There’s a lot of talk about organisations fostering a positive workplace culture. For some leaders, it means improving the daily conversations among co-workers, while others focus on raising the overall mood at work. The pandemic intensified the need for positive workplace culture – as a means of tiding through times of uncertainty.
By better understanding the advantages of positive workplace culture, leaders are more likely to allocate time, effort, and resources toward creating environments conducive to optimal work. And it all begins with empathetic leadership – via a genuine consideration of specific employee needs.
A positive workplace culture comes from an environment built on trust and interdependence. Employees will have the peace of mind to function at their best without workplace distractions that may stem from gossips, judgement, and censure.
The ideal organisation should encourage and welcome the contribution of individuals with varying opinions and mindsets, tapping on each person’s unique strengths and skillsets to drive organisational goals as a whole.
On the contrary, stress build-ups at the workplace have cost organisations billions of dollars a year in productivity.
Employees are the life force of an organisation. The more empowered workers are, the more likely they’ll be willing to go beyond the line of duty. And organisations will benefit from the resulting dynamism.
A positive workplace culture provides employees with a rewarding experience by offering more autonomy in the decision-making processes.
With a “sense of purpose” being a priority within the modern workforce, organisations can significantly improve employee satisfaction and reduce turnover rates by offering more creative control in each role.
Helps Lower Absenteeism
Regular absenteeism is often a red flag for employee disengagement. When workers choose to no-show regularly, they may be looking around for a better workplace environment.
Additionally, absenteeism might cause severe disruptions to the productivity of an organisation, especially for startups and SMEs with limited Human Resources.
With a positive workplace culture, employees would look forward to turning up at the office. In such settings, workers may volunteer to work overtime or come in early to complete their tasks.
There’s a general sense of fulfilment in a positive workplace, which makes absenteeism a counter-intuitive thought.
According to the CliftonsStrength (Clifton StrengthsFinder) assessment, each individual possesses a set of innate strengths and talents (what comes naturally and more effortlessly to a person). CliftonStrengths (Clifton StrengthsFinder) categorises the talents into 34 themes and four domains that serve as an accurate predictor of human behaviour.
A positive workplace culture provides the foundation for strengths-based practices that encourage individuals to identify and share (rather than horde) their knowledge.
As such, organisations can reduce the risks of employees working in silos and effectively roll out peer-mentoring programs (reciprocal learning activities known to provide mutual benefits).
Improves Work-life Balance
Work-life balance was put to the test during the pandemic as organisations functioned remotely with blurred boundaries. Burnout became a common issue among WFH teams. And according to expert insights, individuals should not take burnout lightly.
Research states that individuals who experience chronic burnout have an increased risk of early mortality (26-35% chance of mortality before 45). Additionally, there’s the risk of facing constant pain, coronary heart problems, diabetes, and depression.
Successful leaders within a positive workplace culture constantly consider the threat of burnout among their workers.
Leaders can establish strong and healthy bonds with employees by providing regular check-ins, time-offs and advocating work within reasonable hours.
Essentially, leaders should always consider their employees fellow humans before all else, addressing personal needs and concessions/incentives (where applicable) to help them manage stress levels on all fronts – which helps them function at the top of their game.
A Clearly Defined Business Strategy is Vital
An organisation’s business strategy serves as the blueprint for its success. When an employee comes on board, they play an active role based on the outlined tactics. According to research, 76% of employees believe that a well-defined business strategy will help cultivate positive workplace culture.
A vague or convoluted business strategy puts employees in a state of confusion- uncertain in the best cases and lost in the worst scenarios (I.e., VUCA episodes).
Positive work cultures usually feature a clearly defined business strategy that elucidates the significance of each employee’s role relative to organisational missions and objectives.
As such, HR should apply a strengths-based approach to the hiring process, ensuring hires fit their roles down to a tee – with the ideal personality and aligned values. A suitable candidate will fit nicely into the mould of the position, resulting in high performance and career longevity.
Communication is the Power Tool
Organisational leaders can only achieve a positive workplace culture through quality communication. An impactful communication strategy should include interactions with employees, leaders, customers, and organisational shareholders.
Additionally, communication should never be a one-and-done process but a dynamic approach to be constantly tweaked, refined, and reviewed.
SoundWave workshops can help leaders and employees fine-tune their voice, enhancing interactions with appropriate verbal tones and cues for maximised impact.
Workplace communication extends to online digital channels such as messenger platforms and emails. In these non-verbal and “faceless” instances, leaders should encourage clear and direct communication, avoiding ambiguity that may result in misunderstandings, conflicts, and workplace schisms.
Grammarly sums up some of the most effective ways to optimise the written word through a concise approach. Less is truly more when it comes down to utility writing, such as those found in emails to a vendor, sponsor, or instructions.
Positive workplace culture is the catalyst for progress within an organisation. Leaders play a significant role in setting the foundation for employees who seek guidance and direction, especially during unforeseen events.
Organisational giants such as Google, Southwest Airlines, and Twitter have established positive workplace cultures with optimal results. And every company has the potential to yield similar dividends from an engaged workforce – by being unique, sincere, and focused.
StrengthsAsia has helped many individuals and corporate clients empower leaders throughout the region by enabling breakthrough experiences for both leaders and followers. If you wish to learn more about the Strengths Leadership Program, please reach out to us here.