Andrew Carnegie was one of the great entrepreneurs and business leaders of the industrial revolution. His management theories were so influential that he remains one of America’s wealthiest men over a century after his death. While many of his ideas centred around efficiency, he achieved much of his business success by bringing out the best in others. So without further ado, read on to find out how to create a positive culture in the workplace.
“There is little success where there is little laughter.”– Andrew Carnegie – Scottish-American Steel Industry Leader
10 Benefits of Building a Positive Company Culture
Andrew Carnegie was not alone in realising the benefits of creating a positive workplace culture. Those employers who make an effort to create a positive work environment see the results in their bottom line.
Here are our top ten reasons why business leaders should focus on creating a happy workplace:
- A recent study by Warwick University finds that happy team members are 12% more productive
- Happiness is contagious, and as it spreads it improves employee morale throughout the entire business
- Companies with a positive office atmosphere find it easier to promote their employer brand
- Employers with a positive work culture find it easier to attract and retain top talent
- Businesses that promote a strong company culture need to spend less on recruitment advertising for niche skills, such as IT talent
- Creating a positive company culture reduces stress and improves mental wellbeing among employees
- Positive mental health in employees minimises the cost of employee sickness
- Happiness in the workplace encourages employees to take pride and ownership in their work
- A positive organisational culture gives employees the confidence to take risks and suggest new ideas
- Open communication among positive employees enables a business to achieve its goals more quickly
How to Create a Positive Culture in Your Workplace
Knowing you need to create a happy and harmonious working environment is one thing; understanding where to start can be baffling. Large corporations spend considerable sums of money on employee wellness programmes, incentive schemes and employee engagement surveys. Smaller businesses often feel they can’t compete on the same level, so they don’t even try. This is a common pain point of small tech startups.
Neglecting to work on improving employee morale can mean missing out on all the above benefits. However, implementing change within your organisation doesn’t need to be a costly exercise. Often, employee needs can be satisfied without the need for a bottomless budget.
Below are our five most cost-effective suggestions for improving employee satisfaction levels.
Get to Know Existing Employees
Avoid making assumptions about what your employees want. Conducting regular reviews can help managers to understand their employees better. Knowing what’s important to their workers puts leaders in a better position to give them what they want.
Praise and encouragement cost nothing but can go a long way to making employees feel valued. Reassuring employees that they’re doing a great job can do wonders for their confidence. Doing so also creates a safe space for staff to open up about their career goals and ambitions.
Encouraging individuals to set SMART goals which align with company objectives can enable both parties to achieve their aims. This, in turn, encourages loyalty among existing staff and makes your company a more desirable place to work.
Implement Change From the Top Down
Get to know managers in the same way you want them to get to know their teams. Understand what development needs they have and challenges their facing and work collaboratively to overcome them.
Management training doesn’t necessarily have to involve costly external courses. A cost-effective alternative is to allocate time for managers to work on developing their skills. Cross-training or skill swapping with other departments can also encourage managers to learn from each other’s success.
Review Recruitment Practices
Bad managers create a toxic work environment, and once unrest sets in, implementing changes can be challenging. To avoid making bad hiring decisions, it’s worth reviewing your recruitment processes to ensure you’re attracting the right people.
If you’re not currently working with a recruitment consultant, it’s worth having a conversation with one. With expert knowledge of the local market, the advice consultants have to offer can be invaluable. Therefore, using a consultant can give you the edge in competing for top talent.
Employers often view recruitment consultants as a costly expense. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that good recruiters don’t just fill vacancies. The insights they can provide in their area of expertise can result in considerable cost savings for your business. What’s more, using an external recruitment consultant won’t cost you a penny until they make a successful placement.
However, the quality of service recruitment consultants provide can vary wildly. Working with rogue recruiters can damage your reputation in the long run. Therefore, it’s worth doing a little research to find out which is the best recruitment agency for your business.
Prioritise Work-Life Balance
When work time encroaches into an employees personal life, sooner or later, they will start to feel resentful. Therefore, keeping overtime to a minimum should be a priority.
If certain members of staff are working longer hours than others, managers should investigate the reasons why.
For example, do they feel like they have to work overtime because their salary is inadequate? Or maybe they need help with time management. It could be that they stay at their desk to avoid sitting in traffic. If so, might a flexible approach to working hours, or even remote working, give them a better work-life balance?
Working extra hours continually is not sustainable. Allowing staff to continue working long hours is not acceptable and could see them becoming a flight risk employee.
Learn to Trust Your People
People work best when they are given autonomy and freedom to get on with their job. When an employer trusts its employees, they feel more valued which improves engagement.
When employees feel like their boss trusts them, they feel a greater sense of job satisfaction which lowers staff turnover rates.
A Few Final Thoughts on Creating a Positive Culture in the Workplace
Employees spend a third of their lives at work. An employer who makes every effort to make that time as enjoyable as it can be will undoubtedly reap the rewards. You may even leave behind a legacy that Andrew Carnegie himself would have been proud of!
We hope this article has given you a few ideas that will make your workplace a more harmonious one. If you’re looking for the next positive addition to your team, why not send us a vacancy?