No Time? No Money? No Problem! Top 5 Ways to Enhance Workplace Culture with a Zero-Dollar Budget

Have you been dealing with volatile employee performance lately? One week, your employees are performing as if they are the finest talents you could have ever hired, and the next, their performance plummets to levels you could never have imagined, and it just gets worse with each passing week. As a boss, you must be yearning to get your employees on the right track. But what should be your first move? Firing one employee to send out the message? There is no guarantee that would work. Scheduling a one-to-one meeting for performance reviews? That would take ages.

Creating The Right Culture at Your Workplace

You're not just perplexed, but also frustrated. Frustrated because you believe you are doing everything correctly, yet something is still wrong. Your business intuition is telling you that something is constantly amiss in your firm. But what exactly is it? What is making your key employees feel so devastated at the office that they are just waiting to end their shifts and rush back home? They are not motivated to work, instead, they are merely surviving to get their paychecks.

Let me tell you what's wrong. It's the CULTURE.

The workplace culture you’ve created is failing to make your employees feel productive. Because let’s face it, nobody wants to invest time or effort in a place where they don't feel happy. There’s a much bigger problem though, your business is the one that is truly suffering as a result of all this. And that’s why you need to seize control before disaster strikes!

According to the Hays US What People Want Survey, which gathered responses from over 2,000 employees, 47% of job seekers cited company culture as a reason for leaving their jobs. Now, that’s disturbing! What if your employees are planning to quit as well?

A company’s culture is deeply connected to the purpose of your organization. A strong culture fosters connection, whereas a weak one severs ties. Fortunately, you can do something before your star talent cuts connections with you, and the answer is right here in this post.

You need to inject the right workplace culture into your organization to reshape the mindset of your employees.

Here are the 5 topmost applicable work cultures that all startups and SMEs can invest in with zero charges.

1. Punch it up with Punctuality

What is the right culture in the workplace? For some companies, it revolves around punctuality. And they are right on cue. In a survey by Heathrow Express, conducted on 1,000 employees, a staggering 82% of participants insisted being late was deemed unprofessional.

Being punctual when it comes to work, producing reports, managing presentations, attending conferences and meetings paints the picture of a dependable employee. There is a difference between being on time, near time, and before time. The first two demonstrate credible commitment, but the third demonstrates an unshakable willingness to commit.

Just like the saying goes, ‘The early bird catches the worm’, to be ahead of time denotes the capabilities of planning one’s time carefully. Thus, organizations choose to include the aspect of punctuality with respect to time management. Put a clear policy in place because you can tackle lateness, you need to define it. To ensure that maintaining an official timekeeping policy does not add to a manager's workload, one simple approach is to utilize time and attendance software, which allows employees to clock in and out easily at work. This may be as easy as swiping a key fob at the entrance, but it guarantees that no tardiness will be overlooked.

2. Embrace Diversity

In the early 20th century, being different in terms of races and cultures was considered a form of deviation that led one’s pathway to a life of seclusion and prohibition. Workers who hailed from lesser backgrounds, unparalleled to the mass majority, often found themselves robbed of the ladder of success. There was only an iota of opportunities, and those who chose to seize it had a story worth sharing.

Fast forward 20 years into the 21st century, we have come a long way from the crippling work stigmas that carved coerced prejudices. Diversity in the workplace manifests a great mix of talents who strive towards one purpose. The purpose of the organization. A healthy, diversified workplace unlocks a wealth of partnerships. This attests to why companies that embrace diversity are 70% more likely to capture new markets.

You need to foster a company culture where every voice is welcome, heard, and respected because employees need to feel connected to the company where their authentic self and uniqueness is accepted. When it comes to promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, don't pick favourites; instead, exercise basic courtesy and pay special attention to how you can adopt non-discriminatory practices and regulations. You can always recruit a multilingual workforce to boost diversity in the workplace. Given how competitive business has become, having a cosmopolitan workforce that can tap into global possibilities and collaborate with global talent can open up an entirely new dimension for your organization.  

3. Overthrow the Traditional Hierarchy System

Major corporations see the conventional hierarchy system as a company heirloom. A solid and valuable system, enriching the company’s vision and mission in a long-term process. Yes, long-term. The multiple layers of management are complicated and intensifying at each level.

Contradictory to this, a much more modern, open dialogue policy that many organizations are reaching out for is a better approach. It promises an increase in employee engagement which leads to higher levels of work productivity and efficiency.

Management, especially senior management, often appears inaccessible, like the great and mighty Oz behind his great green curtain. Even though globalization makes interacting with executives look difficult, corporate messaging and other internal communication systems have enabled open dialogue between office employees, frontline personnel, and management.

With team communication software and a thorough internal communication strategy in place, bridging communication gaps between different types of employees can be surprisingly straightforward. Employees should be able to connect in a variety of ways through an internal communication strategy. While it should be focused on a mobile platform that reaches every employee on their smart device, it should also have different channels for employees to contribute in order to encourage a flattened hierarchy.

4. Cultivate Creativity

Creativity is one of the key ingredients for progress. Without creativity, complacency will suffocate your business. A Gallup study, comprising of over 16,500 employees, pinpointed that only 29% of employees strongly agreed that creativity is expected from them in their workplace. Depriving employees of the space and time to develop their thinking skills is a huge loss.

On the contrary, empowering your employees to think out-of-the-box could get your organization soaring to new heights. In this cutting-edge business world, progressing ahead of your competitors is what would get your organization to stand out. Instead of one mind forking out solutions for your products or services, why not cultivate dozens of talented minds for the benefit of your organization?

Nurturing a workplace that motivates its employees to get creative in their tasks is good for both the organization and the well-being of employees. While constantly coming up with mind-blowing, innovative ways to produce results, they are also indirectly improving themselves to come up with novel ideas to spruce up their work performance level.

5. Implement the servant leadership approach (don’t worry, you’ll still be the boss)

A good leader aims to be at the top, but a great one paves way for his team to be at the pinnacle as well. The ability to serve others and guide them towards improvement shows compassion. Employees that look out for and help each other succeed in their careers are a rare breed. Studies have proved that the effectiveness of servant leadership propels higher levels of confidence, potential, performance, engagement as well as job satisfaction for employees.

Organizations that can produce employees of these standards are more than capable of leapfrogging their way towards great success. Why? Because they are laden with work-driven employees, engaged in a healthy and positive workplace lifestyle.

Shoving aside the necessity to cultivate the right workplace culture is equivalent to taking the wheels of a sinking ship. Gradually, your workplace is going to be flooded with a deluge of complaints and resignation letters as employees are unable to hold on to a profound connection with the organization. Ensuring your employees adapt to the right workplace cultures is a vital step in cementing a bond of loyalty with the company.