How to Create a Positive Workplace Culture (With Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 22 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Workplace culture is the shared values, beliefs, practices, attitudes and overall behaviour of professionals in an organisation. A positive attitude in the workplace directly results from effective leadership and the influence of strategic organisational management and directions. Having a positive culture at your workplace improves teamwork, increases productivity and efficiency, ensures job satisfaction and collaboration, raises morale and reduces employee turnover. In this article, we discuss how to create a positive workplace culture and list some of its major benefits.

How to create a positive workplace culture

It's important to learn how to create a positive workplace culture within an organisation because it encourages teamwork, productivity and satisfaction among its professionals. A company's culture plays an important role in the success of a business, so creating a positive environment in which employees feel empowered and valued can improve productivity. While you can't instantaneously create a positive work culture, you can set some basic practices and actions that encourage building a healthy work environment.

It is important to be intentional and deliberate when creating a positive work culture. Here are some key areas to focus on:

1. Company vision and mission

A company's core values established in its mission and vision statement drive its culture and environment to a certain extent. It's important to incorporate the values in these statements into everything the organisation does. Often companies communicate their mission and vision to their senior or middle level of management, without clearly communicating their expectations to junior levels of the organisation. A well-defined mission and core values add purpose and meaning to work and can act as a motivator.

Make the company goals visible by mentioning them in company newsletters, group meetings or emails from senior leadership. Ensure that your team members feel that their contribution is making a difference to the company. To help them understand their value, ask each individual to think of how their jobs support at least one of the company's missions or goals.

2. Communication and transparency

Proper communication between professionals and management can ensure business success. Ensure that managers and leaders are approachable and available to their team members and can regularly provide feedback on their performance. For example, if a significant change occurs, communicating it to the team clearly can improve teamwork and collaboration. As a manager, it's your responsibility to foster communication between you and your team and encourage interpersonal relationship building, which improves morale and commitment.

You can set aside some time to discuss changes with each team member and explain how it affects their job. This makes them feel valued and ensures greater collaboration. Build an open and forthright relationship with your team by being honest about the organisation's challenges and expectations. Encourage the workforce to be forthcoming with their opinions and ensure employee engagement. A strong culture of transparency and openness creates a more productive work environment and improves client relations and customer satisfaction.

Read more: How to Improve Your Communication Skills at Work

3. Feedback

When you want to create a healthy work environment, it's necessary to track and check to find if things are moving according to the goals set. In case if things aren't going as planned, then identify ways for course correction. For example, a useful tool for course correction is providing feedback.

When giving your coworkers feedback, it's better to bring up the things you like about their work before giving feedback about an area of improvement. For every constructive critique, aim to provide three positive comments. Constructive criticism helps individuals recognise their core competencies and identify areas where they can improve and overcome challenges that prevent them from achieving their goals.

Read more: How to Give Constructive Criticism at the Workplace

4. Recognition and reward

An organisation with a fair reward system in place recognises professionals for their good work. This helps individuals stay highly motivated, loyal and engaged in their work. Providing people with the opportunity to earn rewards or nominate their peers for awards generates company-wide support and encourages continuous performance. There are many ways to reward professionals within the organisation. Employee rewards and recognition can include:

  • offering verbal praise from senior management

  • having the name featured as an employee of the month

  • giving bonuses, gift cards and vacation packages

  • providing extra time off work

Read more: Ways to Say "Thank You for Your Efforts" in Your Workplace

5. Cultural diversity and inclusion

A diverse workforce is vital for a global organisation and establishes a positive workplace culture. Promote diversity and inclusion by hiring people from all backgrounds and cultures irrespective of their age, gender, race and nationality. Having a diverse workforce offers different and unique points of view, ideas and perspectives that can lead to innovative solutions. Embrace diversity and lead inclusively by adopting fair selection and promotion practices. Ensure that your colleagues understand that the company promotes diversity and respects each individual's beliefs.

6. Social activities and collaboration

Ensure your workplace meets your team members' social and emotional needs by encouraging positive relationships and team-building activities. Encourage your team to get to know each other and develop friendships by hosting team lunches, sports activities, happy hours, team building "boot camps" or other fun events outside of work. In a positive workplace, professionals have fun and feel energised. Small changes, such as a relaxed dress code once a week or celebrations for achievements, can contribute to the wellbeing of the workforce and encourage better performance and teamwork.

Read more: How to Create Collaborative Work Environment in 7 Steps

7. Work flexibility

A flexible work schedule offers professionals the option to work when they're most productive and maintains a work-family balance. Individuals who feel that their employers value them and wish to support their individual needs may form stronger relationships within their organisation and towards their work. Offering flexible working hours, remote working and job sharing can attract talented candidates to your organisation. Job flexibility can also improve employee satisfaction and reduce employee turnover. Some examples of flexible work arrangements include:

  • flexible working hours

  • part-time employment

  • remote work

  • freelancing

  • unlimited paid-time-off

  • condensed schedules

Read more: Work Flexibility: Definition, Importance, Types and How to

8. Growth opportunity

Companies with opportunities for growth and learning have better employee satisfaction and productivity. Give options to your team members to grow and develop personally and professionally. Offer the required tools, technologies and platforms that individuals require to gain new skills and develop professionally. Some ways you can encourage professional development within the company include:

  • training programmes to learn a new skill set

  • mentorship initiatives

  • tuition reimbursement for pursuing education or advanced degrees

  • reading material

  • meetings to discuss individual goals

  • charity events

  • lunch and learns

Provide clear ways for professionals to receive promotions based on meeting specific goals or performance. You can support promotion from within the team so that your team members understand that the organisation encourages upward mobility.

9. Kind and helpful leadership

Be kind and approachable to your team so that they feel more valued and are more likely to help their coworkers meet deadlines, overcome challenges and share knowledge and ideas. In a positive workplace culture, individuals feel respected as they're treated with empathy. Here are some ways you can demonstrate kind and supportive leadership:

  • listening actively

  • providing resources and instructions

  • offering and asking for feedback

  • implementing an open-door policy

  • being approachable

Benefits of a positive work culture

A positive work culture is fundamental for encouraging a sense of pride and ownership among professionals. When individuals take pride, they invest their future in the company and work harder to create opportunities that can benefit the organisation. Some other benefits of a positive workplace culture include:

  • Employee retention: People thrive in a positive work environment, which results in decreased employee turnover. The cost of hiring and training is considerably lesser when there's talent retention.

  • Productivity: In a workplace that encourages positive communication and knowledge sharing, team productivity remains significantly higher.

  • Company brand and reputation: A positive workplace often attracts more business and has a positive effect on the reputation and brand of the company.

  • Innovation: In an environment where there's deep trust, colleagues feel more connected to each other and the customer. This harbours creativity and innovation, as they feel encouraged to develop ideas that create more value for the customer.

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