Increased productivity, improved employee morale and higher retention of talented workers are all benefits of a positive work culture. A negative culture in the workplace, however, can undermine everything a company has worked for and create an environment of apathy and ultimately failure. Therefore, it’s important that managers, and owners lay the groundwork for a positive culture for employees. These five very simple, yet effective leadership techniques will help you create a workplace culture that reinforces positive, forward momentum.

A Clear Vision Statement

By far, the best way to improve the work ethic and attitudes of your staff is to create a clear vision statement for the company. It should detail where the company is now, where it’s headed, how it intends to get there, and what it means for the future. When employees realise the company they work for has big plans to make the world a better place and improve people’s lives they are more likely to want to be a part of it. They want to know that the work they’re doing is important and that it will make a difference, not only within the company, but in a general world view.

Choose Staff Carefully

Even in the largest groups, one person with a bad attitude can take the entire group down with them. When hiring new employees, concentrate on filling positions with those that have a happy, upbeat, positive disposition, whilst remaining professional. Give them opportunities to show how they handle disagreements and other conflicts to determine how they handle tricky situations. You can’t always tell from an interview how someone will actually behave, however. Current employees that display negative attitudes and behaviours should be taken aside to discuss the issue and offer ways to improve.

Encourage Communication

Very often, problems and issues in the workplace can be traced back to a lack of communication. It’s incredibly important that everyone in the company can share ideas with one another and leadership. Encourage employees to collaborate, pass on information and work out differences. Create an open-door policy that lets staff know they can come to you with anything they deem important. This simple step helps put people at ease, knowing that there is someone willing to listen to them. It’s not enough, though to listen, you also must act when appropriate.

Don’t Keep Secrets

Managers and other leaders often keep certain aspects of the company secret, only discussing them behind closed doors in private meetings. While there are certainly things that employees don’t necessarily need to know to do their jobs, this secrecy can create suspicion and mistrust. When employees know what is going on, they’re more likely to work harder to accomplish goals, or to fix problems. Create a weekly newsletter, hold a meeting, send out email notifications, whatever you have to do to keep everyone in the loop and you’ll see a huge change in the way management is perceived.

Show Gratitude

This is such a simple concept, one that most of us learned as small children. Everyone wants to hear that they’re appreciated and that the work they do is important. Creating incentive programs that reward employees for good behaviour is a great way to say thank you. This can be as simple as a gift certificate to a local eatery, or department store, a cash bonus, or a weekend away. Perhaps the most best way to show appreciation, however, is to say it. Thank your staff on a daily basis for their hard work and let them know that you simply couldn’t do it without them.

Creating a positive workplace culture will not only improve the way your employees go about their daily tasks, it will also reduce employee turnover, and impact your company’s profits. Happy employees are, in fact, the most important resource your company has. Nurture your company culture and create an environment that encourages positive behaviour, open communication and teamwork and you’ll see changes that are immediate and long lasting.

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