Work culture is a set of attitudes, behaviours, and beliefs in an organisation’s work environment. A positive work culture upholds compassion, responsibility, gratitude, and integrity. A positive work culture boosts employees’ morale, improving productivity and consequently leading to a high talent retention rate. Work culture is a feel, it’s how the place feels to all that cross its path.
People value this so much, studies show that many employees are quitting toxic work environments built by and due to negative work cultures.
I know what I’d prefer to create.
Here are some ways you can build a positive work culture for your business.
- Walk the Talk
In leadership, it’s obvious that a leader must always lead by example. If you want to promote a positive work culture, you must set the pace and show your team how things should be done. For example:
- Display attitudes and traits that build a positive work culture, like responsibility and accountability.
- Appreciate your team.
- Communicate with your team consistently and develop mutual understanding.
- Put your team first and focus on their happiness. Building them will build the business.
- Open and Regular Communication
Communication is the backbone of successful businesses. Open and regular communication will empower your team to voice their honest opinions without fear of retribution. For example:
- Conduct morning briefings where gratitude and fun are highlighted. Gratitude promotes positive feelings and boosts personal and team morale. Organise fun morning huddles with games like trivia and karaoke to boost your team’s morale and promote positivity. This will help in the team-building process that promotes harmony and collaboration.
- Hold regular performance/feedback chats. Make sure to meet individual team members, chat about their performance, and listen to their feedback. These one-on-one chat sessions will help you to develop a smooth communication system and encourage openness.
- Solicit for feedback and be open to suggestions. For example, ask your team members what they stand for regarding a healthy work-life balance. In the event you get suggestions of remote working and grant that privilege, you will have successfully promoted a positive work culture of being understanding and compassionate.
- Encourage transparency as opposed to anonymous feedback. This will encourage problem-solving better as a team.
- Active Accountability
Sometimes mistakes will happen in a business setting, which is inevitable, and an individual or an entire team may have to bear the consequences. Active accountability dictates that any action that violates the organisation’s policy may be penalised, and the perpetrator must take full responsibility. Apart from taking responsibility, an individual must make up for their mess, for example, by apologising, seeking and/or implementing an effective solution.
Active accountability promotes a positive work culture in that team members in a business are compelled to do the right thing and take responsibility if they are wrong. This reduces blame game, builds trust, and enhances collaboration to prevent likely mistakes.
This system pairs a new or inexperienced employee with an experienced employee who monitors and passes knowledge to their inexperienced counterpart. This initiative promotes a positive work culture by encouraging collaboration and helps establish healthy workplace relationships. New recruits fit in quickly and gain confidence to start working. Additionally, because the “buddies” share knowledge, this system supports career growth and development.
This is the continuous upskilling of staff over multiple training sessions throughout their career instead of just once. You promote a positive work culture by using strategies such as ongoing training because it shows employees you value their growth and development. In fact, more job seekers are looking for organisations that consider their development. Therefore, training means job satisfaction, a boost in morale, and low turnover rates.
- Employee Recognition
Acknowledge and reward employees for good performance. For example:
- Make your employees feel special by organising awards and giving out gifts and accolades.
- Promote exceptional employees.
- You can also conduct private meetings to tell them how you feel about their performance and congratulate them.
- Recognise your employees’ efforts publicly in front of their colleagues. Take note of how you do this. Some behavioural types prefer a quiet acknowledgement, some more of a fan fair.
Employee recognition is one of the top ways to boost organisational morale. This also promotes a positive work culture that rewards and values diligent workers.
Positive work culture is clear about its goals, vision, hierarchy, and the company’s operations. You must be willing to share useful information with your employees to earn their trust and loyalty.
Goals, Vision, and Values
Being transparent in your business’s goals, vision, and values gives your team clarity of focus and an understanding of their expectations. Therefore, you can be sure of accountability from your employees.
Hierarchy and Company Movements
Be transparent about positions and roles in the business. Toxicity easily brews when employees realise they have been lied to about job positions, promotions, and wages. Also, make your business’s activities clear to your employees. Adding new workers? Inform your current team. This will stop any suspicion of concerns like retrenchments or replacement.
