Sustaining a Positive Culture

I had an earlier blog post about long-range planning, which is all about attaining your organizational goals and outcomes.  Your short-range goals should support your long-range goals -- becoming stepping stones -- however, short-range goals actually have a larger primary purpose.  Short-range moves, our weekly routines, should be rooted in promoting a positive culture, which then feeds into the bigger picture of the ultimate outcome.

Your short-range actions should be consistent and dependable.  I've categorized 5 actions that will help you build and sustain a positive work atmosphere.

1.  Establish the mindset that aligns with the culture you want to create.  When you provide a mindset for your team, you are laying the groundwork for what is to come and what you expect from them.  Sharing a mental mindset ensures your team moves forward with a collective attitude and helps everyone feel more mentally prepared for whatever comes there way.  If you are so lucky to know what is "coming there way" the mindset should help support their mental preparedness for this.  I, personally, share out a weekly mindset every Monday.  

2.  Be predictable.  This may seem like a simple idea, but it can be more difficult than it may appear.  When you are predictable your team knows what to expect of you and trust is established.  Predictability can be found in the logistics of the day, such as sending out a daily email at the exact same time every work day.  And it can also be evident in the predictability of your response.  In one of my past interactions a colleague was upset by someone who came to work late that day.  She contacted me so that I would confront the employee about her tardiness.  Before I could make any decisions for next steps I needed to ask one important question:  Has this been a pattern, or is this the first time she has been late?  She seemed baffled by my question, so I continued to explain that everyone makes mistakes, life happens.  If this is her first time being late then it is okay.  Everyone has an opportunity to fix it.  However, if this has become a pattern and she has been consistently late, then we have more of a problem that I need to address.  She understood and seemed to appreciate that thought-process.  It wasn't until I overheard her explaining it to another employee that I truly knew my decision-rule meant something to her.  There was a morning when there was a terrible car accident on the freeway.  A new employee was late to work due to the congested traffic and was devastated that I may be upset if I found out.  The colleague I was referring to earlier explained to her that "Once you get to know her you will know she doesn't get upset by things like this.  She knows life happens.  If it becomes a pattern then she will address it, otherwise you are fine.  She's just glad you are here safe."  Predictability.  It is a powerful facet indicative of a positive culture.  When you are predictable it has a ripple effect, and others can share your message speaking on your behalf.

3.  Know the day.  When you take interest in the day your team knows you care.  This doesn't mean you need to micro-manage every detail of the day, but if you take note of special events, absences, or varied schedules then everyone knows you are invested in their day-to-day and things that affect them.

4.  Notice the daily.  And by this, I mean notice the good in every day.  Noticing positive things in a systematic way is healthy for you and your team.  People become so accustomed to the positives happening in the day-to-day that they often go unnoticed.  Growth, development, and forward thinking arise from positive emotions.  So intentionally look for the good in the daily.

5.  Promote gratitude.  You noticing the positives in the day is a start, but the sooner you can get your team to do the same the greater the impact.  Gratitude can serve as a source of strength for your organization.  Providing an outlet for colleagues to publicly share their gratitude and encourage the practice of noticing the flow of the daily positives should be a priority for any short-term goals.

If you strive to incorporate these 5 things into your week, there is no doubt you will be well on your way to developing a positive culture that will serve as the foundation of your long-term goals.  This printable can serve as reminder to you for your purposeful actions each week.  

Have a wonderful week, filled with purposeful moves that lead you and your team towards a positive workplace!

leadershipAmber Dembowski