Great ideas and products sometimes get lost when an organizational culture is mired in toxicity. Regardless of distractions, associates need to remain focused
on the reasons they all work there. Their dedication and enthusiasm for shared goals maintains and raises morale and leaves detractors behind.
Banish the negativity and take the high road. Try encouraging a positive work culture where employees are driven, comfortable and accepted in their environment. This enables creativity and productivity to rise to the top because of your company’s human capital framework, not in spite of it.
Here are ideas to help mold to the way you’d like your company to roll:
Share organizational goals: Employees should know and understand the organization’s vision, mission and goals and the part they play in contributing to them.
Establish departmental goals: How does your department fit in the production timeline? Make your team’s goals known so team members can effectively collaborate, keep each other informed, and assign roles effectively to help ensure success.
Naturally embrace diversity and inclusion: Approaching diversity and inclusion from a “Did you know?” enrichment perspective may permit messaging to be accepted more readily than presenting information as though it is just another mandatory human resources law poster from the government. Look at annual observances on the yearly calendar and provide background and defining moments for inspiration. For example, share 10 quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. on the holiday. What is the significance of Yom Kippur and how is it celebrated? Sharing insights will spark appreciation and discussion.
Show respect: As Aretha Franklin requested on her hit song, this should exist throughout all levels. Front-line employees often hear more customer sentiments than those hiding away in the corner office. Listen and receive their ideas seriously.
Encourage humor: Give employees a place of their own to unwind and share creativity and humor. A large, dry-erase whiteboard with colorful markers will encourage doodling, artistic creations and fodder for thought. You can guide the content by posing a question, or let free-form contributions rule. Regularly erase the board and start anew. Let it be a forum for harmless tagging without any permanence.
Adhere to your policies: For example, if random drug testing is part of your process, ensure names are truly randomly selected so a department head is as likely to walk into the testing site as an order fulfiller. If a problem arises, make sure resources are available to guide the associate to wellness.
Establish recognition programs: Let the “gotcha” moment not be of a tattletale nature, but of one associate “catching” another doing something good. Rewards can include a certificate, special badge, voucher for meals or a modest gift card to reward excellence and encourage participation. Providing a special parking spot for a month or an extra day off can go a long way to refreshing morale, one employee at a time.
Accept feedback: Provide forums to share ideas for improvement, whether a suggestion box or regular roundtables where employees at certain levels gather with a facilitator, without their bosses looming over their shoulders. Meetings like this encourage camaraderie and offer solutions to send up and down the organization. Review suggestions seriously and implement what makes sense for your organization.
Foster flexibility: Today’s workplace is very different, especially when there is more emphasis placed on striking a work/life balance in some circles and many employees became accustomed to working from home when the worldwide pandemic began and now prefer doing so permanently. People are hired to perform a job, but organizational rigidity can hamper work/life balance and employee retention. If resolving a child-care concern means an employee would just need later start and end times without affecting the work flow of others, why not try it instead of possibly losing a valued associate? Polls have shown the vast majority of employees would accept a lower-paying job with flexibility than a higher-paying one without.
Provide socialization opportunities: The commonality of performing a task for the greater good promotes a good public image for a company. It allows employees from varying departments to unite in a common purpose where equality is evident, such as a charity walk, sprucing up the grounds of a school or church, or serving meals to veterans.
Some of these ideas are simple to implement. Others take more time, effort and money. The key is to keep the focus on constant care for your employees and an open door for communication.