4 Tips For Building a Positive Workplace Culture
Successful companies across industries understand the strategic advantages of a positive workplace culture.
Recruitment and retention, management development, training, customer loyalty, productivity, and the bottom line can all benefit from a strong organizational culture. Given the ongoing wave of sexual harassment scandals, there is a new appreciation for the role of workplace culture in preventing harassment and discrimination, retaliation, and other inappropriate conduct.
What is Workplace Culture
But what is workplace culture? To build a great house, you need a strong foundation. The same principle goes for building a great place to work; you need a strong, positive culture in which all employees feel responsible for maintaining, from the CEO to new hires. While workplace culture is made up of many factors, the basics include a clear vision statement and a set of shared values, beliefs and expectations that show employees what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior.
Whether you have one office or hundreds of locations throughout the world, here are four tips to help you build a positive workplace culture.
1.Communicate Your Culture
A written mission statement, code of conduct, employee handbook and policies and procedures are all channels to communicate your organization’s values and culture, and the consequences of behaving inappropriately and violating policies and laws.
Digital communications offer other flexible ways to engage employees in conversations about workplace culture via the company intranet, videos, podcasts, blogs, vlogs, email, and social media. And of course, any meeting or event − whether in person, remote or a hybrid − is an opportunity to talk about culture and why it is important.
A great example of how to communicate your culture – start with your recruiting process. Like this iGaming company called Global Gaming based in Estonia, Tallinn has managed to do. While in the process of hiring a Programmatic Coordinator all the way from Brazil, they managed to impress the candidate with their speedy and efficient recruitment process. A few weeks after her application, she was invited to an online test and interview, swiftly followed by another interview. In the space of a couple of months, she had a firm job offer. Read Global Gaming’s case-study here.
2. Lead by Example
Clearly and consistently communicating your organization’s values and expectations help keep a positive culture top-of-mind among employees. However, words without actions don’t get very far. Leaders must also reflect a positive culture in their own behavior if they expect employees to.
Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash
Employees and managers look to the CEO to set the example for acting ethically. Leadership can also demonstrate their commitment to a positive culture by encouraging and rewarding employees who exemplify the company’s core values in their day-to-day interactions, inside and outside the organization.
3. Promote Diversity and Inclusion
Recognizing people’s differences and valuing what makes each individual unique is another way to improve and strengthen workplace culture. Blending diverse backgrounds, perspectives and experiences can stimulate collaboration and infuse teams with fresh ideas and problem-solving skills. For diversity to be effective, you also need inclusion. In a 2017 survey of global leaders, the number of executives who said inclusion is a top priority increased by 32% compared to 2014. It’s not enough to merely hire people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. These individuals need to feel valued and included in the organization’s leadership and operations.
Take the example of Mindvalley, a global education company. Their HQ has 230+ employees from over 40 nationalities. It’s a company that values diversity and they thank Jobbatical for being the primary source for having helped them hire this diverse talent. Mindvalley’s case-study can be found here.
4. Train Employees on Preventing Discrimination and Harassment
Compliance training is one of the most effective ways to reinforce a positive workplace culture and demonstrate to employees how values, ethics, and policies apply in their everyday work. Specifically, training to prevent discrimination and harassment raises employee awareness of what appropriate and inappropriate behavior is. It also provides the knowledge and skills they need to respond properly when they experience or witness misconduct. Regular, interactive training for all employees should be tailored to the audience and organization, according to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workforce.
The importance of fostering a positive workplace culture has become a strategic priority in the #MeToo era. Communicate consistently with employees, promote diversity and inclusion, train employees on preventing discrimination and harassment and establish a strong tone from the top. These are four steps that all organizations can take to build a safe, positive culture and productive work environment where employees feel appreciated and valued.
By the way, both companies we mentioned as good examples in having built a great company culture – Mindvalley and Global Gaming – are hiring on Jobbatical. Check their openings out now.
Jeffrey Frankel is the Vice President of Marketing for Traliant. The company is revolutionizing the way compliance training is experienced. Traliant creates online training experiences that motivate employees to act ethically, to speak up and prevent harassment and discrimination, and help promote positive, respectful workplaces.