How to Influence Culture in the Workplace
A negative work environment can hurt productivity, cause employees to dread their jobs, and make the entire workplace dreary. If you’re an employee struggling in a culturally negative work environment, you can take steps to help improve your surroundings. You may be the person who can initiate a domino effect to create change in your workplace.
Here‘s how to influence culture in the workplace in five steps.
1. Advocate for Positive Change
Before you can advocate for positive change, you need to know how to identify areas of improvement in the workplace. First, assess what is not working in the current environment. You can start with your self or department. Ask the following questions to get the brainstorming going:
- Are there any negative issues you see occurring around you?
- Are there areas that can be improved upon?
- Do I have (or see) habits that are causing negativity in the workplace?
After honestly answering these questions, be an advocate for this positive change by talking to the appropriate people and going through the right channels.
2. Encourage Suggestions for Improvements in the Workplace
Talk to your coworkers and managers about a better workplace environment. You can solicit ideas to improve workplace culture from others. For example, ask your manager if you can have a “suggestion box” that will be looked at monthly or weekly. The point is to see what ideas others have and how they perceive the work environment.
3. Drive Collaboration
Collaboration with other key players is essential. The more people on board with positive culture changes in the workplace, the better.
Don’t rely just on yourself to do everything — make it a team effort. As other employees get involved, they will start to feel more committed to the change. Then, it becomes everyone’s project, mission, and goal.
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4. Practice Problem Solving
Every business has its set of problems. It may be the cultural tone of the company or the lack of flexibility for certain groups of people, like women or mothers.
In some cases, employees ignore or deal with the problems, thinking there is nothing they can do. However, frequently, managers may not be aware of the issues employees are experiencing. Or if they are aware of them, they don’t have a ready solution.
By identifying the problems and suggesting potential solutions to HR, your manager, and your peers, you can be the catalyst for positive change within the company and potential new benefits.
5. Be an Example
Just as negativity can spread fast throughout a business’s culture, positive influences can do the same thing. One good deed can lead to another and another, etc. That’s why it’s vital to be an example of positivity. Some things you can do might seem obvious but are worth mentioning anyway. Here are a few suggestions to get you started, but you can add to this list as you think of more things:
- Show gratitude
- Treat others with respect
- Align your attitude with the company’s vision and culture
- Always do your best work
- Be enthusiastic about the company and the job
- Practice authenticity
As you demonstrate how to be a better employee, you will inspire others to follow your example. Everyone working together can change, influence, and maintain a company’s culture.
These ideas to improve workplace culture will help drive the change you seek in the workplace. With perseverance, commitment, and teamwork, you can make strides to improve company culture one step at a time.
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