Improve Work Culture

Workplace culture refers to the positive, united attitudes and mindsets of an organization, which helps both employees and employers to be more productive and happy on a daily basis. If you’re worried that the work culture within your own organization is veering in a negative direction, try taking steps to create a more transparent work environment. By strengthening employee bonds and preventing burnout, you might be able to create a more positive work culture!


Creating a Transparent Work Environment

  1. Hire job candidates who have a lot to offer to your culture. If you’re looking to hire, try screening possible job candidates with questions that relate to a positive workplace culture. Ask each candidate what they’d contribute to the organization, and how they’d plan on creating a friendlier environment. If the applicant doesn’t seem interested in workplace performance, they might not be a good fit for your organization. Specifically, try asking these kinds of questions:[1]
    • Is workplace culture a high priority for you?
    • What are some ways that you’d improve the culture of this workplace?
  2. Establish an open-door policy in your office. Tell all employees that they’re welcome to visit your office at any time to chat, whether it’s regarding a complaint or something they’ve been struggling with. Remind everyone that your office is a confidential space and that nothing will be shared and repeated with other employees. If you prove yourself to be trustworthy, then you can set a good standard for the rest of the office.[2]
    • Trust is the cornerstone of any successful organization. If your employees don’t trust you as well as each other, then your company won’t have a very positive work culture.[3]
  3. Send out a survey to see how your employees feel. Create a digital survey to email out to your employees or a paper feedback form that you can pass out around the office. Include questions that address their mood and satisfaction as workers, and see if there’s anything that would make their work experience better. Save each and every response, so you can work on ways to actively improve the office.[4]
    • Try to include a variety of question styles in your survey. Multiple choice, yes/no, and free-response are all great ways to pose a question.
    • Websites like Google Forms are a great way to send out digital surveys. You can also use physical comment cards as a way to collect feedback.
  4. Respond to employee feedback to create positive changes to the office. Take each comment as a possible way to improve the workplace, even if it’s in a small way. Look for small suggestions that you can act on before making larger changes around the workspace. If the feedback requested on a survey or comment card isn’t doable, email the employee so they know that you’ve received and read their suggestion and that you appreciate their passion for improving the company.[5]
    • For instance, if an employee states that the office is too dark, try making an effort to turn the lights onto a brighter setting, or adding extra lamps to the area.
  5. Encourage feedback from your workers. Make an announcement or draft an email reminding your employees to provide constructive feedback to new ideas. Explain that you’re open to criticism and that your main priority is to keep the organization running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Whenever you speak to your employees, stress that you value their input and contributions.[6]
    • If employees feel listened to and respected, the organization’s work culture could improve overall.
  6. State your company’s mission to remind employees why they’re there. If your company or organization doesn’t already have a mission statement, draft out a sentence or 2 that outlines the purpose of your group. Use this statement on your website, as a quote in your email signature, and in decor around the office or workspace. On a daily basis, use this message to remind your employees what they do and why it’s important.[7]
    • A good mission statement could be something like this: “We work to create a clean, healthy environment for the rural corners of our community.”
  7. Hold all members of the organization to an equal standard. Don’t give any of your employees special treatment. Instead, remind workers in an announcement or email about the high quality of work that you expect from them, and how their daily efforts play a big role in how the company functions. If a worker doesn’t seem to be carrying their weight, speak to them separately and remind them about the importance of putting forth a strong, consistent effort.[8]
    • Use your mission statement as an example of what employees should be striving for in their daily workload.
  8. Highlight failure as an opportunity for improvement. Avoid creating a scene when someone makes a mistake. Whether it’s a small printing error or a larger grievance, use each and every failure within the company as a learning experience. Remind your employees that it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as each individual strives to improve overall.[9]
    • For instance, if an employee messes up the printing settings for a publication, send a reminder to other workers about the correct settings to use for future printing jobs.

