As a leader of an organization, you know you need to invest in your workplace culture and staff. Culture is the foundation of how you will set out to achieve your mission. You need to get real clear on who you are, what you stand for and why you exist across all levels of the organization.
What is Workplace Culture
Workplace culture is the personality and character of your organization. It’s the sum of your organization’s values, beliefs, interactions, and behaviors. Everything from leadership to management to workplace practices and policies impact your workplace culture.
A positive workplace culture attracts talent, drives revenue, and impacts staff retention rates. Culture is important to how people show up every day to achieve your organization’s mission.
7 Ways to Create A Good Workplace Culture
Creating a good workplace culture can make or break any organization. Take time to think about your core values and the kind of organizational culture you want to create. Dedicate as much time as necessary to ensure everyone is aligned with how you envision a good workplace culture. Then you have to act on it and make intentional steps to consistently execute the culture you envision.
Set Organizational Goals
Make sure every board member and staff member is clear on the long-term vision of the organization. This should be a collective effort so you all know what you are working towards and raising funds for. It will help the whole organization understand the purpose of the organization.
Set Departmental Goals
In order to set up each department for success, you need to let them know what is expected of them. Set realistic SMART departmental goals based on your strategic plan and budget. This will help the staff members to have tangible goals to work towards. Make sure there is room for regular feedback so that KPIs (key performance indicators) can be adjusted as necessary.
Promote Diversity and Inclusion
This is one that you cannot ignore. Beyond hiring a diverse team, you need to create a safe, inclusive workspace by welcoming people from all backgrounds and celebrating their differences and perspectives. Every individual should feel valued, seen and heard. Employees thrive when they have a sense of belonging.
I have seen a few nonprofits establish diversity, equity and inclusion committees to help promote initiatives from within. Work with HR to make DEI a part of your recruitment and hiring practices. And ensure that DEI is a part of your program and fundraising best practices.
Create A Staff Recognition Program
Amplify accomplishments and make time to celebrate wins in meetings. Doing so will encourage employees to continue to want to smash their goals and work for the better of the organization and mission. You can create a committee to help with staff recognition and engagement.
Give and Get Regular Feedback
Set up regular feedback loops so your employees are on the same page with areas of success and growth. Make sure your staff know they have a seat at the table and feel safe to share their thoughts. Feedback can be a positive thing when you know that the staff is just looking out for the best of the mission and the community served. They are bringing them to your attention for a reason and you should listen.
Nonprofit work is often serious and burdensome work so you should allow some fun in the workplace. Your employees need a break from the mental and emotionally draining work. Get a committee going to create opportunities for employees to connect and have fun.
With the impact of the pandemic, leaders need to be more flexible with work schedules. Parents had to figure out how to work while becoming teachers. The balance can be a struggle.
You should hire people you trust to get the work done while allowing them to focus on their families too. When a person can feel safe to present their personal needs, they will be a lot more efficient during work hours.
For example, my child was sick one day and my boss asked what we would be doing. Well it was a sick day so he would be on the couch watching his favorite tv shows. My boss allowed me to work from the couch. Knowing he trusted me to get my work done while simultaneously dealing with a sick child made me feel so much less stressed and I was actually able to get some work done.
Being flexible will increase your employees trust and productivity.
The EMC Process
I am Certified Train the Trainer for the EMC Process. It was designed by Dr. Lola Gershfeld to address the gap between human attachment needs and the desire for psychological safety to be cultivated in inclusive workplace environments. Research shows that employees have more meaningful work experience when there is a sense of belonging (Gupta, 2017). Attachment at work produces positives outcomes such as work motivation, performances and ethical behavior (Yip, Ehrhardt, Black, & Walker, 2018).
The EMC process uses a scientific framework of attachment, emotional connection, and adult bonding to provide a step-by-step structure and specific techniques that address emotions in a safe and appropriate manner, address attachment fears and needs, and create bonding conversations for conflict repair and reconnection
If you are interested in learning more about how to create a good workplace culture by using the EMC Process, please reach out to me here.
What are the core values of your organization? What do you do to uphold your organizational workplace culture? Let me know in the comments!