Benefits of creating a positive work culture | Sunday Observer

Benefits of creating a positive work culture

28 May, 2023

Technically, the work culture of an organisation is the common set of values, ideas, and attitudes of employees that guide such values. It is reflected in how the employees treat customers, colleagues, and other stakeholders of the organisation. A positive work culture not only influences the employees but also maximises performance and productivity, minimises turnover, and promotes employee engagement.

Hence, a positive work culture is an essential ingredient for creating a thriving and productive environment that empowers employees to perform at their best. It goes beyond mere policies and perks; it encompasses the values, attitudes, and behaviour that shape the workplace positively.

A positive work culture fosters employee engagement, enhances job satisfaction, and ultimately contributes to the overall success of the organisation. More importantly, an encouraging work environment can create a happy and satisfied workforce.

Why is work culture so important to an organisation? Because it can have a deep philosophical impact on individual and collective team morale and overall satisfaction. It certainly creates a resilient team of employees. Nevertheless, a workplace culture that fosters toxic team dynamics and unfavourable experiences can drive an organisation to failure due to difficulties in hiring and retaining talent, which is a vitally important aspect for growth.

A recent survey by Robert Half, the USA-based human resource consulting firm, found that more than one-third of workers would pass on the perfect job if the culture was not a good match for them. In contrast, the survey also revealed that the adaptability of the candidate to the organisation is equal to or more important than their skills and experience.

Timely process

Improving workplace culture cannot be done with the snap of a finger. It is a timely process. To create long-term, sustainable change, dedication must begin at the top of the organisational structure. Customarily, in most companies in Sri Lanka, workplace culture is heavily influenced by the business owner or the top management.

Therefore, first and foremost, leaders must be empathetic and willing to lead by example in terms of regular communication, accountability, and openness. The salient and indisputable fact is that more inclusive and empathetic leaders can prevent toxic cultures from emerging and better foster and sustain the positive work connections that help retain key talent.

As organisations strive to cultivate and maintain a positive culture within their respective workplaces, following insights from experts can be useful guidance for creating a positive work culture that can support the future success of a business entity.

Open and transparent communication is the cornerstone of a positive work culture. Establishing clear channels of communication, vertically and horizontally, enables employees to share ideas, concerns, and feedback. Regular updates from leadership, staff meetings, and open-door policies create an environment where everyone feels heard and valued. Transparent communication also fosters trust, promotes collaboration, and reduces workplace conflicts.

Empowering employees with a sense of autonomy and ownership over their work is vital for a positive work culture. Encouraging creativity, innovation, and independent decision-making not only boosts job satisfaction but also cultivates a culture of accountability and continuous improvement. Providing opportunities for professional growth, training, and development further encourages employees and demonstrates the company’s investment in their success.

Recognising and appreciating employees for their contributions and celebrating success is crucial for creating a positive work culture. Celebrating achievements, acknowledging hard work, and providing regular feedback and constructive recognition can significantly impact employee morale and motivation. Establishing formal and informal recognition programs, such as employee of the month awards or peer-to-peer recognition initiatives, can foster a culture of appreciation and inspire employees to go above and beyond.

Work-life balance

Job-related work frequently takes precedence over all other aspects of the life of a committed worker. The ambition to achieve professionally might cause an employee to put personal well-being aside. Creating a healthy work-life balance or work-life integration, on the other hand, is vital not only for our physical, emotional, and mental well-being, but also for our career.

Therefore, promoting work-life balance and prioritising employee well-being are essential components of a positive work culture. It also positively reflects the leader’s commitment to the happiness of staff. Encouraging flexible work arrangements, offering wellness programs, and supporting mental health initiatives demonstrate the institution’s commitment to the overall happiness of its employees. Establishing boundaries, promoting breaks, and discouraging presenteeism help maintain a healthy work-life balance and prevent burnout.

Teamwork in an entity is the collective effort to attain a common goal or finish a task in the most effective and efficient manner. This notion is observed in the context of a team, which is a collection of interdependent individuals who work together to achieve a common objective. It brings people together and motivates them to rely on one another to perform official tasks. Teamwork also allows the group to overcome obstacles that would have stymied an individual.

Therefore, fostering a collaborative and inclusive work environment is key to a positive work culture. Encouraging teamwork, cross-functional collaboration, and knowledge sharing cultivates a sense of belonging and enhances employee engagement. Emphasising the value of diverse perspectives, providing opportunities for collaboration through team-building activities and projects, and creating a supportive atmosphere where employees feel comfortable sharing ideas and asking for help can strengthen teamwork and promote a positive work culture.

Job-related work can often be stressful. Knowing how to make a bad situation more enjoyable in a stressful situation is a crucial ability that not everyone is capable of managing. Although the ultimate aim should be to fix the problem, a new perspective and a positive attitude are preferable to the alternative.

According to Dale Carnegie, the respected American author and educator (whose teachings I have followed throughout my extended career in sales), “people rarely succeed unless they are having fun in what they are doing.” Hence, the top management must encourage workers to look on the bright side and show them that you have their back to make sure that they will reciprocate by working harder.

Fresh viewpoints

Prioritising respect for each other is an extremely vital aspect of organisational culture. Regardless of the position held within an organisation, every employee should feel respected and heard. Interns may provide a far bigger advantage than delegated tasks, and new workers might bring fresh viewpoints. No one knows where or when the next great idea will come from, so giving every employee a place at the table and making them feel comfortable sharing their ideas can greatly help create a positive work culture.

Cultivating a positive work culture requires a multifaceted approach that addresses communication, empowerment, recognition, well-being, and collaboration. By fostering an environment that values transparency, autonomy, appreciation, and work-life balance, organisations can create a positive workplace culture that enhances productivity, engagement, and employee well-being. Implementing these strategies demonstrates a commitment to the success and happiness of employees, leading to increased job satisfaction, higher retention rates, and ultimately contributing to overall success.