Strengthening Workplace Bonds

  1. Schedule an employee meal time so everyone can socialize. Try arranging everyone’s lunch breaks at the same time. For 30 minutes to an hour of each day, invite your employees to sit in a common area and engage with one another. To help foster this environment, try sitting with everyone at lunchtime and offering up some conversational topics.[10]
    • Weekend plans and sports are great stepping stones to a casual conversation.
    • Employees will feel more inspired to work harder for people that they admire and respect.
  2. Arrange time outside of work for employees to get together socially. Schedule a fun get-together for your employees at the office, or at a nearby restaurant or bar. Remind everyone that this happy hour should be considered as a social and that the event is meant for everyone to have fun. You could also schedule a bowling night, a holiday party, or some other fun event where your employees can socialize without doing their regular work.[11]
    • Ask around to see what kinds of activities your employees might enjoy. Try your best to cater to everyone's preferences by having different activities throughout the month or year.
  3. Organize an annual trip to give your employees bonding time. Arrange a trip for everyone to attend a conference or some other sort of training activity. Try choosing a place that everyone will enjoy, instead of a boring location. To sweeten the excursion, offer your employees paid time off while they’re on the retreat. [12]
    • For instance, you could schedule a training retreat at a conference center in a resort town, or another type or hotel or spa.
  4. Pair new employees with veteran workers to foster friendly office relationships. Help foster supportive workplace relationships by partnering experienced workers with new hires. Have the experienced employees show the newer workers around, and provide a helping hand whenever necessary. Aside from creating a positive, team building environment, you’ll also help improve the social ties, work culture, and overall working environment within your organization[13]
  5. Remove toxic individuals from the workplace. Your team won't feel comfortable if they don't feel like they can be open and safe while they're at work.[14] Keep an eye out for belligerent employees who seem to lower the morale of the workplace. If you notice a negative pattern of behavior, set this employee aside to warn them about how their actions are affecting other employees. If this individual still refuses to change, consider firing them altogether.[15]
    • Employees will be much more productive and happy in a workplace that has no toxicity.

Preventing Burnout

  1. Check in with employees to see how they’re feeling. Reach out your workers in person or via email to see how they’re adjusting to new assignments and projects. Ask each employee if they’re feeling happy and content in their position and if there are any major stressors in their life or work schedule. If a worker seems especially stressed, remind them to take some time to themselves.[16]
    • For instance, if an employee looks really stressed out at the end of the workday, say something like this: “Hey! You look like you’ve got a lot on your mind. If you’re feeling stressed, please feel free to talk to me at any time. I’d like for your work experience to be as pleasant as possible.”
  2. Encourage your employees to relax after a stressful project. Give workers a break after they’ve accomplished something really big. Instead of throwing them into another huge project, give them a week or 2 to relax and work on smaller, less intense tasks. If an individual seems especially stressed, remind them that it’s okay to take a personal day if they need it.[17]
    • Burnout will only feed into a negative work culture. If you can get rid of burnout in the workplace, you might be able to improve the culture of your organization.
  3. Remind employees to avoid multitasking in their daily schedule. Instruct everyone to focus on 1 project at a time, so they don’t feel overwhelmed or overloaded. Instead, tell them to complete 1 task at a time. If it looks like 1 employee is juggling a lot, try adjusting their workload.[18]
    • For example, if 1 employee is having trouble finishing a data collection project, assign another employee to help.
  4. Offer your workers multiple projects, so they can switch gears. Tell your employees that they don’t have to complete a project or assignment in 1 fell swoop. If they’re ever feeling overwhelmed with a project, remind workers that they can set the assignment aside and work on something else. Once they’ve had time to cool off and switch gears, they can tackle the original project with a fresher, less stressed mindset.[19]
  5. Design an incentive system that rewards employees for good work. Create a system that encourages workers to complete their assignments more efficiently, using a gift card or cash bonus as the ultimate reward. If you’d like to focus more on employee health and wellness, try making a wellness initiative program. By implementing these types of programs, you can help create a safe, friendly environment that inspires employees to be the best version of themselves!
    • While perks are not the same as a positive work culture, they can definitely raise the morale of your employees.[20]


  3. [v161431_b01]. 30 April 2020.
  14. [v161431_b01]. 30 April 2020.