Take a Guess

Which one of the following improves employee retention and performance?

  1. Reducing and eliminating workload inefficiencies
  2. Employee perks like food or on-site gyms
  3. Bonus plans and reward programs

As it turns out, none of these may be as effective as creating a positive work culture. In a study of 2000 employees, 8 out of 10 preferred workplace wellbeing to material benefits such as flextime and work-from-home opportunities; and wellbeing is derived from one important attribute — a positive culture.

Research Shows…

In a research study published in the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Kim Cameron and his coauthors from the University of Michigan, found that a workplace characterized by positive practices can:

  • Increase positive emotions which helps employees relate better to co-workers, and in turn boost worker creativity
  • Protect employees from the negative effects of stress, improving employees’ ability to effectively address challenges
  • Bolster employees, encouraging loyalty and engagement

So the question becomes; how do you create a positive work culture? Because the evidence supporting the benefits of keeping the work environment upbeat is overwhelmingly convincing, as well as repeatable in most industries, it is easy to find suggestions. The over-arching goals are to promote:

  • Caring
  • Respect
  • Understanding
  • Gratitude
  • Meaningfulness and importance of the work to be done

A great article by Baudville, Inc., lists 52 very specific ideas to help cultivate a positive workplace environment. Read the article to gain a succinct review of many recommendations most of us already know to be effective management tactics.

It’s clear, that even at work, (in the long-run), the golden rule still applies.

Baudville, Inc. 2011. “52 Ways to a Positive Culture Ebook”. Available at: https://www.baudville.com/baudville-employee-recognition-positive-culture-ebook/pdfs. Accessed September 6, 2016.
Cameron, Kim, et al. “Effects of Positive Practices on Organizational Effectiveness”. Available at: http://jab.sagepub.com/content/47/3/266.short. Accessed September 15, 2016.
Seppala, Emma. “Positive Teams Are More Productive”. Harvard Business Publishing 2015. Available at: https://hbr.org/2015/03/positive-teams-are-more-productive. Accessed September 15, 2016.
The Association of Account Technicians, 2016. “Britain’s workers value companionship and recognition over a big salary, a recent report revealed”. Available at: https://www.aat.org.uk/about-aat/press-releases/britains-workers-value-companionship-recognition-over-big-salary. Accessed September 18, 2016.