Do you ever feel like your workplace culture is a little too scripted and fake? Like everyone is just going through the motions and there’s no real authenticity or connection between coworkers? If so, you’re not alone. A lot of businesses struggle with creating a genuine workplace culture. But fortunately, it’s not impossible. In this post, we’ll explore some tips for cultivating an authentic workplace culture.
1. Define the Core Values of the Organization
First, you need to clearly define your company’s values and culture. What do you want the organization to be like? How should people treat each other?
How can employees successfully interact with one another and work together toward common goals? What will the overall environment be like on a day-to-day basis? These are all critical questions.
When necessary, bring in experts that offer organizational change management training. Usually, it helps to receive a different perspective from third-party sources since they are more likely to be objective in their approach and find gaps that you might have missed because of your limited viewpoint.
2. Practice Vulnerability
To build a genuine connection with others, you’ll need to be vulnerable. Authenticity means showing your true self—your flaws and vulnerabilities as well as your strengths and passions.
You can’t be an open book all the time, but at least make a good-faith effort to share your true thoughts and feelings every now and then. Leaders need to learn to acknowledge their mistakes and accept help from others.
3. Celebrate Successes and Offer Constructive Feedback
People need to know what they’re doing right—and also where they can improve. Everyone makes mistakes, but you should always point out instances of success and offer specific, constructive feedback when necessary.
Effusive praise is nice, but it’s not as effective as genuine encouragement that helps people grow and develop over time. Treating employees like children or constantly micromanaging them will only make them feel insecure and distrustful of management.
4. Encourage Open Communication
Foster open dialogue throughout the organization. Encourage people to speak up when they’re unhappy about something or if they have any other general concerns.
Even better, establish a culture in which people feel like it’s safe to challenge the status quo and express their disagreements with one another constructively. Open communication requires mutual respect between employees and their managers.
Rather than remaining silent, people should feel comfortable offering their ideas about how to improve the business or make certain processes more efficient and effective. This will help everyone in the organization stay on the same page and avoid workplace conflicts.
5. Assess and Modify Organizational Culture When Necessary
In any organization, the culture morphs over time. What works in one department might fail miserably in another.
For that reason, regularly reassess your organizational culture and modify it when necessary. Use a survey or questionnaire to gather anonymous feedback from people throughout the business about their perspective on your company’s current state of affairs.
Compare your company’s culture to that of other businesses in your industry. Evaluate how well cultural values are being lived out and communicated across the organization. Observe how employees interact with one another and whether they seem happy and satisfied with their work environment.
6. Empower Employees to Cultivate the Organization’s Culture
Your company’s culture is ultimately determined by employees, so it makes sense that you need to empower them to cultivate and influence its development.
Put mechanisms in place so that people throughout the organization can bring about change based on their observations and ideas. For example, consider establishing an employee advisory council. Use this group to identify ways in which the company’s culture can be improved and then present these proposals to upper management.
Bring employees together with managers regularly for open discussions about what works well within the organization and what needs to change. When people are given opportunities to build relationships with others, they’ll feel more invested in their company and be more receptive to its culture. Keep in mind everybody needs to be committed to building the workplace culture, or it won’t work.
Building an authentic workplace culture is challenging for many reasons. People come in all shapes and sizes, creating dynamics that can be difficult to navigate. If the organization doesn’t have a well-defined culture, to begin with, employees may be resistant to change. Leaders may need to exert a lot of effort to alter their perceptions.
However, this isn’t impossible. Once a culture is established in a company, it can be cultivated and nurtured over time. With the help of your employees, you can work together to create a healthy organizational climate that is truly representative of what you have to offer.