When it comes to cultivating corporate cultures, leaders tend to get the bulk of the advice. If the executives and managers don’t walk their talk, it will be impossible to authentically develop an experience where every team member is truly valued. While it’s essential to offer solutions and inspiration to leaders, sometimes it can feel like individual contributors are being overlooked.
Every employee contributes to and plays an important role in nurturing their organization’s ethos. Within their own sphere of influence, people have an opportunity to generate a more positive, engaging workplace for their colleagues. If you’d like to create a space where people are appreciated for being who they are, here are a few ways to get started!
7 Ways to Boost Corporate Culture from the Bottom Up
#1 – Communicate Conscientiously
The way people talk to each other is a living, breathing example of the company’s climate. I’m sure you can imagine an instance where the way someone spoke to you impacted your perceptions of that person, event or space. When employees are thoughtful in their communications and try to address the needs of whomever they are speaking to, it promotes a welcoming atmosphere. If you aren’t sure how to adjust your messages, I’d encourage you to explore our solutions and try tacking on simple questions after you share information to ask your recipient:
- What else they want to know
- If anything isn’t clear
- What other thoughts and ideas came to them
By inviting them into the conversation, you can show others that their voices and concerns matter.
#2 – Make Time to Connect
To build meaningful relationships, you are not required to attend every team or company gathering that pops up – although those can be fun ways to get to know your colleagues! In addition to some of the more traditional opportunities for connection, find small ways to learn about your coworkers. Some quick wins can include:
- Showing up to meetings a few minutes early to chat
- Asking ice breaker questions during gatherings
- Scheduling a 20-minute coffee break with a colleague
Through these thoughtful interactions, you can begin to build a stronger understanding of your teammates as professionals and people, which can inspire a more united culture.
#3 – Respect Differences
No two people in your organization are going to be exactly alike. Even if individuals have strikingly similar Emergenetics® Profiles, there will still be variations between them from the intensity of their preferences and motivations to their prior experiences and backgrounds, and beyond! It’s important to embrace the differences in everyone. To enhance your appreciation for other perspectives, try:
- Using prompts like “Tell me more about…” to learn from colleagues
- Considering an issue from a point of view that is contrary to your usual take
- Running a challenge through the Emergenetics template to reflect on multiple perspectives
When individuals can see the strengths of alternative approaches, it will inspire a climate where all contributors feel encouraged to share their ideas and interests.
#4 – Assume Positive Intent
Giving someone the benefit of the doubt is an act of grace that can boost the company spirit. By extending positive intent – or the belief that a person’s words, actions or behaviors are backed by good intentions – it gives others the room to make mistakes, and it can also improve relationships. To practice this habit, I invite you to:
- Pause when you hear something unexpected or potentially hurtful
- Check in with your own emotions
- Seek more information before jumping to a conclusion
The simple act of assuming the best in others promotes an environment where errors can be made without having them held against a person. What could be more employee-centric than giving staff the space to be human?
#5 – Apply the Platinum Rule
As a reminder, the Platinum Rule means to do unto others as they would have done unto themselves. It goes a step above the Golden Rule because it recognizes that each person is distinct and will likely want to approach their work and life in a different way. Leaning only on your own preferences is unlikely to amplify their motivations or give them what they need to be successful. Apply the Platinum Rule by:
- Reflecting on the questions your colleagues typically ask and proactively providing that information
- Referencing the communication and interaction tips on the Emergenetics+ mobile app for teammates who have Profiles
- Asking coworkers what they need to be successful when collaborating on a project and doing your best to provide it
Making this effort to honor the needs of your team members will help each person feel that their interests and concerns are valued.
#6 – Celebrate Peers
Recognition is an essential part of a people-centric workplace, and it does more than simply make someone feel good about themselves. 90% of personnel say receiving acknowledgements motivates them to work harder. By making time for celebration, you support team performance, boost relationships and improve culture. To introduce this practice into your workday, consider:
- Purchasing thank you cards to send a handwritten note to colleagues
- Making a point to conclude each project with a celebration for a contributor
- Putting a Thankful Thursday reminder on your calendar to give a weekly shoutout
Small acknowledgements add up over time to create an environment where team members know that their coworkers are seeing them and recognizing the impact they have.
#7 – Ask for Input
Employee voice plays a big part in developing a motivating workplace climate. In day-to-day work, individual contributors can find their own ways to engage their colleagues by asking for their opinions and perspectives. As you put together a proposal or plan, coordinate a project or craft a presentation, take a few moments to ask a teammate:
- Their opinion on the approach you took
- What’s missing
- What small change could make it better
Getting feedback will promote a more collaborative atmosphere where people’s ideas matter, and it’s also likely that your work will improve too because you are incorporating other inputs!
While there are big and bold employee engagement solutions that organizations can implement to make sure that their staff know they come first, each person in the company can also take steps to stimulate a people-centric culture. Through small actions and daily habits, you can help your colleagues know that they belong and matter. And just imagine what will happen when everyone in your organization does the same thing!
Want to build an ethos of belonging and connection? Learn more about steps you can take to cultivate a culture that employees will love with our eBook.
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