While it may take some time to shape work culture, the day-to-day patterns of actions and behaviours at a workplace are the building blocks of culture. By following little routines daily, decision-makers within the workplace can create a happier and healthier work culture.
Want to know how you can inculcate positivity within employees and educate them for increased productivity?
When we join an organisation, we want a workplace that puts us on the right career path. We want a place where we feel valued, motivated, and happy. It is also a fact that value isn’t always associated with money. We also feel valued when our emotions and accomplishments are well respected. Where our opinions matter and we can see numerous growth opportunities.
Have you observed that many startups are not able to pay their employees a competitive salary in the initial years but practice values that encourage a positive environment? At the end of the day, these organisations can expand their resources and offer the best tangible rewards.
Let’s have a look at some of the daily routines that team leaders may teach their employees to promote a healthier work culture. For this, know that the best teaching technique is to practice things yourself and become a role model for your employees.
Encourage suggestions and opinions
Imagine you are the head of an organisation and multiple managers are reporting you. These managers have teams working under them.
Train your manager to encourage suggestions from their team members on various projects and always make them feel that you value their opinion. Sometimes it happens that you have geniuses in your team and their opinions can give you new and better ideas for work.
To implement this, managers can conduct regular meetings with their team members and encourage them to speak about any problems, solutions, or share ideas. This will help to create a sense of ownership within the team members leading to a high performing team.
One of the problems that may arise in this aspect is that some managers get afraid of smarter subordinates. They intentionally don’t seek their opinion due to fear of dominance.
As head of the organisation, you have to break this fear once you realise it exists somewhere within the organisation. You can do that by giving confidence to your managers and by educating them on how to handle a smart workforce without suppressing their innovative ideas.
Remember that you as a leader have to take the first step. You need to encourage the suggestions and opinions of your manager first.
They should feel comfortable communicating with you because you are practicing a participative style of management. Naturally, they will practice the same style when it comes to managing their teams.
Empower your employees to make some decisions
Employee empowerment is the stepping stone of healthier work culture. Every day your employees should feel that they have opportunities, resources, and authority to complete their tasks. They will feel accountable for their work and will be motivated to accomplish their goals. How can you do this on a daily basis?
While assigning a project or a task, tell your employees that you trust them. Once you do it yourself at the top level, this will have a trickle-down effect.
You should not be difficult to approach and keep your office door open for your employees. This will help them just walk in and share the hurdles they are facing in their day to day work.
Ask them to make some decisions related to their work and once you think they did that right, encourage them to do it again and again. You will get trained and better decision-makers when juniors will be promoted to the managerial level.
Employee empowerment is also demonstrated in your actions where you allow them to take a break and learn something new. For example, a manager asking one of their employees to learn how to drive or attend a language course. The employee will feel that he has this opportunity to grow and you know that this is an investment in developing the skill set of your workforce.
Another thing that you can teach in this aspect is to ask them to lead a meeting or manage an event. This will help them boost their confidence as they will feel privileged as someone who can do something tangible.
Educate employees to ensure their health and safety
One of the key aspects of a healthy work environment is creating a workplace where the employees feel physically safe and healthy. Each day, you have to ensure that your employees are sitting in a place that is clean and comfortable.
Remind them to keep their surroundings clean and tidy. Make sure that they are offered good and healthy food and if your company isn’t offering food, at least they are given reasonable breaks to take lunch. Such friendly routines where the employee feels privileged and valued will inspire positive behaviours and a productive work environment.
Provide opportunities for training and development
Managers can influence their subordinates just by the power of their words. An employee’s level of motivation and attitude toward work is greatly dependent on how their manager makes them feel. A toxic work culture provides development opportunities only to some of the favourite people.
During your day to day interaction with your employees, you should tell them about any upcoming training and development opportunities and how they can apply for them. Keep rotating the opportunities in a manner that everyone feels equally valued.
You don’t always need to have heavy and expensive development opportunities available. You can also create such opportunities within the organisation. Take the example of an employee who you know is good at oral communication and remained a top presenter in the university. You can ask him to host an upcoming event where he can showcase his skills openly.
Teach and practice achievement celebration
Many organisations encourage and teach their manager to celebrate their team’s achievement. Why would they do that? Because this helps foster a culture where achievements are valued and contributors are given credit.
Once you appreciate what they have done for the organisation, there is a great tendency that they repeat this positive behaviour or excel even more. Again this comes in a flow. Once managers are appreciated for their success by the top management, they will do the same with their subordinates.
Some organisations value celebrating success to the extent that they even celebrate the personal happiness of their employees too. For example, an employee who has got married, or has a baby, or has got a new car. Once they feel like their happiness is valued, they are ready to go the extra mile for their company.
As said by Biz Stone, “Positive workplace culture comes from being mindful, and respecting your coworkers, and being empathetic.”
Rotate jobs and build employee capacity
Employees want to come out of monotony at the workplace and they want to experience something new after some time. As a team leader, make it your routine that you regularly switch jobs of your team members once you think that they are experts in one area.
Alongside, teach them that this is a growth opportunity for them. The more they know about the ins and outs of various job positions, the better they will be able to support the organisation in difficult times.
Another added benefit will be that you will get their perspective on various job positions and explore who are best suited for certain jobs.
Educate employees to speak on excessive workloads
Excessive workloads can lower employee productivity both in terms of quantity and quality. In some places, a few people who are workaholics are burdened much more than their coworkers. This happens because managers know that they will work at any cost.
Remember that practicing this for a long time can negatively affect their work quality and it also has some other disadvantages. You will promote a culture that is not based on justice and fair practice, thus leading to a negative work environment.
You can teach your managers that they should ask their team members every day about how they find their work. They should feel comfortable speaking about the time they need to do a particular task and communicate if they want some kind of assistance. Giving them this freedom has multiple benefits:
- Increased productivity and a high level of accuracy
- Promote a culture of friendliness and support
- Learning from each other
Offer a work from home option
One of the key aspects of a better work environment is flexibility in work schedule. The importance of this flexibility has become more important during the global pandemic. This is because you have to manage your teams in a manner that keeps them safe and healthy and they can work from home sometimes.
Work from home options can also be worked out in case the employee has some personal issues which demand his presence at home mostly, for example, childbirth or an injury.
A healthier work culture cannot afford rigidity in terms of presence. Rather teach and educate your employees on how they can contribute their best while sitting home if needed.
Provide them the necessary equipment and training on how to do that. For example, teachers are trained very well these days on how they can teach and conduct online tests while working from home.
From the top to bottom level, everyone can contribute to culture formation. Repeated good practices can build a work environment that encourages employees to perform better, feel safe, and valued. You cannot create a healthier work culture unless you are consistent in your pursuit of developing the talented, best, and happiest team.
We are sure that if team leaders start following the daily routines mentioned above, they can positively influence employee behaviours. For this, you need to lead by example and train your managers to bring the best out of their teams. Once you are done establishing the right culture, everything else will get settled.
About the Author
Bryan Osorio is a Psychologist, Blogger, Content Marketer, and Digital Marketer with 3 years of experience within the Tech and Digital Marketing Industry.