Importance of Culture and morale in a work place
The culture of a workplace is made up of its characteristics or the people in it, and the things that are commonly known, activities that are commonly conducted by most people and behaviours that are celebrated. The culture is what we do, what we say, the way we behave, the way we treat each other, our products, customers, communities and ourselves.
The way we work is constantly evolving and over the past decade, some workplaces have seen changes which have helped to foster a culture within the enterprise that empowers employees and others have alienated staff and destroyed culture.
It is widely recognized that a consistent culture will lead to dramatic benefits for employers, employees, and ultimately the bottom line. Leaders may set the tone; but they are only a small part of embedding behaviour – Culture is created by the majority. So, how can we as business owners facilitate the creation a strong organizational structure that helps employees become our best ambassadors and boost company morale?
Start with a simple purpose
What (or whom) does your business serve? How does it serve that purpose?
Whatever the answer is should be authentic and inspirational. Companies like IKEA and Apple have very clear mission statement that is echoed through the organisation. All Employees can understand the objective and are driven towards working to a common goal in a similar way.
Put things in perspective | Avoid the Roller-Coaster
Encourage your employees to look at the bigger picture. Say an employee or co-worker is upset that the client didn’t like the proposal, that the report they have been working on was not considered by management or that she didn’t get the corner office. Try to direct her thinking toward the whole business outcome and the consequences of their other inputs.
Putting things in the right perspective can create positive momentum when times are tough and avoid mistakes that comes from exuberance when there is lots of business success at the same time. Leaders who demonstrate an optimistic attitude in times of hardship can steer their employees toward a more productive mindset during difficult times and will also be relied upon as a voice of reason in good times.
Take time to creatively celebrate accomplishments
There’s always time to celebrate whether it’s an employee anniversary, birthday, business or personal milestone. Honoring just being part of the team as well as wins and milestones improves morale by encouraging the person recognized and showing team members, that important events are noticed and praised. Again you don’t have to be “the boss” to do this, creating a sense of belonging is something anyone in the team can do.
Be open and encouraging to hearing other’s opinions, ideas and solutions with enquiry to increase your understanding of the other person’s perspective and information. This encourages the team to speak up and feel heard and are valued. Great leaders and teams listen and engage with each other, clients and stakeholders in a manner which ultimately strengthens working relationships and creates a virtuous circle for all concerned.
Keeping communications open
Communication is another important factor in positive employee morale. It’s important to keep employees in the loop with frequent updates. This helps keep people connected and feeling part of the larger team. Provide regular feedback including constructive feedback and not just at performance review time. Employees want to know how they are doing along the way but in this day and age you have to consider the media most effective for this communication (not everything is on email). Consider being content specific:
Face to Face: Team briefings and individual training / issue resolution
Phone Calls: one on one follow up
Email: Minutes, follow ups and action points
WhatsApp: Newsflashes for parties not in office
Facebook: Staff and Social events and announcements
LinkedIn: Corporate Events and announcements
Work is more than just a job
Feeling part of achieving larger goals contributes significantly to positive employee morale. This means the larger goal needs to be clear and that each role needs to have a place in achieving the goal.
Try to make this external not internal, for example a deep focus on serving the needs of customers also promotes positive employee morale and every role can be measured by its impact on customer experience (from merchandising, provisions of market information, format of emails, answer the phone in 3 rings or less, response time or simply sending a report on time). Employees like to know that the job they are doing is making a difference to try to establish a foundation which every function in the business has a reference to.
As a leader, creating a positive and healthy culture for your team is vital to the success of the organization. By creating a positive workplace you will retain top performing employees and increase your business success.
At the end of the day, you need to value your employees and more importantly, let them know they're valued. Create and mold a place that people love to work and can thrive. You just might be blown away by the results and witness firsthand how successful a happy crew can be.