Successful businesses are built on the foundation of positive work culture. Once your employees are comfortable in their work environment created by positive work culture, you will likely get the most out of them. Consistency is key when using the above strategies because it takes time to perfect positivity in the workplace. Always communicate because this paves the way for the rest of the strategies. Also, lead by example, as you are the one to inspire your team.
Want to chat about how you can personally improve your workplace culture? Flick me an email and let’s do it, I’d love to support you with some quick wins and ideas.
A lot of times, leaders are encouraged to be rational rather than heart-centred during decision-making. A rational leader focuses on logic, facts, and rules, not feelings. On the other hand, a heart-centred leader focuses on intuition and beliefs and makes decisions based on what feels right at that moment.
Even though the contemporary business environment is highly competitive, and it focuses on statistics, facts and figures, working with human beings with emotions makes it difficult to be a purely rational leader. For example, if a leader only focuses on productivity and work rules, how will they deal with an employee’s well-being?
A heart-centred leader is guided by values, which I refer to as your ‘emotional compass’. Values guide our decisions and actions and compel us to stand for our beliefs and lean into what matters. Values also provide a sense of clarity of what a leader’s deepest desires are. Values like integrity, honesty, and empathy are highly required in an organisation and should be used to guide a leader’s decision-making process.
Here’s how to be a heart-centred leader.
A team member has lost a loved one, but no one will cover their shift if they leave. What do you do? Leading by heart largely calls for reflecting on your emotions. Sometimes it is about understanding that there’s more to life than profits and rules. You may need to bend the rules because of what you feel and instead offer support and compassion. Therefore, leading by the heart is always about listening to your heart.
Put Your Employees First
Employees are human beings, not machines. And guess what? Even machines break down when they’re not properly cared for. Forget about the statistics, graphs, and strict policies you modelled from a rival company; are your employees comfortable? Get real and find out what they feel. Do not hurt your team in your quest for maximum productivity. For example, making your team work long hours without considering their mental and physical health is an ingredient, ironically, for low productivity.
To be heart-centred, you must have the emotional intelligence to recognise and interpret your team’s emotions and learn when they are comfortable, when to cheer them up, when to push them and when to stop.
Lead By Example
Practice self-awareness. A heart-centred leader models the behaviours and values they want to see in their employees. Do you want your team to be centred on respect and honesty? Well, take charge and be respectful and honest first. Lead by example by practising your values in and out of the organisation. Be consistent. Do not be heart-centred on a section of your team and neglect the other.
Leading by heart means you have to unlearn ineffective, old-fashioned attitudes, business rules, and norms. Reprogram your mind to adopt new paradigms and perspectives favouring employee well-being and aspirations. For example, you may need to drop harsh policies that focus fundamentally on output and opt for more supportive and growth-oriented models.
Communicate and Collaborate
A heart-centred leader focuses on creating synergy. What if we all did this together to reach a common goal? Inform your team about your core principles and values so that they know what is expected of them. Also, listen carefully to your team’s concerns and better understand how to manage them.
Create Institutional Mechanisms For Expression
You must encourage your employees to open up if you want to be a heart-centred leader. To be fair, many people struggle with mental health issues, add to that a fast-paced life and this often means they lack ways to open up and seek help. Therefore, create institutions where your team members can open up in case they have issues, for example, the following:
- One-on-one meetings- encourage talks where your team members can open up. Again, carefully use emotional integrity to understand people’s emotions.
- Anonymous feedback systems- for example, utilise suggestion boxes to get your team’s thoughts.
- Resource groups- help your team members create resource groups to help each other out. Help whenever necessary.
- Guidance and counselling services.
Practice Positive Values
Generally, being heart-centred means practising positive values and avoiding values that may undermine your team’s well-being. The top values a heart-centred leader can have are compassion, empathy, integrity, inclusivity, honesty, transparency, humility, respect, and authenticity.
Finally, I’d like you to consider; Using logic fundamentally to lead a team may be a thing of the past.
New studies show that a good balance between rationality and emotional intelligence produces optimum results. Treat your team as human beings with emotions rather than simply resources to be managed. However, you should be careful because too much emotional leadership can lead to impulsive and erratic decision-making.
