As a business owner, how do you create a positive work environment? Do you load up the kitchen with snacks? Give your employees a raise? Or give them more vacation than the competitors? These are all good methods to increase team morale. But when it comes to creating a positive work environment, they are not the best long-term solutions.
Successful business leaders know that creating this company culture at its core is important. In fact, having a positive work environment is the most important factor when it comes to building a good company. Business strategy, systems, and management all come secondary.
Reasons To Create a Positive Work Environment
- When your employees are happy, they are more likely to perform at their best. Instead of cutting corners when the boss isn’t around, they take ownership of their work. This builds trust, which benefits all parties involved.
- Trust gives you peace of mind. You can do other things knowing your team will produce results.
- A poor work environment benefits no one. It means that your team members are conflicted with one another. As Abraham Lincoln said: “A house divided against itself, cannot stand.” If your team members are not on the same page, nothing will get done. And if nothing gets done, your business will fail.
How to Create A Positive Work Environment
1. Make company culture at your core
Company culture boils down to how employees perform, react, and respond to things when you are not there. Do they have the skills to handle things by themselves? Or do they panic and call you up when something goes wrong? These are indicators that show you what kind of culture you have.
If you want to grow a successful company, you need a good culture. When you have a large organization, you can’t always be there for your team. You have to let them do their job, and they have to let you do the same. You need to trust that they will do their best when you are not there. And trust is about knowing their values.
Values are the beliefs someone has. Someone with strong values will not take shortcuts even though they can. They will be honest in everything they do. Other terms for values are integrity, ethics, or morals.
Creating a positive work environment requires people with the right values. Oftentimes, the people you hire will not have the same values you are looking for. As a result, you need to let them know what values are important to you.
A good culture will help people develop the right values. When they see everyone else acting in a certain way, it will influence them to do the same.
2. Reinforce the values of the company daily
Successful CEO’s know the importance of a positive work environment. In fact, the most successful companies today make work culture a priority. These are the companies that are at and beyond the billion dollar mark.
When you have the right culture, things will take care of itself. Your people will automatically perform and produce results. They will come up with the right strategies.
Here’s an example: if you’ve ever attended a networking event, you may have participated in an icebreaker. This is where people get divided into teams to solve a complex problem.
Oftentimes, the team with the best culture produces the best results. They are able to come up with the answer before anyone else. Or produce a solution that trumps all the other teams. This is because they have good culture. Everyone is on the same page, working towards the same goal. They work together instead of figuring things out by themselves. That allows them to produce results much faster than if they were alone.
This example shows why company culture is number one. Even though these people do not know each other, they can produce results. They don’t need systems, management, or team leaders. They can figure things out by themselves.Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Click To Tweet
3. Educate and Be Transparent
Creating a positive work environment is not easy. It requires a lot of patience and time. This is because people cannot instantly adapt to new changes. They need time to get used to how things are done.
New people that join your team do not understand your culture or values. Oftentimes, they come from a different background with different values and beliefs. As a result, it will take time for them to shift their mindset.
How can you create a positive work environment? Educate the team and be transparent, show them the values of the company and how it affects them. Once the team understands the culture, you don’t have to check up on them anymore. In fact, it becomes a benefit. Now, these people can breed the next generation of new team members. You can put them in charge of drilling the company’s values into the new hires.
So what about people that refuse to conform? What if your employees are aware of your company values but don’t do what you want them to? The only advice we have is to remove them from the team. One bad apple will ruin the whole lot. If even one member of your organization goes Rambo, it affects the entire company.
Understand that there is a difference between someone struggling to conform and someone who refuses to. If it has only been a few weeks, chances are they are still learning. But if it has been going on for months, you are better off finding people who understand your values.
4. Apply The 3 Values To Create A Positive Work Environment
There are 3 values you need to create good culture: loyalty, harmony, and results.
Loyalty is important for creating a positive work environment. Let’s say you have an A-player in your company. If they are not loyal to you, they are not useful. They may use their skills to mess up your organization or to stab you in the back.
A loyal team member is a trustworthy one. These are people who are happy to grow alongside you instead of leaving you behind. These are people you want in your company. They understand that everyone prospers when they add value.
- Another value that’s important for creating a positive work environment is harmony.
- Let’s say you had a superstar in your company but this person cannot work with others. They are a lone wolf who no one can get along with.
- This is an example of someone who is arrogant. They believe their way of doing things is the right way. They are straying from the pack. To them, results are all that matters. They don’t have to buy into culture.
- You will need people who can harmonize with others if you want to create a good team environment.
- A team that cannot get along cannot produce great results. Imagine your team members as an army. An army must work together to win. If they cannot work together, they will fight with one another and end up straying from the group.
