If you’re in the human resources department, or you have experience working in an office setting, you probably already understand the importance of doing your part to create a positive workplace culture.
You’ve probably already heard common recommendations, like opening the windows, practicing gratitude, and doing something fun, and yet, the vibe in your office remains the same.
That’s because you have to dig a little bit deeper if you truly want your workplace to be a more positive place to work, and you want it to stay that way.
Here are a few specific ways you can create a more positive workplace culture that go above and beyond the common advice that’s the norm among managers and HR personnel.
Embrace Peer-To-Peer Recognition
“Most companies know the importance of employee evaluations. Some employees and bosses dread this yearly process, but no one can deny that the chance to have good work acknowledged is a definite confidence booster.” Rymax continues by saying, “You can maximize the uptick to your staff’s self-esteem by allowing them to recognize each other’s accomplishments on a more regular basis.”
Getting employees to recognize each other’s accomplishments isn’t something that happens naturally—it is something that has to be encouraged by management and others in the office. Fortunately, it’s easier than you think!
Let teams nominate an outstanding member of the team every quarter, or create a fun award that is passed between employees. Just make sure you highlight the award by mentioning it in an email or congratulating the winner during the next meeting. If enthusiasm is less than stellar, hand out a prize with the award, like a gift certificate or a chance to leave work early one day.
Flexibility is a huge buzzword nowadays, but it can come with problems. Often, so much flexibility comes with unclear expectations. That can cause quality of work to suffer, and it can contribute to a negative work environment.
The best managers set clear expectations. That means clarifying deadlines and outlining the quality of work that is expected, but often, the little things matter the most. For example, if an employee needs to call in sick, do you expect a phone call, and email, or a text message?
By clarifying even the smallest expectations, employees can relax at work, and that’s vital when creating a positive atmosphere.
Give Everyone Privacy
One study found that workers in open office plans are twice as likely to take a sick day than those with their own space. Unsurprisingly, all the noise and distractions make many employees dread coming to work every day.
Don’t have the space or the money to reconfigure your office? Or maybe collaboration is important to your operation? There are still things you can do to support everyone’s need for privacy! A few ideas include:
- Allowing employees to schedule time to work in a private office.
- Giving each employee a screen they can use to block off the back of their cubicle.
- Making a rule that when headphones are on, an employee is not to be disturbed.
Put Employees and Coworkers First
Things come up at work all the time that need your attention. It can be tempting to drop everything you’re doing to address an issue or speak with a customer, but that can have disastrous consequences for the relationships you have with your coworkers.
Never put off one-on-one meetings or important team building activities to deal with a matter that seems urgent. It’s much better for everyone’s morale if you prioritize the relationships in the office before most other issues that can easily be rescheduled.
Change the Way You Respond
It takes some work not to take what others say and do personally, but the payoff is huge. By assuming everyone is coming from a place of positive concern instead of personal attack, you can transform your interpersonal relationships. If reactionary emails and hurt feelings are the norm in your office, consider scheduling a training session to teach staff strategies to respond more positively in the workplace.
There are many things you can do to impact your office’s environment for the better, but don’t think bringing donuts and giving compliments will enact lasting change. With the tips on this list, you can go above and beyond dime-a-dozen advice and make your office a more positive place for good.