How important is it to build a vibrant, positive and inclusive culture in the workplace? It is critical in order to retain a team that thrives! I am working with a client who “had it all” in a sought-after career perfectly suited to her training and expertise. What it lacked, however, that resulted in a long distance move and career change was a positive environment, greater connection, respect, empowerment to try new things and a fun team that valued greater flexibility and balance. When we add the perspectives contributed through difference, whether it be between generations, racial, gender or sexual diversity …we invite the richness that is generated through variation in voice while working toward common goals and vision.
How can that happen when there are deadlines…pressures often times to achieve the organizational goals necessary to succeed? Staying true to core values that foster strengths, appreciation, and the people skills critical in building connection is essential. The means is as important as the end.
Here are five ways to build a positive, inclusive work culture that thrives!
1. Communicate passion, clarity and purpose in your vision.
Simon Sinek shares that the “why” is the motivator for engagement. An organization that embodies the tribe and brand will be on board with trust and commitment. Encourage autonomy, creativity and mastery to help your people thrive!
2. Understand and respect differences in perspective.
When everyone on a team feels their role is important, their strengths amplified and their voice is heard…true communication and respect are achieved. Conflicts can be managed with greater skill, resolution and outcome. This venn diagram represents how teams can contribute to the whole toward common goals and vision for a successful outcome.
3. Express appreciation and gratitude daily.
Dr. Paul White through his contribution with the 5 Languages of Appreciation at Work shares these principles. http://www.appreciationatwork.com/ This appreciation can be generated through ways most meaningful to your teams…an outing or activity that can result in bonding and fun. It may mean offering a couple of options to include what that particular group considers fun. We know from the work of the Dr. John Gottman, that there needs to be far more words of appreciation than complaint or negative feedback. The magic ratio is actually 5-1 to assure a positive sentiment override in friendship and in this case positive work relationships. In other words, as long as there are five times as many positive interactions between people as there are negative, the relationship is likely to be stable. (Dr. Gottman’s Magic Ration) Validating emails, spoken words in private or team meetings go a long way in building recognition for hard work and contribution. Small gifts or tokens of appreciation or rewards for hard work and completion of a project always go a long way. A handshake or high five can generate a way to express physical touch in appropriate ways.
4. Adopt mindful practices for increased well-being.
Mindful practices of taking breaks for walking, stretching and connecting, breathing and clearing one’s head can result in increased calm, clarity, confidence and creativity. Valuing the need to “unplug” from devices and increased time off is occurring more and more to build best practices for well-being.
5.Celebrate play and rest over burn-out.
Implement ways to have fun on the job. It is proven that play is more than recreational..it generates connection, imagination and greater innovation. Rest, of course, helps our best selves show up over the old driven patterns that lead to burnout. Dr. Brene’ Brown shares by cultivating play and rest, we let go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth. Gifts of Imperfection