Creating and maintaining a positive company culture is vital to the success of any organization. It is the launchpad for all other metrics of success, including innovation, creativity, organization, efficiency, and retention.
Despite its value, many organizations fail to create a positive company culture either because they do not understand it or aren’t willing to make the investment to create it.
Influencing your work culture demands a great deal, especially from leaders. But those who rise to the challenge reap the rewards of teams that are fulfilled and working at their maximum potential, not just temporarily, but long term.
What is positive company culture?
Positive company culture is a team that everyone wants to be on.
It’s a team with very clear values. They can articulate what they do, why they do it, and how they’re expected to do it in a way that is positive, kind, nurturing, productive, and socially responsible.
When organizations invest in these attributes, every member feels connected to the success of their team.
For example, at the end of a high school soccer practice, a coach gathers players into a circle and has every starting player state something that a non-starter helped them with during that practice that made them better.
For those who might not play much, the exercise made them realize that they are still a vital part of the team, responsible for supporting other players so that the team can ultimately win.
Every positive company culture shares common traits including:
- Positive relationships between everyone at all levels of the organization
- Clear expectations that reflect the values and norms of the business
- Systems that serve by being efficient, well-organized, and effective
- Compassion, empathy, and genuine kindness expressed in all interactions
Knowing what positive company culture is and how to create it are two very different things. Fortunately, it’s something you can start today with a simple investment of time.
Creating positive company culture
Poor communication is the villain of any attempt to develop a positive work culture. That’s why many of the most vital steps toward generating your ideal work culture require honing your communication skills, establishing clear expectations, and creating a path forward for teams to work collaboratively.
With that in mind, here are a few steps you can use to start generating a positive company culture within your organization:
- Share your skills with team members to provide transparency in all areas of the business and offer an additional resource of support
- Communicate the company’s expectations and provide insight into future directions
- Nurture cross-team communication to facilitate collaboration and innovation.
- Foster new leaders by hosting brief leadership seminars
- Take time for people through 1:1 meetings, or even Q&A lunch-and-learn sessions
These simple steps don’t cost exorbitant amounts of money. They don’t require specialized training. They only ask that you invest in your team members by sharing your time, expertise, and attention.
The secret to making them work is to simply to keep doing them.
Now that you have it…how do you keep it?
Athletes train their entire lives to become professional baseball players, basketball stars, and track legends. But when they reach the pinnacle of their career, they don’t simply sit back and wait for the competition to begin. For as long as they wish to remain competitive, they spend hours training to maintain their endurance and skills.
In the same way, maintaining positive work culture never ends. Ideally, it sustains itself naturally. Why? Because positivity breeds positivity. When teams are fulfilled, respected, and motivated, it only leads to good things.
Here are three ways to ensure you maintain your positive work culture:
1) Live your values
Your organization’s values are the roadmap to your work culture. When values are unclear or ambiguous, expect the work of your team members to follow suit.
Aim for extreme clarity when it comes to communicating your values and norms, so everyone knows what to do and how to do it.
2) Foster innovation
When your values are clear, it opens up opportunities for innovation. Like a jazz drummer improvising over a set beat and fundamental skills, you can unleash your team members’ creativity within the framework of clearly defined values.
3) Reinforce the good and the bad
When work falls short of values and norms, don’t ignore it. Reset, check for miscommunication, and start again. Developing work culture takes time and practice. When it’s done wrong, correcting it is the only way to prevent a bad habit.
In the same vein, reinforce work that exemplifies your ideal work culture. Whether it’s a monetary award or simple recognition, positive reinforcement is a powerful way to ensure that your organization’s values are kept in focus.
Find out how a positive internal culture will transform your organization. Connect with us today.
Chris leads a dynamic team of passionate change agents who are dedicated to partnering with organizational executives to create cultures that inspire, engage and ignite the best in people. Our work is dedicated to harnessing the power of culture to equip leaders, build amazing teams and align operation practices to delighting the customer and drive breakthrough results.