If you’d like to dig deeper to access your personal values, become Emotionally Fit, or talk further about heart-centred leadership, simply get in touch, I’d love to have a chat.
Time management is easy, said no leader ever. Juggling between the lengthy team and zoom meetings, networking, administrative duties, and personal life can be hell, especially for a newly placed leader. However, here are some key strategies to achieving and even beating your deadlines and enjoying your leadership role.
Planning and Prioritisation
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln.
Do not jump straight and blindly into executing tasks. Do you have a jam-packed week ahead? Take your time to plan and prioritise. To prepare for the week:
- List down all of your tasks, including personal ones. A to-do list will help you memorise everything, including that anniversary you don’t want to miss. This will also help you set each task’s deadlines and motivate you to undertake them.
- Prioritise your tasks. Carefully go through your tasks and differentiate them focusing on identifying importance and urgency. Further, group them into important and urgent, important but not urgent, not important but urgent, and not important and not urgent.
The most important and urgent tasks should be prioritised before the rest. You can use tools like the priority matrix or Eisenhower matrix to help you categorise the tasks and help you prioritise… or you can simply number them from 1 to 4.
In the contemporary fast-paced business environment, you must maximise your limited time by prioritising only the necessary and most efficient tasks. Failure to plan and prioritise will likely cause a lack of focus, neglecting duties, time pressure, panic, and low productivity. All these are recipes to unnecessary workload and lack of enough time for a leader to spend time with their team and still enjoy some personal time off.
To work in synergy with your team, share your planning and prioritisation strategies. This will help your team have clear goals, better decision-making, and time management.
The Pareto Principle
This polymath and economist Vilfredo Pareto principle suggests that 80 percent of results are achieved from 20 percent of effort. In essence, not every effort yields significant results, and as a leader, you should focus more on the 20 percent of effort that will give you 80 percent of results. The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, can be explained further in the following examples:
- If 20 percent of your team does social media marketing that yields 80 percent of results, prioritise the 20 percent. To avoid inefficiency, don’t set aside equal time and resources for the other 80 percent of the team.
- If 20 percent of your activities as a manager don’t yield 80 percent of the desirable results, they are likely to be unproductive. Therefore, cut down on the low-value activities and prioritise the high-value ones that achieve 80 percent results.
How can You Use the Pareto Principle?
- You can identify and delegate time-wasters and distractors to other team members as a leader. For example, urgent but unimportant tasks are time-wasters and should be delegated elsewhere.
- The principle resembles the famous “work smart, not hard” mantra. It negates the idea of undertaking a lot of duties to be productive and beat deadlines. Instead, the most significant tasks are prioritised, no matter how easy to do. This reduces burnout and being time-starved.
- The rule will help you identify the 20 percent of high-performing team members and high-value activities contributing to 80 percent of the desirable results. You can then focus on training them more to achieve even better results. This saves time as you avoid incidents of having to bail out your team occasionally.
- The principle exposes low performers and bottlenecks to the desired results. This allows for either replacement or change in the delegation of duties to the most suitable team members, or you can focus newly found time on training your team in areas you wish for them to grow. You can then minimise team supervision when things work smoothly in the long run.
The average newly placed leader is ever-swamped and sometimes lacks time for their team and personal life. However, planning and prioritisation can be streamlined, organised and effective using the Pareto principle. By following this principle, you can evaluate the business activities and focus more on high-value or productive activities. You are, therefore, able to save more time by delegating the right duties to the right members of your team.
Leadership training for building trusted relationships.
If you’re thinking ‘cooking class’, think again. This is not even close.
In our training, led by a master of human behaviour and guided by a 5-star chef, you are placed in the intensity of a commercial kitchen environment, where you work together to create and dine on a 3-course absolute masterpiece (no cooking experience required)… OK, the small similarities end there 😉
In this kitchen, you’re not just there to create.
Here, whilst experiencing the pressure and time constraints compared to a work environment, the kitchen becomes a self-evaluation tool for you to reflect – and act – on your communication strategy and view of others… in order to complete this gastronomic challenge.
