Culture lies at the heart of every company. Crafting a strong sense of community matters now more than ever, both to narrow the digital distance between remote workers and to foster an environment where both the business and employee stand to benefit.
In business, often the spotlight is focused on products or customers, but the truth is that the people who make up a company are those who breathe life into it. Their impact can lower or elevate the trajectory of the entire organization, and how they feel about their workplace deserves just as much time and attention as accounting or marketing.
Positive workplace culture is no longer just an issue for HR, it is now a cornerstone upon which companies must build in order to ensure success as they grow.
It’s not enough to construct a workplace environment people find bearable. The new goal is to create an authentic culture, one that naturally spreads throughout and supports the entire company.
This kind of positive and infectious culture takes some intentionality and effort, but the payoff is without a doubt worth the time. Any workplace culture can become a positive one that lifts the spirits of all involved, it’s just a matter of understanding the methods and means.
1. Unite With Understanding
Whether your business is already thriving or just starting out, it’s easy for an individual to get lost in the shuffle and feel isolated occasionally. If left unchecked over time, these feelings can fester, and drop overall levels of motivation along with performance.
The solution is to foster a sense of unity in the workplace, which begins with each employee feeling understood and valued within the context of their role.
In a recent email exchange with Alexy Goldstein, founder of New U Life, he illustrated the process, “Creating a positive workplace culture is an art in itself, and one that cannot be overlooked at any stage of a business’ development. Take the time to talk with both new and current employees so they truly understand their role and then reciprocate by listening to what their goals are as well.”
When people understand and feel understood, this creates an emotional bond. When spread across an entire company, a sense of unity larger than any one individual begins, and it provides the bedrock for a positive company culture.
“If everyone is on the same page in a workplace, and truly understands and believes in their mission, an electric sense of passion emerges,” continues Goldstein. “And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you can’t fake passion, nor can you overestimate the power of having passionate people all working together under one roof. You can unite people through mutual understanding, and then excite and enthuse them through a shared sense of purpose.”
2. Shared Purpose Begets Positivity
In order to promote a positive workplace culture, it’s essential that employees share a sense of purpose, that their combined efforts lead to some end goal or mission in which they believe.
No man is an island, nor should any employee feel like their work starts and ends with themselves. By having a shared purpose, everyone from the CEO down to the intern, it makes all the work more meaningful in that it aims at something larger than the efforts of any sole individual.
Make your company mission clearly known to all, and progress made towards it regularly tracked and celebrated. This kind of cohesive mindset makes teamwork and warm relations occur naturally, and when employees view coworkers as people in the same boat as them, an overall net of positive feelings naturally follows.
Healthy disagreements and different approaches still have their place, but an underlying sense of solidarity bonds everyone together for the better.
Humans are social creatures by nature, they just need the right circumstances to cooperate and flourish. Feed into this by giving everyone a shared overarching goal, and at a certain point, the culture becomes self-sustaining and positively infectious in its striving towards it.
3. Adapt and Empathize
Once you have the framework set for a positive workplace culture, the biggest issues to avoid are stagnation and inflexibility. There is no finish line, and just as goals need to be updated as a company meets and grows beyond them, so too does a company culture need tweaks in order to continue to hum along. Don’t be afraid to try out new things, or pivot your strategy based on new circumstances both external and internal to the company. The key is to be able to bend in any number of directions in order to avoid breaking outright at any point.
This can be accomplished by gathering feedback from both those who helped build the culture and fresh faces alike. By making gradual tweaks based upon the concerns of both, the system better reflects and serves the current culture of the company rather than an outdated one.
Adaptability is a word familiar in business circles, but empathy perhaps less so. By embedding both though, an authentic workplace culture of positivity can be created and upheld. Just as a rising tide lifts all ships, a positive workplace culture can elevate and motivate all involved.
Written by Lara Harper