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How to Improve the Culture in Your Workplace

3 Places to Invest Your Time & Energy

By on Sep 9, 2017 in Relationships | 0 comments


As a therapist, I’ve probably supported over a thousand families since 1999. Since 2008, I’ve helped out hundreds of companies and workplace teams as well. I’ve found many similarities between workplace teams and families that have a healthy culture. Here are three traits they have in common.

1. They Foster Healthy Connections

They consistently create opportunities for relationships to form and go deeper. Members spend both quality and quantity time together. Activities are intentionally planned, and members look forward to these times together.

Encourage Connection at Work by ….

  • Engaging in fun activities (games, meals, etc.)
  • Planning regular social gatherings (i.e. birthdays, anniversaries, etc.)
  • Using icebreakers and conversation starters consistently at meetings
  • Learning together (e.g. team trainings, personality inventories, conferences. etc.)
  • Asking great questions

2. The Culture is Emotionally Safe

Leaders create an emotionally safe environment where members thrive. Team members are allowed to be themselves, take risks, and grow. Strengths and shortcomings are respected. Members can honestly share frustrations without it being used against them. People are held accountable for not following through.

It Lacks Emotional Safety When …..

  • People are not held accountable to expectations
  • Bad behavior is tolerated rather than being addressed (e.g. gossip, )
  • Leaders lack personal follow through
  • Leadership lacks a unified message about direction

Make Your Team Safer by …….

  • Having clear expectations
  • Following through on commitments
  • Being accepting of differences
  • Addressing bad behavior swiftly

3. The Meaning Behind Everything is Conveyed

Many companies have mission and vision statements. Very few companies consistently reinforce what these things mean. Highlight the backstory consistently, creatively, and repeatedly. Members understand why they exist (purpose), how they behave (values), and where they’re heading (vision). Major decisions are made only when they align.

How to Convey Meaning

  • Talk about your company/family purpose, mission, and vision
  • Discuss your company/family core values
  • Engage your company/family traditions
  • Create new traditions and discuss the meaning behind them
  • Talk about the history of your company and family
  • Post goals

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Create a great team or family culture by focusing on connection, safety, and meaning. Follow the race car driver’s axiom that says, “You have to slow down in order to go fast.” My hope is that you slow down enough to evaluate your family or workplace in these three areas.

Click here if you would like a Decide Your Legacy coach or counseling to work with you personally or help out your team.