- Now, you have different groups trying to conquer different things. This is inefficient because most likely they do not have enough strength on their own. But if they focused their efforts as one to conquer a similar goal, their chance of success increases.
- Creating a positive work environment allows team members to work in harmony. The efforts of many people get multiplied many times when focused.
5. Enforce Your Standards For Creating A Positive Work Environment
How can you create a great company culture? What if you have conflict? You must be very strict about enforcing company harmony. This means not allowing conflicts or politics in the team. If anyone tries to create drama, they must be removed. Their negativity may create problems that affect other members. This results in a disruption of operations in the business.
Not enforcing company harmony is the same as watching your business burn. This will result in workers getting lazy. Or finding ways to exploit the business. When morale is low, so are the results produced. Internal problems will negatively affect your business.
To avoid this, find people who associate with your company values. People who are loyal, can get along with others, and produce results are the people you want to look for. They will create a great team environment where everyone is happy. And the happier they are, the more efficiently they’ll perform.
6. Everyone Needs To Be On The Same Page
During 480 BC, the Greek city-state known as Sparta went to war against Persia. The Greek army had 7,000 men at it’s disposal; the Persian army had over a million. To delay the Persian army’s advance, the Greeks blocked off a small road known as Thermopylae.
The plan was to have the Persian’s fight in this narrow passageway. From the results of their first day’s battle, the plan seemed to be successful. The Greeks were able to hold off the Persian army with little casualties.
On the second day of battle, disaster struck. The Greeks were betrayed, and the Persians learned of another road they could take. As a result, the Greeks found themselves fighting a battle on two fronts – from the front and from behind. Their focus divided, they could not hold the enemy off, and after three days, they lost the fight.
This example shows how important teamwork is. On the first day of battle, the Greeks had no trouble fighting off the Persians. This is because everyone had the same goal in mind: to hold off the front.
When their focus was divided, suddenly they found themselves struggling. Half their force was occupied with the front. And half of the force was occupied with the rear. They no longer had the same goal in mind. Instead of being united as one, they were now split up.
Some soldiers followed orders and stuck together. Others broke rank and charged ahead by themselves. They were outnumbered and killed. Over the course of three days, these small mistakes added up costing the lives of 7,000 soldiers.
When their focus was one, they were successful. When it was divided, their defenses crumbled. The Greeks represent your business. You want everyone focused if you want to be successful.
Your Company Culture Determines Your Success
Team members who do not know company values need to learn them fast. If even one member strays from the goal, the entire formation becomes broken. This results in the whole team failing.
Like the Greeks, your team members are an army. If they move together as one, they will succeed. Their efforts become multiplied when they work together. They can look out for one another and cover each other’s weaknesses.
But what happens if one of them doesn’t work with the others? What if they go Rambo and do their own thing?
Here’s what happens: your team members start doing the wrong things. Let’s say your company culture values three things: open communication, following the group, and taking ownership for your actions.
Now let’s take these values and implement them into a battle scenario. 6,999 of your soldiers understand these values. 1 of them does not. If this army clashes with the enemy, guess what will happen? The one soldier will not communicate, follow the group, or take ownership for his or her actions.
They may abandon the fight and run off. Charge ahead by themselves. Or in the worst case scenario, do all of the above and influence others to do the same.
If one team member strays from the pack, it influences others to do the same, which then influences more people. And so on and so on. Now, instead of one cohesive unit, you have everyone doing their own thing. Chaos breaks out, and no one knows what to do. As a result, they all get slaughtered.
Business is war. One soldier who does not understand orders will jeopardize the entire group. Make sure your team members understand what they should do, or your company will fail.Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all. - George Washington Click To Tweet
A Checklist Successful Organizations Use To Build A Thriving Company Culture
Creating a positive work environment is necessary for business success, how you create this positivity within the company is down to you as the CEO or Managing Director.
To achieve great things, you need a team of people. These people need to understand company culture if they want to succeed. When everyone is on the same page, they are able to work faster. They’ll be able to use their creativity to solve problems. And create results in your company.
This is why things like business strategy or management come second. When you have good company culture, you don’t need to spend time on those things. Your team members will be able to come up with their own solutions. They will create the strategies, take ownership, and manage themselves.
You want to create an organization that is independent. They should be able to work without your supervision. If you always need to supervise them, you are not a business owner. You are a babysitter. And a babysitter does not get paid as well.
The most successful organizations in the world all have two things in common. They have a great culture, and they are super successful. If you are looking to achieve the same results, you need to create a positive work environment.
The Dragon 100™ checklist is a summation of these things and more. If you want one you can use in your business, get your copy now.