Is This the Key Ingredient of a Positive Workplace Culture?

Is This the Key Ingredient of a Positive Workplace Culture?

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  • A positive workplace culture can increase the morale across your team, boost productivity, improve performance and help you enhance staff retention.
  • Although a high employee turnover doesn't necessarily mean your business is a terrible place to work, it can indicate that there is room for improvement in your workplace culture.
  • Find out how to improve your workplace culture and create a team of people that add exceptional value to your business.

I recently read one of those articles that make you go, "Oh wow". It was a story about how a large organisation learned how to turn around low morale and retain staff. New recruits would come and go, and they were unable to keep up with the hiring process. The faster they came, the faster they went.

Although the HR team managed to turn it around, I was left wondering how in this day and age they managed to get to this point in the first place? Then I remembered the times I have worked for lousy organisations, lousy bosses and been in difficult situations.

I longed for things to be better. I longed for people to sit up and take notice, make positive changes and get on with the important part of the business: loving their people.

Chat with a company having challenges with their staff turnover and they will soon tell you that the cost is crippling and they often don’t see or understand why.

“The candidate interviewed well and the references were good, but after a period of time, they just seem to lose interest. If only we knew why?”

I once worked with a business operator who had evaporating staff and frustrated me to no end. I ended up saying to him, “The reason these people leave is basically because of Infant Grief Syndrome - if you ignore people they die.” He was a bit shocked, but he got the point and started to listen to me a little more intently after that.

It’s no longer just enough to provide a locker, a desk and a computer. “Oh look, you’re lucky - this computer has speakers.” Or to have key people drop by and introduce themselves. Employees want more, they NEED more. They want love. 

Now some people think that’s going too far, the whole 'love' bit, but if you look at the top companies that rate well in positive culture scores you will soon realise what I mean.

What makes a positive workplace culture?

Some of the key traits of organisations that have a positive workplace culture include:

  • They have solid onboarding processes 
  • They find ways to make people feel at home fast
  • They know Malow’s theory is real and is well worth following, even well before the new recruit starts with the company
  • They know that giving them a well trained and supported ‘buddy’ is useful, but giving them more than that will be well worth it.

In short, these employers are all about supporting the person no matter how high or low their role is. They know they will get positive outcomes and build the start of a winning culture.

How do you create a positive culture in the workplace?

So how do you do it? First and foremost, chat to your people - the ones who are going to be face to face with the newbie, the ones that have to train new staff, the ones who will manage the person on a regular basis. Figure out fast if they will be welcoming, positive, understanding, cheery, knowledgeable and available.

These people will be of great assistance to you in developing a best practice approach to finding and retaining new employees. Your initial chat should help you figure out a process that makes a new employee feel supported and smile from day one.

Here’s one approach that developed from an initial chat:

  • The buddy wanted to get in touch with the person BEFORE they started, an introductory letter or email with some information they needed to know.
  • The manager wanted to have a clear outline of the training the person would get and when that would happen.
  • The staff wanted to make sure the recruit had a decent CLEANED out desk and a welcome pack on the desk. Simple things that put a simile on their dial, but didn’t embarrass the person.
  • The buddy suggested a calendar of catch-ups that included a Friday afternoon early finish for her and the newbie to sit and chat free of work and work distractions.
  • The staff put together a list of people in the office they would be working with and a photo of each person.

Implementing these steps was easy for the HR person designated to do so. They had a plan and made sure things went well right from the start. In fact, they called it just that, “The Right Start Program”. They soon found people stayed longer, were happier and became productive faster than previous employees.

When you want a team of people to add exceptional value to your business, learn to love them early or it can cost you dearly.


Steve Gray

Director at Gray Capital Investments

You're in business, you want to win, not fail, you want success not struggles. You have an idea, you have spent a lot of money and time getting started but now what! Get a strategy in place, develop a plan, call me and get an outsiders view on what you are doing well and what needs to happen next. In the meantime check the articles on my websites. - www.freebusinesstips.com.au - www.stevegray.biz Get the E book - Simple Business by Steve Gray - You went into business, now make it really work for you.


Comments (1)
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Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Great article with loads of interesting insights. Thanks for sharing.