Retaining staff, inspiring teams to produce their best work, and having a collaborative environment all begin with a positive work culture.
In any business setting, things go wrong, conflicts arise, and communications falls flat. These directly impact employee job satisfaction and will also lead to low levels of productivity.
However, if you already have a healthy culture, these pitfalls can be much easier to handle.
To get to that place, you first need to detox.
1. Create a safe space
Work culture is a harmonious system in which everyone should be included.
Inclusion should be your first step in detoxing your workplace. More often than not, only certain groups of staff will meet. This can be incredibly isolating for the rest of the team. Every time you close that meeting room door, you’re drawing a line between you and your staff. Teams should be unified, and everyone should feel included.
Staff setting up regular meetings that include everyone. These can be brainstorm meetings where new ideas can be suggested or a place for people to air their concerns. Whatever you decide to discuss, you will be instilling within your team the value of their voice, increasing their job satisfaction.
However, if you choose to discuss issues or conflicts with the office, employees might feel more comfortable tackling these issues with the assistance of a third party. If you do happen to identify a problem, get in touch with one of our experts to discuss our conflict resolution and mediation services.
Stats NZ reported that 91% of people who are satisfied with their jobs also said they had a good relationship with their manager and colleagues.
Relationships between colleagues can be bolstered with regular meetings, and managers should also take time to make sure they are engaging with their staff. Leaders need to be willing and available, so employees should feel like there is a space to approach managers if need be.
When employees do approach managers for discussion, it is important that managers practice active listening. This is the process of listening attentively, while someone else speaks, and then paraphrasing and reflecting back what is said, and withholding judgement and advice. When active listening, leaders should:
- Focus on what the person has to say
- Take notes and use their phrases when responding
- Ask clarifying questions if unsure about a point the person is trying to make and try to focus on identifying their goals.
A culture that breeds fear of a leader is dysfunctional, unproductive, and will eventually fizzle into failure.
73% of disengaged employees are actively looking for jobs. It shouldn’t have to be said that a work culture in which most team members are actively seeking other employment opportunities will not be a successful one.
3. Call in the leaders
Along with regular staff meetings, you should also still be having meetings for the leaders.
Leaders are the head of the train. They are what’s guiding the body to its intended goal. But what is that goal? Is everyone headed in that same direction? If not, there can be disastrous collisions. Not only that, employees can sense when there isn’t a clear vision. There can be an overall lack of confidence in managers, leading to decreased productivity and motivation.
To cleanse this, leaders should begin by defining a vision for the business and getting everyone on the same page. Those leading teams should be transparent about their goals and ensure they align with each other.
4. Instill workplace values
By now, you will have come to understand the importance of a unified team.
Regular communication and making sure everyone is on track are excellent ways to build a strong culture. However, to enable clear lines of communication, there should also be an alignment of values.
Some try to create values and then expect their staff to conform to those values, rather unsuccessfully. This is a lot like feeding your work culture processed food. It’s inorganic and ineffectual because these values won’t match the intrinsic virtues of your team.
We suggest a different approach: create values that already exist in people. By having your core values reflect actual, “every day” virtues, you will be making a much more organic and authentic culture.
Once you’ve landed on these values, these should be documented, whether it is through creating a charter or a policy or some other shared document. This creates a good reference point for your future and present staff.
5. Be consistent
Listening, engaging, and creating values are vital building blocks of a strong work culture, but they can’t be done in a day.
This needs to be an ongoing process. Work culture requires a significant amount of maintenance. Conflicts will always arise, but your team will be much better at handling them if you have a healthy culture.
Finding the time to dedicate your energy towards detoxing your work culture can be a struggle. The Three60 Consult team is here to help guide you through the necessary processes of building a strong work culture.
Get in touch with us by calling 09 273 8590 or emailing [email protected] to discuss the best solution for your business.