Whether you have a team of one or ten, it’s important to make sure you a fostering a positive work environment for your co-workers and employees. One of the most exciting signs of growth, as a small business owner, is when you can bring new team members on to help you build your business. But with this new stage of growth, comes a new responsibility – creating a happy and healthy work environment for your staff that centres around a positive culture. So how do you get started?
1 Define your culture
Every business is different, so a great work culture can’t necessarily be defined by what it looks like. A pool table and free drinks on a Friday are one thing, but creating a truly positive and encouraging work environment is another.
Take time to discover what you want your work culture to look like. What kind of environment do you want to foster? Great team collaboration? More laughter in the workplace? A flat leadership structure? Focus on creating an environment where work gets done and people love coming to work.
2 Encourage collaboration and ask for feedback
Your work culture won’t be a stagnant thing – it will change. Encourage collaboration within your team by asking your co-workers for their thoughts, advice and feedback on work matters. What do they think of your product or services? Can they see room for improvement?
Likewise, ask your staff what sort of culture they would like to see in the office. What would they like to see more or less of? You can be constantly making changes to create your ideal work environment, but remember to include your employees in the process.
3 Foster a spirit of generosity
One key for creating a positive work environment is fostering a culture of generosity. As an employer or boss, it’s important to be generous with your employees, with your time, effort and money. While big brands might splash out with video games and ping pong tables, your generosity might be more in the form of one-on-one mentorship or flexible working arrangements.
That generosity should also spill out towards your customers and clients. Be generous in your interactions. You could also consider adding some kind of care or volunteering aspect to your business, where you give back to the local community.
4 Minimise unnecessary stress
In order to cultivate a positive working environment, you need to keep a close eye on the stress levels in your workplace. Obviously there are few workplaces that can have minimal stress all year round, but you may find easy ways to minimise the burden or weight that your staff may be carrying.
Make time for regular breaks so your staff can relax. Offer any health or wellness benefits that you can to help foster a healthy work environment. And most importantly, watch your own stress levels to ensure you aren’t encouraging a frantic or high pressure workplace, but instead lead by example.