- Personalised outline of your preferred behavioural style
- 3 course gastronomic feast
Under pressure, you’ll be encouraged to;
- Think outside the box
- Support each other
- Unite in your common goal
- Prioritise as you go
- Resolve conflict
Immediately implementable, our techniques will dramatically improve;
- Areas of Conflict
AND our formula shows you how to eliminate;
- Lack of trust
- Low confidence
- Role uncertainty
Way more than just theory, this is a fun and interactive, premium training.
Your leadership skills will develop as you gain a deep insight into why you do what you do; appreciating and understanding your very own uniqueness whilst developing the very best in effective communication techniques and building stronger relationships, across all areas of your life…
Our training is usually only offered as a team package, so this opportunity truly is a rare one.
Ticket price is also heavily discounted – at over 50% off reguar rate – for Leaders who wish to ‘try before you buy’ or get ahead of the pack!
So if this is something you’re thinking about, NOW is the time to act… we guarantee that you will not be disappointed!
Ticketing is strictly limited to 12 participants.
Sales will strictly end 48 hours before event in order for attendees to complete behavioural profile – results will be used in the training to enhance the learnings
According to Eleanor Roosevelt, American political figure, diplomat, and activist, “A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader; a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.” But I bet any employee wouldn’t feel good if their leader doesn’t show confidence in making decisions.
The leader’s behaviour affects how the team thinks and decides. If a boss is lazy and doesn’t make decisions confidently, expect chaos in the team. But if the boss knows what he or she is doing, work would be like a walk in the park for the employees (but not all the time!).
A timid and self-doubting leader will result in uncertain situations and confuse members. However, a confident leader will develop a group of independent, creative minds with a clear intention of what they want to achieve as a team.
After all, apart from this, how can confident leaders positively affect the organisation?
Confidence improves your decision-making process
Making decisions should be a collaborative effort and open to any suggestions. But let’s be honest, the boss (yes, that’s you) always has the final say.
A leader will face numerous decision-making situations, and most of these would have a huge impact on the team. Confidence is the person’s ability to create a decision without being stressed and anxious while understanding the possible results or consequences and holding accountability for this decision.
Confidence should not be based on emotions but on factual judgments. Have you done enough research? Were you able to analyse the situation carefully? Are you going to accept the result regardless of the outcome? Do I hear a ‘yes’? Good! These are the primary questions you should ask yourself before creating a critical decision.
Confidence drives effective communication
Effective communication is basically the key to the success of a flourishing team. As a leader, you will need to have the spirit to facilitate meaningful conversations. An aura of confidence is essential to this, as well as when it comes to striking communications with individual team members.
If you are confident in sharing your thoughts with your colleagues and subordinates, it should not be difficult for them to trust you and be more open about their thoughts and opinions. Your confidence and your team’s level of openness is necessary when coming together to brainstorm solutions to pressing problems — they get to speak their mind and help you come up with various solutions without fear of consequence.
Confidence builds trust
If you show confidence in handling your responsibilities as a leader, your team sees that you know what you are doing and trust your decisions as a result. As we all know, trust is essential to all sorts of workplace collaborations, and when you have achieved a healthy level of trust between you and your team, it will not be hard for you to lead them to accomplish objectives that will help your organisation reach set goals.
A leader trusted by the team will have his or her insights valued. The words of a trusted and confident leader carry plenty of weight, and their decisions are ultimately respected, whatever the results may look like.
Confidence improves workplace relationships
If you are confident with your actions and decisions, you practically eliminate any anxiety or stress growing amongst your team. As mentioned earlier, they will get to trust you, which should result in healthier working relationships between you and your team and individual team members.
As your confidence inspires healthy working relationships, expect to create a workplace conducive to productivity. Productive workers are happy employees, and happy employees are satisfied individuals who are more than willing to stay with the team provided they are appropriately compensated for their efforts.
Confidence paves the way towards achieving your goals
Confidence provides a clear path to your goal for the team. When you show your team that you are confident enough to reach the goal, each member will try to contribute as much as possible to follow suit.
Your team members will also be inspired by your confidence, allowing them to believe in themselves and increasing their independence. Plus, it encourages them to take the necessary initiative to accomplish tasks on their own, all while seamlessly collaborating with their colleagues to achieve the objectives that you have set.
