Today more than ever there is, rightfully, a focus on workplace culture. After all, when the majority of an individual's time is spent at work either physically or remotely, the culture that surrounds them is bound to have an impact. A 2022 study from Quantum Workplace found that 66% of employees said, “Their [workplace] culture positively impacts their work every day.”
While a great deal of the environment is set through leadership (through policy, work recognition, communication style, and more) the power of any team member to shift its culture should not be overlooked. Just as we have the ability to bring stress or frustration to work, we can make the effort to bring energy, optimism, and empathy instead.
So how do we, as employees, cultivate a positive environment?
- Foster collaboration - Understand that your success is directly linked to the success of your colleagues. Collaboration involves working together towards a common goal, sharing ideas, and leveraging each other's strengths. Encouraging collaboration requires creating an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas. Asking others for feedback to let them know you value their input, and encouraging them through difficult moments can help to assure them your goals are aligned.
- Prioritize inclusion - Engaging with people from all backgrounds and experiences directly contributes to your work’s quality and diversity of thought. While not all organizations have incorporated diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into their praxis, there is always room to push for inclusivity on the individual level. This can be done by showing an interest in learning about colleagues with different backgrounds and experiences, speaking up when witnessing behaviors or language that is exclusionary or harmful, and encouraging leadership to be proactive with DEI initiatives.
- Be open to growth - While it can be hard to accept at times, the reality is that we all make mistakes. The best way to learn from them is to be open to feedback and criticism. Embrace opportunities to learn and grow, and be receptive to new ideas and perspectives. By doing so, you can create an environment that values continuous improvement and personal growth.
A respectful and diverse company atmosphere is essential for the success of any organization. It boosts retention, incentivizes prospective employees, and encourages productivity. It requires a commitment from everyone involved to cultivate open communication, embrace diversity, practice empathy, and create a sense of community.
Building workplace culture takes time and effort, but the benefits are numerous. By taking bold action and owning our role in creating a thriving and inclusive organizational culture, we can inspire and empower others to join in building an environment that is truly supportive, respectful, and inclusive. Together, let's commit to creating a workplace culture that is truly inclusive, empowering, and transformative. The future of work is inclusive, and it starts with every single one of us.
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