While every workplace is different, companies with happy employees tend to have a few basic things in common. Here are five characteristics of a positive workplace culture that we’ve observed while working with companies of all sizes.
1. Good, Clear Communication
Nothing is more frustrating for an employee than ambiguous job expectations, which is what makes effective communication one of the most important things for a positive workplace culture.
A positive workplace culture values clear and open communication among employees and between employees and management. This means everyone knows what’s expected of them and how to communicate their ideas and concerns effectively.
Managers shouldn’t make themselves inaccessible but should instead strive to give their employees frequent feedback on performance. Employees themselves should also be encouraged to communicate with each another and be provided with the proper tools to do so. All company communication should stick to three principles: being clear, courteous, and proactive.
2. Opportunities for Growth
The best employees want more than to just punch a time clock each day for a paycheck. They want a chance to better themselves and grow on the job. Companies with a positive work environment provide employees with clear expectations for advancement and the tools and training needed for success. This can be done by establishing on-the-job training programs and creating specific goals for employees to reach promotions and raises.
3. Culture of Collaboration
Humans are social beings who thrive on working together as a team. Companies that encourage collaboration help foster a camaraderie among employees that boosts both performance and morale. Creating a sense of unity makes employees feel like they are working for something bigger than themselves.
4. Reward Systems
Recognizing good work is an important morale booster and helps encourage employee engagement. Employers should have a formal reward system in place that provides other benefits to employees who help meet company objectives. Informal rewards—like notes, special events, or gifts—can also make employees feel valued without greatly affecting a company’s bottom line.
5. Strong Purpose and Core Values
Creating a sense of purpose among employees is a key ingredient for any sustainable business. Building a purpose-driven culture starts first with a set of core values that are then reflected in the company’s long-term goals. For businesses with successful, purpose-driven cultures, the company’s core values are much more than just bland mission statements printed on the back of the employee handbook. These values should be woven into every one of the company’s actions. Core values give employees a clear reason for their work and can also help uplift the company at large.
The Gen Z workforce are the first generation to prioritize purpose over money. They read company mission statements and values to determine where they fit best. This generation expects consistency and authenticity and will call you out if they think you are not aligned.