Confidence shows your team that you’re the right person for the job
Confidence results from the experience and wisdom you have gained from work. As such, being confident shows that you have sufficient knowledge to make the right decisions, develop the best strategies, and create solutions that can provide a clear resolution to current problems.
In other words, this lets your people see that you know what you are doing, and will follow through with whatever you come up with. It should also tell them that, in case of failure, you have an arsenal of knowledge to go back to and recalibrate to achieve your goals on the next attempt.
Confidence, in a nutshell, is a solid foundation upon which you, as a leader, build your team’s trust. Timidity has no room in leadership, and everyone entrusted with the duty to take the lead needs to be more confident to produce the best results. Also, there’s no shame in seeking support from other experts, if that will help you boost your confidence as a leader.
When you hear the word ‘leader’, what person comes into your mind? Perhaps a brave statesman like Nelson Mandela. It could be an influential person from the past such as Winston Churchill or Abraham Lincoln. It might even be the new Prime Minister – or the old one, depending on your electoral preference!
How about leaders who you know personally – your kids’ sports coach, a teacher who inspired you, your mum, your boss?
How about yourself? Are you the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word leader? What kind of a leader are you? Do you even think of yourself as a leader?
We are all called to be leaders at some time in our lives. Even as a parent, you are a leader to your children. In your job, you are a leader of work culture.
Leadership means making choices – often difficult at first but easier and more and more beneficial over time. Here are five traits that all leaders demonstrate, traits that guarantee great results.
1 Showing, not telling
We’ve all heard the sayings ‘actions speak louder than words’, and ‘don’t do what I say, do what I do’. If you know someone whose words, instructions or commands don’t match up with their behaviour, you can’t believe a word they say, can you? … and it’s safe to assume, you don’t trust them.
When you’re in a leadership role, you have to check in with what you are doing.
Does it reflect what you say?
Do you talk about harmony in the workplace but have a hissy fit every time a deadline is missed?
Do you insist on punctuality but turn up five minutes late on occasion?
…People are watching you – scary but true!
People might listen to what you say, but they will remember what you do.
2 Listen before talking
As a leader, it’s tempting to tell your people how things are done. But logically, if you need to tell others how things are done, it means they’re not being done! So, why not find out why?
Leaders who listen learn more and develop better strategies and tactics for the next move onwards. Listening to others also engenders trust with others. And when you think about it, we have two ears but only one tongue – maybe there’s a reason for that!
You may be a ‘go with the flow’ type of person. Being calm is great but letting things pass you by in the hope that it will all turn out right in the end is seriously unproductive!
Planning can be as micro-detailed as organising what flavour of sausages to order for the Christmas barbecue or as ‘big picture’ as who you want your business to merge with in ten years’ time.
What sort of planner are you?
Recognise your style and bring alongside you others who plan in different ways. Collaborate with them and introduce into your planning group those you intend to delegate to.
That way, you all buy into the same vision.
4 Forgiving and taking responsibility
Forgiveness is not often spoken about, but it is a vital trait for a leader to cultivate. Things are just a whole lot better if you can forgive others immediately. We’re all humans and therefore slip-ups will be made.
Forgiving doesn’t mean that due process shouldn’t be followed. If, say, OH&S requirements are not followed or production schedules not adhered to, there are serious consequences. However, taking responsibility for one’s actions or mistakes, especially if you are the leader, is not a sign of weakness but is liberating for all.
5 Showing you value others
Let’s be honest, work can be boring.
Your kids’ attitudes can wear you down.
There are days, aren’t there, where you just want to scream, ‘Stop, world, and let me off!’
A little appreciation will go a long way. Why not show the people you lead that you value them? It could be something as simple as a certificate with ‘Best Worker of the Week’ printed on it. Many businesses celebrate people’s birthdays with a cake at morning tea. The Christmas party could be a time where appreciation is shown in the form of a small gift.
If you cultivate these five traits, you can become an awesome leader!
For more useful tips and tricks to help move you and your team forward, towards a more successful future, join my free fortnightly news email.