Developing A Positive Work Culture

It seems like every week you hear about some giant company running amuck, messing with customers, or mistreating their employees. small business cultureThe ramifications of those actions can run into the millions of dollars, not to mention all the potential clients and customers that are lost. Here’s a pro tip, don’t be like that. Creating an environment in your small business where you not only respect the customer, but your coworkers and employees as well, will save you money in the long run. A positive work culture makes your business a more attractive destination. Companies like Uber and Equifax have recently been on the receiving end of terrible PR due to the lack of healthy work culture they fostered in their companies. Whether you are counting your conscious, or counting every last cent, keeping up a positive work culture is only ever going to benefit your business. Let’s take a look and see how you can foster such an environment

Communication

If your employees and customers feel like they aren’t being heard, then chances are they aren’t too happy either. Having open and easily accessible ways for people to communicate issues they are having is absolutely essential to growing your business. Many owners and managers claim to have an ‘open door policy’ but never seem to make real time to discuss the problems their employees are facing. Problems never get solved, and end up become festering wounds in the workplace, causing divides and inefficiency.

Too often we rely on intermediate ways of communicating, such as email or text, instead of talking face to face. While emailing can be convenient at times, meeting with people in person adds an extra touch. It shows that you care a lot more about hearing someone else’s opinion than a quick e-mail or suggestion box. Talking in person removes any ambiguities that might occur over an email or text, and allows you and the person you are talking to, a chance to clearly express themselves. Be careful of body language, as you don’t want to seem like you are commandeering the conversation. Having an open posture, and a relaxed attitude will put the people you are talking to at ease, allowing for a more natural conversation.

Clear Rules and Guidelines

Having well established guidelines in your office as to what is and what isn’t acceptable behavior will also go a long way to creating a positive work environment. Employees who feel safe and secure at work are far more likely to work hard and feel like they are part of the team. You don’t need to be a dictator, but enforcing the rules of the office, or business environment consistently will garner respect amongst your employees, even if they are occasionally the ones bending the rules. You want to have your rules and guidelines written down somewhere as well, and in a space where all employees or customers can access. There should be no ambiguities in what your company policies are. Similarly, when accidents happen, such as someone getting injured on a construction site, you are prepared to handle the fallout.

Little Things

I used to work in restaurants. There was nothing better at the end of a long shift than a free beer or some food from the kitchen to keep you going. It was those little gestures of kindness that not only increased and maintained work moral but helped forge relationships. The same goes for any business. The cliché of bringing in donuts to the office has been done a million times and yet it never gets old. If you create a culture of generosity at your business, it will naturally extend down to your customers as well. It doesn’t have to be something every day. It doesn’t have to be something big. It could be as much as letting everyone go 10 minutes early on a Friday. The important thing is to see beyond the bottom line for a second, and connect on a personal level.

Wrap Up

You don’t want your businesses name plastered all over the New York Times because the culture you created was one of harassment and stress. Creating a positive work environment will benefit all parties involved, and lead to a healthier business. Taking the time to open up communication, check on your rules and guidelines, and give a little more for your employees is a great start. In the end you will not only gain the respect of your customers and employees, but probably also save yourself some money down the road.

About Nate Goodman

Nathan Goodman is a freelance fiction writer and the bestselling author of The Special Agent Jana Baker Spy-Thriller Series. "A terrorist on the loose, a country in panic, and time is running out..." For a free copy visit the author's website.