If you work within the corporate world, you undoubtedly want your day to day work experience to be positive. There’s nothing more satisfying than sitting down at your desk and thinking “I like where I work.” After all, the average person spends between 5 and 8 hours a day at work, so shouldn’t the time that they are spending there be as pleasant as possible? You may not love every single second you spend on the clock, but you shouldn’t dread going to work!
Regardless of their position within a company, it is important for every employee to feel protected, motivated, and supported. In this blog, we discuss the primary components of negative and positive work cultures and detail how you and your organization can cultivate a healthy work environment.
Is Your Work Culture Negative?
According to a study published in the American Behavioral Scientist by Sarah A. Burgard and Katherine Y. Lin titled “Bad Jobs, Bad Health? How Work and Working Conditions Contribute to Health Disparities,” workers who believe they work in difficult work culture tend to have “worse mental and physical health” than those that are part of a positive work culture. While it’s often easy to see the signs of an overtly volatile work environment (think yelling, cursing, harassment) there are other, more nuanced signs that point to an unhealthy work environment:
- Do you feel exploited? If you are working yourself to the bone, you’re just doing your job, right? Well, not necessarily. If you’re constantly getting work pushed off onto you by your superiors or team members, you are probably being exploited.
- Are you treated as a professional? If you are talked over in meetings, or if you are a victim of vicious office gossip, your workplace is negative. And remember, there is nothing more toxic than workplace harassment.
- Is growth all but impossible? You are reaching for the stars, but are your superiors even noticing? Maybe they do see it, but they are taking every opportunity to squelch you. If you are qualified and driven and are being denied promotion after promotion, your work culture is not supporting you.
- Does it feel like everyone around you is struggling? If your coworkers are complaining of excessive stress, work-related anxiety, or issues regarding other employees, your work culture is far from positive. Additionally, if your company experiences high turnover due to low employee satisfaction, you probably are not alone in your negative feelings toward your workplace.
What Makes A Work Environment Positive?
An article published in the International Journal of Language & Linguistics by Samantraray Pravamayee titled “Strategy to Develop an Effective Workplace Environment” sums up the positive effects of a healthy work culture perfectly:
“Good working relationships give us several other benefits: our work is more enjoyable when we have good relationships with those around us.”
A positive work environment is so much more than getting to wear jeans on Fridays. It is based around mutual respect, strong ethics, and is void of any form of harassment.
How Can My Company Enact Positive Change?
If this article has helped you confirm that your company’s culture is largely negative, there are some simple management practices and interaction techniques that can immediately be implemented:
- If you are a team member: You should be treating your coworkers with kindness. This does not mean that you need to be smiling every moment. Just be conscious of others’ time, space, and workload. Also, if you are one of the people who is gossiping excessively or creating any type of office drama, you’re part of the problem.
- If you are a company owner/ are in management: This may seem obvious, but I want to reiterate it here: your employees are people, and they should be treated as such. When they go home they don’t climb onto a charger and turn off until they come to work in the morning. They are not devices, and they should not be treated that way! Also, do not forget to offer encouragement. Threats do not go as far as kind words.
An added bonus in relation to a positive culture is productivity improvement. Employees that feel they are supported are likely to work more diligently than those who are treated poorly by their superiors.
Creating a positive work environment and culture may seem as complex as hunting down a unicorn or some other mythical beast, but it does not have to be that way. The first step that employers and employees need to take is that they should be aware of their attitudes and interactions. It is also important to remember that a positive work culture does not rely solely on the actions of management. Every employee’s actions and attitudes help or harm their work environment.
At Campaignium, our work culture, paired with our high work ethics, act as the heart of our company. We believe that each employee is a professional, and deserves to be treated that way. We value the expertise and opinions of others. If you work with us, you have a say in our processes. Our partners are accessible, involved, and happy to provide you with guidance. We strive to hold each other up, and rely on each other. We may be split into separate teams based on our roles within the company, but we all work together to ensure that our clients get the best work product possible. We are committed to education, and support employees as they attend conferences, workshops, and classes to hone their skills. Our company culture is constantly changing, growing, and diversifying with the addition of new employees. We are honored to invest in you and your skills, because, as our mantra states: You’re the only you this world’s got!
I know it might be poor form to interject myself into this post, but I did reference unicorns earlier and you continued reading past that, so I suppose I will go ahead. Since my first day of work at Campaignium, I have experienced nothing but support and kindness. Each of my coworkers is driven, professional, and they help me feel empowered to achieve my work-related goals. If you are looking for a healthy work environment, consider Campaignium. We are always looking for talented, dedicated, and positive people to join our team. Learn more about our employment opportunities today!