The Happy Workplace: How to Create a Productive Work Culture

Company culture has a significant impact on organizational success. According to this Workplace Culture Survey, 77 percent of employees believe work culture influences their productivity while 74 percent believe it impacts their ability to serve customers. This means a successful culture can shape everything—from the number of deadlines you hit to your percent of satisfied customers. Ultimately, a happy workplace drives both individual and overall productivity.

Happiness at Work: How to Create a Happy and Productive Work Culture

However, culture isn’t something you can build overnight. Creating a healthy culture requires hard work and continuous improvement. Use the following long-term strategies to build a happy and productive work environment for the long-term.

Build employee trust

Do your employees trust you to act in their best interest and protect them during uncertain times? When employees trust their leaders, they work harder. When an Earth-shattering crisis like a pandemic hits their employer will treat them fairly and look out for them.

According to this survey, 53 percent of workers named trust as one of the top three factors that create a healthy company culture. This response came from employees of all different generations, highlighting the need for employees to feel safe in their work environment.

The thing is, you can’t build trust overnight. Start by making it a core value to your entire leadership team. One way to do that is to start bringing more transparent conversations to the table if you don’t already. Being open with honest with employees during hard times is one of the best ways to build trust.

Give praise and recognition

A few kind words can go a long way to boost productivity and create a happier workplace. Something as simple as recognizing the work of your team members can affect employee morale.

In a survey of 7,631 people, 37 percent of respondents said managers don’t provide positive reinforcement in the workplace. Interestingly, there is a correlation between managers who provide honest feedback and those who don’t. For example, more than half of employees thought managers were more effective when they gave both positive and negative feedback.

Improve your communication skills

Communication is the cornerstone of a productive work culture. Rodney Gray, employee communication consultant, analyzed the types of communication that employees want. Specifically, they are looking for:

  • More communication from the CEO and senior leadership
  • Upward communication (or feedback from employees to managers)
  • Better communication about changes and new policies
  • Cross-functional communication within teams and departments

Each company will have its own challenges with communication. Some employers might do a great job of providing updates from the CEO but struggle with cross-departmental messages.

It’s up to your team to look inward in order to find ways to improve. This means you need to start by auditing your own internal communications and making changes based on what’s already working and what’s not.

Bring meaning to the workplace

As a leader, you can create a company culture that employees are drawn to and derive meaning from. This meaning is felt internally, by those who find value in what they do and in the ways they help others. In turn, this will lead to greater happiness at work.

One story of finding meaning in work came from a study of hospital janitors. These teams viewed themselves as essential to the healthcare process. They spent more time in the rooms of patients who had fewer visitors, they frequently changed the art on the walls of long-term patients, and they saw cleaning as a path to a better experience and faster healing. The janitors viewed their roles as valuable to the hospital on-par with the doctors and they did their best to improve patient outcomes.

Consider how you create meaning for your team. For example, how can you show employees that grunt work or entry-level tasks are just as valuable for moving the company forward as the high-level work?

Another way to bring meaning to work is refining your company mission. Give something for employees to connect with outside of their day-to-day work.

Create a culture you want to work for

As a leader or manager, you have the ability to enact change within your organization and create a work environment that people aspire to join.

Evaluate your current processes and company values to make sure they bring benefits to the employees and create an engaging place for them to work. After all, if you aren’t happy with the company culture and environment you create, why should anyone else aspire to be part of it?

Happiness at work drives productivity and engagement. Use these strategies to build long-term, sustainable processes to create a happy and productive company culture.

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