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Build a Positive Culture with Powerful Communication

Published 4th October 2016 by Thomas Bale

Positive culture is built from the ground up: with great listening, high levels of trust and open dialogue. Simple ingredients for high levels of employee engagement. 

When it comes to improving culture and communication, it’s all about trust. A strong workplace is built through open dialogue and transparency. It makes it easier for people to see what’s expected of them and what their role is in the team.  As an employer, you need to provide a safe physical and psychological environment, where standards are set and everyone walks the talk. If employers and managers practice what they preach your people will follow suit. With most organisations, cultures evolve over time. But there comes a point when you have to start shaping the culture and communication you want, to ensure your organisation grows and works at its best. 

Start with the basics

There are certain essentials to shaping a great workplace culture. Ensure you:

  • Make everyone’s contractual and organisational responsibilities clear
  • Create a physical environment that’s safe and legal
  • Keep up to date with relevant legislation
  • Think about recruitment and selection, benefits and rights, and policies and working procedures.

Creating an employee engagement plan

As a leader, you’re the key to ensuring people communicate effectively. You might find creating a communication Plan useful. This is made of a series of agreed channels, which make communicating clear and easy. Remember to:

  • Involve your people in deciding what communication channels are needed
  • Decide together how often the channels will be used
  • Create simple templates to put the channels into practice
  • Keep meetings effective, engaging, clear and focused
  • Create and agree a communication map for the organisation
  • Keep reviewing your channels and map and adapt them if you need to

How to motivate your team

A core part of good communication is keeping your staff motivated to do what you want them to do – because they want to do it. The biggest barrier to motivation is a demoralising atmosphere at work. Combat this by making sure you:

  • Keep policies and practices relevant and useful
  • Provide support and guidance wherever it’s needed
  • Maintain good working relationships and resolve disputes quickly
  • Fix faulty equipment fast and lighten the admin load where you can
  • Keep working conditions pleasant. Too hot or too cold, nowhere to make tea, broken furniture – it all adds up
  • Pay people the right wage for the job they are doing

In an uplifting working environment like this, you can then concentrate on motivating your team by:

  • Setting challenging but attainable goals and letting people see how well they are doing
  • Sharing success with recognition like ‘employee of the month’
  • Making individuals feel important by giving them responsibility for decision-making in appropriate contexts
  • Helping people see where their role could lead so they have something to aspire to

Support everyone to succeed 

If employees feel able to express themselves and that their views are important, your organisation will be more positive and successful.

You can do this by:

  • Supporting staff training
  • Encouraging development by setting goals
  • Rewarding employees, with promotions, pay rises or even small gifts
  • Giving your employees the chance to create – newsletters, blogs and intranet functions foster a sense of involvement
  • Talking to your staff. 10 minutes out on the ‘shop floor’ engaging with your team makes all the difference
  • Keeping everyone in the know – sharing key developments make people feel valued

Free employee engagement templates

Download a template to help build effective communication by mapping out how and when you will communicate with your people and customers.

Download our guide to creating roles for each individual where everyone feels involved, motivated and trusted.

Download a template for generating new ideas finding opportunities for engaging and developing people.