The workplace culture within your company can have an enormous impact on the success and safety performance of your business. Influencing a workplace culture positively requires members of management to be effective leaders. In return, their support of positive workplace culture will improve productivity and quality as well as encourage safe attitudes and behaviors. A company with a positive culture will also attract top-tier talent and will have higher employee retention rates.
Here are five ways that management can support a positive culture and keep employees happy, safe and productive:
1. Make employees feel informed and communicate with them about the “big picture”
Keeping employees informed is critical for business success. It’s important to communicate the company’s goals for both the near and distant future. Employees should have a good understanding of where the company is headed in the coming months, and where management would like to see the company in the years ahead. This will make employees feel valued and demonstrate to them that their hard work is contributing to the success of the company. Management should provide clear and frequent communication on company happenings, individual and department direction, and big-picture company direction.
2. Provide employees tools to grow and be challenged
Make it possible for employees to continue to learn and improve through training and development opportunities. When employees can see they are progressing toward career goals, they will come to work more motivated and confident. Management should ask employees if they'd like to learn something new or improve their skills in a designated area. This will help motivate them to work harder and do their job well. Employees should be made aware of the different types of career paths or job opportunities within the company.
3. Promote optimism
Create a motivating, hopeful and optimistic atmosphere in the workplace. Management’s mood often sets the tone for the organization and can move it in a positive direction. Optimism enhances productivity and adaptability. It causes people to feel a mutual level of comfort and an openness to sharing ideas, learning from each other, and making collaborative decisions. They get things done and are happy. A positive workplace culture is supported when management shares an optimistic outlook on the future.
4. Engage with the workforce and get to know employees on a personal level
It is important for management to get to know employees and understand them as individuals. Knowing what motivates your employees and their passions will help foster a culture where workers feel they are understood and appreciated. A business can then utilize this knowledge to find areas within the company where workers will excel and contribute to growth. A component of a positive workplace culture includes employees feeling that they are recognized as individuals and are not just treated as “another number” within the company.
5. Plan team-building activities unrelated to work
When employees get to know one another outside of their work environment, it helps promote collaboration and innovation within the workplace. Team building events not only allow employees to learn new things about co-workers, their families and their interests, but it also builds trust. It encourages them to see each other as a “work family” and to look out for the safety and well-being of their co-workers. Management should plan social gatherings, outings or games for their staff to help build relationships.
Having a desirable workplace culture will further the success of your company. Studies have shown that businesses with a positive culture tend to have employees who are generally more productive, engaged and loyal to the company. Above all, arguably the greatest benefit is that a positive workplace culture promotes an increased sense of health and well-being and will reduce stress in employees.
This article was originally published in the Longshore Insider.
About the author
Brad Whitney, CSP has been a Loss Control Manager with The American Equity Underwriters, Inc. since 2012. He holds the designation of Certified Safety Professional from the BCSP. He is also an active member of the Las Vegas chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers. Brad received his bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Oregon State University.