do not create their core values even though the benefits far outweigh the effort that is required to maintain and bring the values to life. Just ask any organisation that lives by their core values.  

4/ Value and appreciate your people 

If I had a dollar for every time I heard an employee say ‘they don’t care’ and that it was the primary reason they left the company.

Many managers believe that money is the only extrinsic motivator, when for so many employees they would love nothing more than to know that what they do matters. We can also take this further and find out individually what motivates each employee and have reward and recognition programs designed to inspire and motivate your people.

5/ Emotional intelligence

How your employees deal with situations, conflict, challenges and their emotions, will determine their experience of it, which can also drastically affect the outcome of a situation and those around them. 

In the past, emotional intelligence has been labelled the ‘soft skill’ but is gradually being recognised as the ‘superpower’ of an organisation as we are now recognising the impact it is having on the bottom line. 

As EQ is a skill it is often something we need to learn and practice. We also need to ensure that the culture of your organisation openly discusses its value and importance.   


Ready to Create a Positive Culture?

So there you have it. These 5 areas give you lots to work with as you begin to create an amazing positive culture. Maybe you have already embarked on the journey and are seeing what else you can do.

Of course there are many other important things to consider on this journey of culture creation but I am trying to keep it simple as I know being a leader or manager requires so many other areas to focus on as well as your people. 

Build trust, allow everyone to feel safe and that their voice matters, notice the good and celebrate the small wins and you are well on your way to capturing the hearts and minds of your people whilst creating a kickass culture. 

Join the workplace revolution

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