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How To Positively Influence Workplace Culture
When was the last time you gave a coworker a high five? Asked your direct report about how you could better support them? Made a point to begin your weekly huddle by sharing someone’s help you were grateful for the week before?
While many of us may believe that workplace culture is not dependent on the actions of the employees, or that one individual cannot make a difference, that is simply not true. Thanks to social recognition and easily accessible company newsletters and other forms of communication, the actions of one employee do have the potential to influence company culture in a very real and positive way.
Workplace culture starts with you, and here are some helpful tips from Gallup on laying a solid foundation:
How to Positively Influence Workplace Culture
Be respectful of employees.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but showing respect for your coworkers is less common than you would think. Use these tips to show respect for those around you.
- Resist the urge to gossip or talk about your coworkers’ downfalls.
Emails, chat functionality, text messages, and the water cooler are places where workplace gossip is rampant. Remind yourself of the golden rule: if you wouldn’t want it said about you, don’t say it about others.
- Remember your Ps & Qs.
A little politeness can go a long way. Be respectful to others, no matter if they are the CEO or the janitor.
- Offer gratitude for a job well done.
There is abundant research showing the importance of gratitude in the workplace. It can increase feelings of value, boost productivity, and create a ripple effect. Make sure to say thank you as frequently as you are able.
Communicate early and often.
Communicating changes in the company are vital to keeping your employees in sync with your core values and loyal to your organization.
- Communicate changes in staff company-wide.
Provide updates on employees leaving the company, promotions within the organization, or new employees being hired on. This will help to keep everyone on the same page and prevent employees from feeling ignored. When employees feel connected, everyone wins.
- Give employees plenty of notice regarding upcoming changes.
Especially when changes will affect day-to-day operations within your organization, make sure to give employees plenty of time to mentally prepare for the new processes. Communicate these changes in several different ways also, for example, an employee may miss an email announcement, so make sure important announcements are communicated in weekly or daily team huddles or departmental meetings.
- Offer a designated time and place for employee feedback.
Make sure to have an outlet in which employees can speak openly about the organization and any changes taking place. This could be an anonymous comment field on the intranet, a designated individual in HR to receive comments, or an open “city hall” meeting once a month. Feedback loops help both the employees and the organization.
Be an advocate for authenticity and accountability.
“A culture of accountability starts with clear performance standards that apply equally to everyone — including leaders,” said Gallup Workplace’s Craig Kamins. All employees, from senior leadership to new hires, must truly believe that the organization in which they work for is fair and honest.
- Clearly establish expectations.
Make sure that every individual in the company feels their job expectations are clear and practical. Update expectations as needed, and check in frequently to see if there is any way you can better support your team members in meeting these expectations.
- Promote your Core Values company-wide.
Your Core Values, the characteristics you have deemed most important and prominent in your organization, must be promoted well and frequently to keep them top of mind. Using social recognition to reward behaviors that align with your core values is one way to keep them there.
- Accept responsibility when applicable.
When a customer experiences a problem with your company, an acknowledgement of the mistake with an apology is vital in winning them back. It’s no surprise that the same approach is valued from team members when there is a mistake. Accepting responsibility and issuing a sincere apology is critical to creating a workplace culture of accountability.
We often settle into a mindset of believing one person can’t make a difference. But a single person can start a chain reaction towards building a positive workplace culture! Start by changing the company culture of your individual team or the employees you work with most, and you will see the difference in no time.
This article was adapted from Gallup’s “3 Daily Actions That Set the Tone for Workplace Culture” – check out the full piece here.
Make sure to leave us a comment about your favorite tips for promoting workplace culture, or reach out to MTM to get more information.
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