Every business has a culture, whether they put effort into it or not. But not all business cultures are positive. Why does a positive culture matter? Well, there is growing evidence to support legendary management consultant Peter Drucker’s view that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” The fact is positive workplace culture is a proven key to better business performance.
Positive business culture is known to have many benefits, including improved employee retention, reduced absenteeism and presenteeism, attracting talent, improved employee engagement, increased productivity and better business performance.
Cultivating a positive business culture isn’t however a walk in the park. It requires effort, investment and continual attention. Tackling the issue of culture in business can’t be an afterthought or just have money thrown at it by way of things. It requires some fundamental building blocks starting with respect.
Employee happiness and well-being
Employee well-being and employee happiness is crucial for long-term business success. Undervalue your employees and you’ll end up with retention problems and find it harder to attract new talent. Glassdoor reviews are just one example of how business culture is being exposed.
Are your staff smiley, chatty and upbeat? If they aren’t then employee happiness and engagement clearly require some attention.
Well-being at work is central to employee happiness. Workplace well-being covers both physical and mental health. Supporting both is essential for creating a healthy, productive workforce.
Find out how your employees are feeling using an employee engagement survey. This is the quickest and easiest way to find out what problems exist and tackle them.
Positive and open communication
Effective communication in business is essential for good working relationships and this is in turn fundamental to business success. Established and open lines of communication are hugely important for team building, innovation, training, strong management and great customer service.
A clear flow of information is important in any business for efficient operations, generating ideas, overcoming challenges and creating a dynamic and friendly working environment. Positive and open communication also contributes to developing a more collaborative workplace, keeping employees informed and sharing the organisation’s values and business goals.
Transparent communication allows constructive feedback to be given and enables employees to have a voice in the workplace, which is an important part of building trust and another essential of positive company culture. Successful communication is a two-way street.
When communication breaks down it can create chasms, distort facts and lead to conflict in the workplace, which contributes to a toxic culture.
Employee recognition and appreciation
It’s no surprise that ignored employees don’t feel motivated. People need to feel valued at work. Praise, thanks and rewards really matter and recognising good work is a powerful motivator. The great thing is – appreciation doesn’t cost a penny! And the costs of introducing some kind of kudos or recognition system are actually quite small. But the benefits to the business in terms of happy, motivated staff are huge.
Employee recognition is actually harder than you think – you sometimes have to look for the opportunities to praise staff. It’s easy to praise those who are always going above and beyond. But consistent plodders deserve to be appreciated too. Having said that, introducing an employee recognition strategy is easy and as with most things, the more you give [praise and recognition, the easier it becomes].
Workplace recognition does need to be fair, authentic and individualised though to be effective. Meaningful praise can be an incredibly powerful lever to employee satisfaction resulting in better retention, loyalty, productivity and business success.
Positive Business Culture Summary
Drucker wasn’t wrong when he said that a powerful and empowering culture was a surer route to organisational success. Do you have what it takes to grow and maintain a positive culture in your business? Paying attention to employee well-being, fostering positive and open communication, and putting a focus on employee appreciation seem pretty good places to start.