Have you ever noticed what happens when you have a negative feeling? You may tense up or even shut down.  Well, imagine this is happening in your workplace, to your team.  Their employee experience is negative and they are turned off by the workplace culture.  This is the last thing we want our people to feel like.  We want to create a workplace culture that feels good for everyone. 

Our bodies are percipient forms. They perceive direct signals from our environment that our brains (through mindset) sometimes misinterpret.  Our mindset is the lens we look through. Much like wearing rose-coloured glasses or a negative set.  What we see will be distorted and changed by whichever lens we choose. How your team members perceive you as the leader and the organisation is key. 

A feel-good workplace culture

People are open and receptive when they are in a state of growth. According to Lipton, every living cell can only be in one of two states: growth or defence. In growth, the cell wall is open much like a screen door – allowing the transfer of information flow in and out. In defence, it is more like a solid door – closed down to the environment in full protection mode.

If that is the case, wouldn’t you want your team to perceive your actions with the intentions you put behind them? But how can they if they don’t have your worldview or if they are looking at you from a closed-off state – one of defence? If the energy we emanate is negative, it can put our team on the defensive. Creating a workplace culture of open receptivity is the quickest way to create engagement. It is a way to ensure employee experience is a positive one. 

What is a Feel-Good Workplace Culture?

A feel-good workplace culture is the cornerstone of a thriving organisation. It’s an environment where employees feel valued, respected, and motivated to contribute their best efforts towards the company’s goals. This culture is characterised by open communication, mutual trust, and a shared vision. It’s a place where diversity is celebrated, and every individual’s unique skills and perspectives are harnessed to foster innovation and growth. A study by the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, demonstrating the tangible benefits of a feel-good work culture.

What Are The Benefits of a Feel-Good Work Culture?

  1. Increased Productivity: As highlighted by the University of Warwick study, happy employees are more productive. They are more engaged, motivated, and committed to their work, leading to higher-quality output.
  2. Reduced Employee Turnover: A positive work culture fosters employee loyalty. When employees feel valued and satisfied, they are less likely to seek opportunities elsewhere. For instance, Google’s employee-friendly culture has led to a turnover rate significantly lower than the industry average.
  3. Enhanced Collaboration: A positive environment encourages open communication and teamwork. Employees are more willing to share ideas and collaborate, leading to innovative solutions and improved problem-solving.
  4. Better Employee Health: Feel-good work cultures can reduce stress and improve overall employee health. A study by the American Psychological Association found that employees in positive work environments were less likely to suffer from job-related stress and burnout.
  5. Improved Company Reputation: Companies with a feel-good work culture attract top talent and are more likely to be viewed favourably by customers and investors. For example, companies like John Lewis Partnership, known for their positive work culture, consistently rank high in customer satisfaction surveys.

How Do You Develop a Feel-good Workplace Culture?

Developing a positive workplace culture requires a concerted effort from both management and employees. It starts with establishing a clear and compelling company vision that aligns with the values of the employees. Open communication should be encouraged, and feedback should be welcomed and acted upon. Recognising and rewarding employee achievements, promoting work-life balance, and investing in employee development are other key strategies. Companies like Innocent Drinks have successfully created a positive work culture by implementing these practices.

What are Signs of a Good Workplace Culture?

Signs of a good workplace culture include high employee engagement, low turnover rates, and a positive atmosphere. Employees feel valued and appreciated, and there’s a sense of camaraderie and mutual respect. Open communication, transparency, and fairness are evident in company policies and practices. Employees are encouraged to grow and develop, and their achievements are recognised and celebrated. A real-life example of this can be seen at the software company, Adobe, which has consistently been rated as one of the best places to work due to its positive workplace culture.

Feel good practices

Even when giving feedback, we can do it in such a way that people respond positively. Create your workplace culture of openness using the following practices:

Smile: The Power of a Genuine Gesture

A smile is a simple yet powerful tool for creating a positive workplace culture. It’s not just about curving your lips upwards, but about conveying genuine warmth and friendliness. A sincere smile can break down barriers, foster a sense of camaraderie, and make the workplace a more pleasant place to be.

Show Interest: Beyond the Workplace

Showing interest in your employee’s lives outside of work can make a significant difference. It demonstrates that you value them as individuals, not just as workers. By understanding their personal circumstances, you can provide better support and foster stronger relationships.

The Art of Constructive Feedback: Using ‘And’ Not ‘But’

When giving feedback, it’s crucial to balance criticism with praise. The word ‘but’ can negate any positive comments that precede it. Instead, use ‘and’ to constructively link positive feedback with areas for improvement. This approach encourages growth without undermining confidence.

Creating Room for Growth: Learning from Mistakes

Mistakes are inevitable, but they also provide valuable learning opportunities. By creating a culture that views mistakes as chances for growth rather than failures, you can foster resilience and encourage continuous improvement.

Inviting Input: The Power of Collective Wisdom

Encourage employees to share their thoughts and ideas on how to improve processes and outcomes. This not only taps into the collective wisdom of the team but also makes employees feel valued and heard.

It’s Not Personal: Separating Actions from Individuals

When addressing problematic behaviours, it’s essential to focus on the action, not the person. This approach reinforces the idea that while the behaviour may be unacceptable, the individual is still valued and respected.

Tell Stories: The Power of ‘Why’

Stories can be powerful tools for conveying the reasons behind decisions or changes. They can make abstract concepts more relatable and foster a deeper understanding of the company’s values and goals.

Growing Mindsets: Shifting Perspectives

Encourage employees to see challenges as opportunities and to view situations from different perspectives. This can foster a growth mindset, enhance problem-solving skills, and promote resilience.

Leading by Example: The Power of Positive Energy

As a leader, your attitude and energy can significantly influence the workplace atmosphere. By maintaining a positive outlook, you can inspire your team to do the same, creating a more upbeat and productive environment.

Praise Publicly, Feedback Privately

Recognising achievements publicly can boost morale and motivation. However, when it comes to feedback on areas for improvement, it’s best to do this privately to avoid embarrassment and maintain dignity.

Act Now: The Power of Immediate Feedback

Don’t wait for the ‘right moment’ to give feedback. Immediate feedback is more relevant and impactful, allowing for quick adjustments and learning.

Clarity and Directness: The Power of Straight Talk

When giving feedback, be clear and direct. Avoiding the issue or sugar-coating feedback can lead to confusion and missed opportunities for improvement.

Talk, Talk, and Talk Some More: Fostering Open Communication

Promote an environment of ongoing communication. Regular discussions can break down barriers, foster understanding, and build stronger connections within the team.

Spread Gratitude: The Power of Thank You

Never underestimate the power of a simple ‘thank you’. Regular expressions of gratitude can boost morale, foster a sense of appreciation, and contribute to a positive workplace culture.

By using these tips, you can start to create a workplace culture that feels good.  A culture that is full of open, receptive energy.

  • About the Author
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Kathy Bourque is a Leadership Development Expert for women in business who crave operating from a place of clarity and confidence.

Through her down-to-earth mentorship programs, workshops and keynote speeches, she’s here to show you how to create a workplace of open connectedness where the fires put themselves out. Her emphasis on mindset and mindfulness is revolutionary in the business world.

Transform your leadership style and declare how you want to show up at www.kathybourque.com.