Creating a positive workplace culture

Team in workshop

What’s the atmosphere like in your workshop? Are your employees happy and productive? Does everyone get along?

Or is it tense? Are you constantly battling laziness and incompetence? Is there one member of the team who causes trouble? Is staff turnover high?

While there are many factors in business that play into all of those scenarios, there is one constant that has a dramatic effect on all of it: workplace culture.

When a workplace has a positive culture, it raises morale, improves teamwork, increases productivity, reduces stress and enhances the retention of staff. When it has a poor culture, all those things start to break down. That cultural break down can happen quite quickly, or it can happen over a period of time. Either way, arresting it, and fixing it, is key to improving the fortunes of any business. And turning it around needs to come from the top. If you’re the business owner, or the manager, that means you.

So, how do you do it? For my money, one of the most important things you can do is open up the communication channels with your team. It starts by creating a clear set of core values that are communicated effectively and discussed with employees, so that they feel part of it. Then it’s about sharing information, having a daily or weekly meeting, or keeping a whiteboard, whatever it is that works for you and your business. It’s also about understanding that communication runs two ways—you want your staff to come to you with problems, suggestions and improvements.

Values is another big factor that is too easily neglected. Have a defined and inclusive set of values that every team member should live by. Everyone should feel safe, welcome and accepted at work. These values should pervade every part of the business, including your internal and external business dealings. When you’re hiring, don’t just look at skills, ask yourself whether the person shares your company values.

I also put great store in reward and recognition. We all feel good and respond positively when someone says, “Hey, you did a great job today”, or when they thank us for going the extra mile. When someone does something good, acknowledge it. If it’s for something small, it might be a quiet, one-to-one “well done”. If it’s for something bigger, perhaps it’s a round of applause at a staff meeting, buying in that Nando’s lunch on a Friday, or even a bonus in the form of cash or training.

These are just three ideas. There are plenty more out there, and certainly many Capricorn Members are doing great and innovative things to create a positive culture in their workshop. This month we’ll be sharing a lot of those ideas—because it’s in all our interests to make every workshop as happy a place to work as possible.

Yours in cooperation,

David Fraser

Group CEO

This article was published 07/03/2022 and the content is current as at the date of publication.