16Creating a Positive Workplace Culture

How often does an employee come up to you and volunteer a positive statement? For example:

  • “It is a great day! Everyone who was supposed to work today came in.”
  • “The systems are all working as they should be.”
  • “I have the tools and equipment I need to do my job well.”
  • “It is wonderful to work for a boss who is so appreciative of my work.”
  • “Wow! These customers are so grateful for the service we are giving.”
  • “Thank you for providing just the perfect amount of communication.”

Probably never! Most leaders tell me they never hear those things. Employees don’t hear a lot of positive messages, either.

Yet we need positive workplace cultures. No workplace is perfect (and sometimes negativity is called for), but an environment that’s mostly positive makes people happy and engaged rather than cynical. Happy, engaged employees are more productive and creative. Positivity also improves trust levels in the organization, which leads to stronger workplace relationships and paves the way for better communication and collaboration.

Plus, when workplaces are positive, people enjoy coming to work. They feel a strong sense of meaning and purpose. Turnover is lower and the best talent is attracted to your company. Over time, all of this will lead to a higher-performing organization.

The challenge is that positivity doesn’t come naturally to people. My experience is that negativity grows like a weed in a workplace, but a positive culture needs to be cultivated. ...

Get The Busy Leader's Handbook now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.