Maintaining a positive culture in your workplace is more important than perhaps any other aspect of your company. If people feel engaged and involved, they work harder, are more productive and stick with your company if business slows. In addition, keeping a positive, blameless culture can insulate you from preventable internal actions that can destroy a business. Efforts to create a workplace with high morale must start from the top, and your actions should reflect the culture that you are trying to implement.
Hire employees who have the very attitude you want to be synonymous with your company. Choose the people who want to achieve great things as part of your team, not the ones who are looking only for a paycheck.
Communicate honestly with your employees at all times. Leave nothing to chance when talking to your staff; make sure they get the intended message each time. Institute an open-door policy so your employees know they have access to you at all times.
Implement a code of conduct that tells your employees exactly what will and will not be tolerated. Indicate the negative behavior that you find to be unacceptable, such as blaming others for employees' own issues, so that employees know not to do those things. Follow through on this code of conduct by punishing those employees who act in a negative way.
Act as the embodiment of the culture you want to achieve. Let others feed off of your positivity and consideration of the contributions and feelings of your fellow employees. Allow your staff to see that your mission of a positive and blame-free work culture is more than mere words.
Create a recognition program to highlight the good work done by your employees. Give them the chance to feel good about what they've done and show how much it's appreciated. Use this program to express your gratitude for the good behavior of employees, as a good worker is one who does a good job and displays a positive attitude at all times. Reward one or two people a month with $10 gift certificates to a local coffee house or offer movie tickets as an incentive.
Address the off-hours lives of your workers by introducing measures to increase their overall quality of life. Invite your employees to get confidential treatment for potential productivity-derailing ailments such as depression and substance abuse through an employee assistance program. Listen to your employees and allow them to suggest ways that you can help them when they're not at work.
A workplace culture is always a work in progress. Tinker with your policies to keep things fresh and ensure that people are happy.
No matter how much you try to create and maintain a positive culture at work, there will still be a handful of people who are never happy. Try to convert these people but don't get too hung up on them. Focus most of your energy on those who want to be there and who are spreading positivity around the office.
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