How a Positive Work Culture can Help to Improve Employee Productivity

Business leaders, managers, and team leads are always on the lookout for ways to improve productivity. After all, how do you really monitor if your employees are working hard and not wasting their work hours? Track their tasks? Time their activities? If you already have measures in place to monitor their productivity, and still fall short, maybe it’s time to revisit your work culture to see if it’s keeping your employees from being their best selves at work.

A toxic, stressful work environment is undeniably a major reason for low productivity and high employee turnover. Several studies, like Glassdoor’s 2015 research report, have found that companies with a positive culture perform significantly better against their counterparts with low employee satisfaction. This is why, over the years, more and more companies have offered various perks and incentives to employees. However, as Glassdoor’s report found, employees value wellbeing much more than material benefits. Therefore, the key to a more productive workplace for businesses is creating a healthy work environment for their employees and promoting a more positive work culture.

What does a positive work culture look like?

How can you say that a company’s work culture is positive? Harvard Business Review listed six essential characteristics.

  • Employees treat colleagues as friends. This means being interested in them, caring about them, as well as taking responsibility for them.
  • Employees forgive mistakes and avoid blaming others.
  • Employees inspire one another.
  • Employees offer support, kindness, and compassion to each other, especially to those who are struggling.
  • Employees treat others with integrity, honesty, trust, and gratitude.
  • Employees highlight how meaningful their work is.
How do all these translate to productivity?

Happy employees are more productive

Imagine a workplace where everyone is just dreading all eight hours of work and spending most of their time just waiting to clock out. You cannot expect employees in this type of environment to go above and beyond their roles and responsibilities, and to happily take initiatives. In a positive work environment, employees are more likely to take steps to exceed expectations, manage their time more efficiently, make better decisions, and take on more responsibility. Moreover, a happy workplace can also keep your employees for a longer period of time. Low employee turnover means savings on recruitment, onboarding, and training expenses. This also means that projects, campaigns, and workflows go more smoothly because there is less need for transfer of knowledge.

Healthy collaboration breeds productivity

When the work culture is positive and happy, employees feel comfortable communicating and getting acquainted with each other. When employees feel free to share their ideas and opinions, it becomes easy for them to work together on tasks and ongoing projects. The success of any project, and organization for that matter, highly depends on the ability of the individuals involved to collaborate and move in the same direction. Therefore, it is important for organizations to allot resources to initiatives that create better employee experience, as this will return a hundredfold.

A less hierarchical culture opens opportunities

When the structure and stability of a hierarchy in the workplace is too prominent, it can keep your employees from voicing their ideas and expressing themselves. In a positive work culture, barriers between the C-suite and employees become less evident, making way for more collaborative work and opportunities for engagement. When individuals are valued and communication channels are open for all, employees feel encouraged to share their ideas that may add value to the organization.

How do you foster a positive culture at work?
  • Set clear goals. Employees are more motivated to work when they feel a sense of purpose. This is why it is important to set clear departmental and organizational goals, so that employees have tangible expectations and goals to work toward. When employees feel that they are part of the bigger picture and that what they do matters, they become more engaged and productive.
  • Honor and respect diversity. Create a positive and welcoming work environment for individuals from all backgrounds. Celebrate diversity and encourage employees to use inclusive language and initiate conversations that foster inclusivity. Ask everyone to share their pronouns with the rest of the team and maintain a safe space for questions and discussions.
  • Make space for humor. Best-selling author Dale Carnegie once said, “People rarely succeed unless they are having fun in what they are doing.” Every workday has its ups and downs, and if you want to foster a positive work environment, allow for some humor and lighthearted banter when things get difficult.
  • Recognize and reward good work. A good employee recognition program will make employees feel valued and motivate them to do their best at all times. This can also promote healthy competition that will drive results and performance.

A positive work culture allows for happier employees; and when employees are happy, they tend to be more productive, collaborative, and creative. Fostering a positive work environment is basically treating your employees the way you want to be treated — with respect, appreciation, and a little levity.


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