Why a Positive Culture is Key to a Successful Workplace
When managers or business owners try to improve their company’s success, it’s all too easy to reach for tired methods, such as setting sales quotas or investing in overtime, to try and increase sales.
But forget high-pressure environments and working past 5 pm – the secret weapon your company needs for success is actually a positive workplace.
While it might sound too good to be true, having happier employees benefits your business financially and improves your workforce’s general well-being.
And everyone’s thinking about it.
A Deloitte study found that 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe that a defined workplace culture is an important component of a business’s success.
But why exactly is employee satisfaction so good for business?
And how can you implement the changes needed in your own workplace?
We’re glad you asked. Let’s get into it.
The Benefits of a Positive Culture in the Workplace
The advantages of a happier, more positive workplace culture go beyond just employee satisfaction. Your turnover rates can reduce, productivity can shoot up, and profits can soar. Here’s why positivity is so good for business.
Increased employee morale and job satisfaction
Having a positive culture translates to happier employees. And the happier your employees are, the more they’ll be able to thrive in their roles.
Looking after your employees’ mental health is not only a moral imperative, but it can actually result in fewer sick days and an overall more engaged workforce.
Improved employee retention rates
Happy employees are less likely to leave their jobs – it’s as simple as that. With replacing an employee costing between 6 and 9 months of that employee’s salary (yes, really), having a low turnover rate is crucial.
Not to mention that every new starter you must hire is somebody you have to train, which takes time away from important day-to-day operations.
Higher levels of productivity
There are no two ways about it, a happy workforce is more productive. 13% more productive, to be precise, according to a study from the University of Oxford.
And the benefits or productivity don’t exist in a vacuum – they translate to higher profits. In fact, companies with a highly engaged workforce are 21% more profitable, while companies with good workplace cultures saw awe-inspiring revenue growth of 682%.
Enhanced creativity and innovation
When employees feel relaxed and less stressed, they’ll find tapping into their creative side easier. If your workplace thrives on new ideas and innovation, focusing on creating a culture that celebrates the exchange of ideas will do wonders for your business.
Better customer service and satisfaction
A positive attitude is contagious, and a happy workforce is more likely to provide friendly and helpful service to customers.
Employee and customer satisfaction often work in tandem, so as one increases, you can expect to see the other soar.
How to Build a Positive Work Culture
Convinced of the benefits of a positive workplace culture? Let’s move from the why to the how.
Here are some simple steps you can take to transform your workplace culture (and, with it, your success) for the better.
Define your company’s core values and mission
Creating a positive culture shouldn’t be a side thought – it should run right to the heart of your organization and everything it stands for.
To make sure employee engagement is at the forefront of all your business endeavors, create a company mission that values employee satisfaction just as highly as customer satisfaction.
Once you’ve established your company’s core values and shaped them into a mission statement, make sure every aspect of your operations reflects it.
Communicate expectations clearly
One of the biggest disruptors of employee satisfaction is unclear expectations. Changing deadlines, asking for last-minute projects with minimal details, and giving negative feedback that comes seemingly out of nowhere can be anxiety-inducing for your workforce.
Your employees will work better the clearer the expectations you set. Instead of being vague about details and deadlines and then getting frustrated when the work isn’t as you expected, give as much information as possible when assigning a task.
Giving clear instructions, as well as letting employees know how you’ll measure the success of a project, gives them the confidence to unleash their inner creativity and get started.
Provide opportunities for employee growth
While every employee has daily goals in their role, most also have long-term professional milestones they’d like to hit, whether that’s gaining leadership experience or becoming an expert in their field.
Providing employees with proper training and development opportunities will not only boost your employee engagement rate but also prevent them from turning to other companies for progression opportunities.
Encourage (and implement) feedback
Employee-employer feedback should go two ways, and it’s important to ask your employees what you could do better to show you value their opinions.
But asking for feedback is one thing; implementing it is another.
Asking employees for feedback and not doing anything with it seems like a hollow gesture and can show a lack of trust toward your workforce. Instead, look to implement feedback whenever possible.
Not only will it help build a connection with your employees, but they’ll also likely have some genuinely insightful ideas to share.
Recognize and reward employees
Rewarding employees is a foolproof way to show them how much you appreciate their hard work while increasing engagement.
Rewards don’t always have to come as a pay rise, either.
Offering extra vacation days, organizing team social outings, and celebrating Employee Appreciation Day are all ways to recognize employee accomplishments without breaking the bank.
Flexible working opportunities, the chance to work remotely, and training and development opportunities are other perks that can help make your workplace more enjoyable for employees.
Even a simple ‘thank you’ after a hard day’s work can make a real difference when it comes to nurturing a happy workforce.
A Positive Workplace – the Ultimate Competitive Advantage
While factors such as having a strong brand identity and working on a killer marketing strategy all contribute to your company’s success, employee satisfaction can be the silver bullet that your organization needs to beat your competitors.
Companies all too often focus on sales techniques and KPIs for results, but if you don’t tackle the problem at the root of most issues (insufficient employee engagement), you’re simply putting a band-aid on the problem.
By making your workplace – and by extension, workforce – more positive, you can tap into a new level of employee engagement, creativity, and productivity that will have competitors scrambling to keep up.
It’s a win for your employees and a win for your bottom line.