Workplace culture refers to shared values, norms, and beliefs that characterize an organization or enterprise. It is like a social operating system that influences how employees interact, communicate, and collaborate. Of course, improving workplace culture goes a long way in influencing how employees interact with clients and their communities at large. A company’s culture can either positively impact the organization by making it thrive or adversely affect it by causing it to suffer.
As a leader, you need to continuously strive hard to improve or upgrade your operating system to help your organization achieve its short- and long-term objectives. Of course, there is no specific strategy to improve workplace culture, but so far, most leaders have focused on carrying out a culture audit, which helps them identify the existing cultural problems and take the proper steps to overcome them.
A strong workplace culture is essential for the success of every organization. While there can be many strategies for improving workplace culture, the most effective ones often start from the top. Here are a few key ingredients that the management could use to enhance workplace culture;
Define a clear and inspiring mission for the organization.
One of the most crucial things the top management can in improving workplace culture is to define a clear and inspiring mission for the organization. Employees are more likely to be at their best and work according to their full potential if they believe in the organization’s missions. A clear and inspiring mission will make employees think they are part of something larger than themselves, pushing them to work even harder. In addition, when employees become aware of their organization’s mission, they start to understand exactly how their efforts can contribute to its overall success.
Define the core values of the organization.
An organization’s core values are clearly stated principles regarding its vision, mission, and regulations. However, core values that promote growth, development, commitment to open communication, and balanced life will likely reflect positively on your organization’s culture. For example, when employees feel free to share their ideas and feedback without fear of retribution, they are most likely to come up with great ideas to help the organization achieve its short and long-term goals. Similarly, when employees feel they have opportunities to learn and grow within the company, they become more committed to using their existing resources to work according to their full potential. In addition, when employees feel like they can balance their work and personal lives, they become mentally sound and motivated to do their best at work. So, defining the correct core values is a crucial step for top-management to help improve workplace culture.
Encourage employee recognition
Encouraging employee recognition can also help improve your company’s culture. Of course, employee recognition is different from employee appreciation. While appreciation helps make employees feel valued for their talents, contributions, and positive attitude toward work, recognition focuses more on showing appreciation through actions. An example of employee recognition is officially appreciating the best worker in every department with a car gift, cash, or a trip to a beautiful resort at the end of the year. Nevertheless, employee recognition is essential as it goes a long way to raise employee engagement. According to statistics, an estimated 78% of employees claim they become more engaged in their workplaces whenever they receive strong recognition from their organizations. However, aside from rising engagement levels, employee recognition encourages innovations and high productivity levels and also goes a long way to attract and retain qualified employees.
Create positive experiences for employees.
Creating positive employee experiences can also help improve your workplace culture as a manager. Company culture and employee experiences are intrinsically connected. Employee experiences, however, refer to the combined feelings of your employees about their experiences within the organization. Therefore, factors, including conversations, interactions, work tools, and processes, can form the overall experiences of employees. Positive experiences will contribute to a great employee experience. In contrast, negative experiences such as lack of team connection, inability to access working resources, and degrading comments from superiors could result in a poor employee experience. So as a leader, you need to be intentional about fostering positive employee experiences, which can, in turn, result in greater employee engagement and increased enthusiasm.
Give teams autonomy
The importance of autonomy in teams within workplaces can never be overemphasized. As a leader of an organization, you must give team members self-governing powers to build a culture of teamwork and contribution. So instead of trying to micro-manage all the teams within your organization, it’s better to encourage team autonomy while simultaneously setting the tones and expectations of these teams. For example, it would make more sense to guide the teams within your organization instead of always telling them what to do. Your responsibility as a leader is to mentor, inspire, connect, and trust your units instead of dictating what must be done. After all, autonomy goes a long way to paving the way for creativity and innovation.
Organize one-to-ones periodically
Another important way of improving workplace culture is to organize one-on-one meetings periodically. Such meetings are a perfect opportunity for you to converse with your employees and discover the problems affecting them individually and within the organization. During such meetings, you must allow them to speak openly while you carefully listen to them. Remember, you could use the outcomes of such meetings to upgrade or improve your organization’s procedures, leading to greater employee engagement and higher productivity levels.