What is a Positive Workplace Culture? How is it created? What are the key elements?
Organizational Culture…is an expression of the values, beliefs and assumptions of its members, and is manifested in behavior.
You know that you can ‘see’ and ‘feel’ an organization’s culture as soon as you enter the doorway. It is, literally, written all over the faces of the people who are a part of that organization.
Culture does not ‘just happen’…it is not dictated by leadership. Organizational Culture is always co-created. When you review the list that follows, ask yourself; ‘How many of these positive elements am I contributing?‘
We’ll use the word POSITIVE as an acronym to recall the key elements, and explore a few ideas about what you can do to contribute to that element:
P – Present
Do you fly into work, head filled with to-do lists and with frustration at the traffic you just left behind?
Take one minute, at the beginning of your day, to ‘arrive’. Close your eyes, focus on your breath, and remind yourself why you are there.
O – Optimistic
What do you say to yourself when adversity strikes? Do you look at obstacles as temporary glitches that you can work to overcome (Optimists)? Or, do you view challenges as permanent and pervasive – as just the way it goes in your life (Pessimists)?
Practice changing the dialogue you allow to take up space in your mind. Choose to look at adversity as an isolated incident that you can overcome. You’ll immediately be in a better space to work your way through it.
S – Shared
As we stated above, Culture is co-created. You are part of an ecosystem – at work, at home, in your community. So ask yourself; ‘What am I contributing?‘. Is my contribution helping or hurting this Culture? Sometimes the answers to those questions come from other people. Be open to hearing how others view you – you’ll learn a lot, about yourself and about your colleagues.
I – Intentional
Think about, and then answer these questions for yourself … ‘Who Are You and What Do You Want?‘
Then, share those answers with important people around you.
T – Thank-full
Of all of the research on happiness and positivity, the #1 strategy is gratitude. Practice gratitude each day, letting other people know what you appreciate about them.
I – Inspired
In addition to answering the two questions above – Who Are You and What Do You Want…also answer this question ‘Why Are You Here?‘ Why are you in this organization, why are you in this profession, why are you on this earth? If you want to know where your inspiration is, answering that question will bring you much closer to it!
When you mess up, own it, learn from it, and share the story. In order for your Culture to be optimally positive and healthy, mistakes must be transparent and viewed as a learning opportunity. Additionally, all members must feel comfortable sharing personal struggles, such as a mental health challenge. Not so that we can all become mired in the sadness; but so that we can help each other move through and past the challenge.
E – Energized
Eat well. Exercise. Sleep. These are staples to an energized human. Beyond those basics and everything listed above, an energized human is one who has well-developed social relationships at work. Come together and remind yourself that you are, indeed, all in this together!
So, here is another question for you; ‘What Will You Do?‘. What actions will you take to positively impact yourself and your Organizational Culture?
Deri Latimer is an expert in positive possibilities for people! A TEDx Speaker, Author, and Organizational consultant, Deri works with organizations who want to create happy and healthy workplaces for increased positivity, productivity and prosperity!