YOUR QUICK GUIDE TO CREATING A POSITIVE COMPANY CULTURE

YOUR QUICK GUIDE TO CREATING A POSITIVE COMPANY CULTURE

What do I mean when I say “Company Culture?” What started as a trendy corporate term has developed into a crucial idea that involves establishing and implementing organizational values. If your mission and vision is putting your organization’s values into words, company culture is taking action on those and demonstrating how you live it.

The newest generation of employees value the culture of the company they are working for more than ever. There is no better time to work towards demonstrating your companies values to improve your workplace. Cultivating a positive corporate culture also helps your organization build a trustworthy reputation with its external publics and stakeholders. Below is our quick guide to building a positive company culture.

BENEFITS OF BUILDING A POSITIVE WORKPLACE CULTURE

Building a better workplace culture has a variety of different benefits. Knowing these benefits can be a motivating factor as you understand and implement organizational values. Below are some improvements in your organization you may notice when working towards your workplace culture:

SAFETY

Employee safety is a major part of creating a company culture where people feel comfortable going to work everyday. Making safety a priority will significantly reduce the number of on-the-job accidents, which is an excellent way to contribute to a positive workplace culture.

Consider workplace safety in the context of your industry. What kind of safety values should you consider? Some of them may be:

  • Fall Prevention – Keeping areas clutter free, and taking care of spills quickly to reduce the amount of falls.
  • Chemical Safety– Proper use of chemicals used in the company, this can range from acids used in machinery to office cleaning solutions.
  • Electrical Injuries- Taking away electronics with frayed wires, using appropriate procedures when wiring electronics, and keeping properly maintained equipment.
  • Illness Prevention– Having employees not at work when they have a possibly contagious illness, using disinfectants, and offering flu shots.
  • Workplace Violence Prevention – Having a zero-tolerance policy on violence and harassment.

CONSERVATION OF MATERIALS/ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS

Supplies are a necessary expense, but a lot of supplies are wasted, broken, or somehow lost in the shuffle. Focusing on conservation is a great organizational value that will save you money and even reduce your environmental footprint.

ENGAGEMENT

Engagement is a state in which an employee is content, committed, and involved in their job. Some of the common traits of engaged employees are:

Emotional attachment: This refers to having an emotional connection to one’s company, position, and the work he/she does.

Understanding: This refers to understanding the company’s goals and values, and how they contribute to achieving those goals.

Motivation: This relates to employees willing to invest effort in bettering their performance.

An engaged employee works hard and cares about the company they work for. They waste fewer materials, and have strong customer service skills. Those same employees are usually motivated to develop new skills and further their careers in the company.

IMPROVED EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE

A happy worker makes a happy company. Having a corporate behavior that promotes safety, recognition, and engagement (to name a few) creates happy employees. Here are some ways your employees’ performance can improve:

  • Better customer service
  • Rise in productivity
  • More positive work atmosphere
  • Fewer wasted resources and supplies
  • Less absenteeism
  • Better team work
  • Better communication with co-workers

There are an immeasurable number of categories for a positive company culture. The trick is finding out what behavior you need your company to adopt. This could include adopting values like punctuality or safety. A great corporate behavior can make or break a company, so it is important to provide the appropriate support for your employees.

CLARIFYING ORGANIZATIONAL VALUES: WHERE TO START

In order to take action on building a positive company culture, you must prioritize your organization’s values. Some ideas to consider when clarifying your organization’s values are:

TYPES OF VALUES AND ETHICS

A value is a standard of a person’s behavior. There are two types of values; terminal values and instrumental values. A terminal value is a value that a person would like to achieve during their lifetime. Some examples of terminal values are:

  • Having wisdom
  • Having self-esteem
  • Having inner peace
  • Having a real and meaningful friendship
  • Being content in life

An instrumental value is a behavior used to achieve your terminal value. Some examples of instrumental values are being:

  • Loving
  • Independent
  • Polite
  • Responsible
  • Clean

What it means, in a nut shell, is that if you want to have great success in business, you have to work hard. The terminal value is having great success in business, and the instrumental value is working hard.

Ethics are moral foundations that regulate a person or group of people’s behaviors. Some examples of ethical behavior could include:

  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Loyalty
  • Accountability
  • Respectful

Ethics and instrumental values may seem like they are the same, but they are not. An ethic is a moral basis, it is not hinged on accomplishing a value. An ethic is a conviction that a person or a group of people have because they feel like it’s the right thing to do.

MANAGERIAL STRUCTURE

Managerial structure relates to how the management team is put together, and what types of employees make it up. Nothing squashes employee morale quicker than a poorly trained manager. A supervisor should meet three major qualifications:

Leadership Skills: Understand how to lead a team effectively. Understand the proper way to address employees and how to encourage and motivate them. Should have knowledge on how to give constructive criticism.

Departmental Knowledge: Knowledge of the processes and function of the department. This means that the manager should know how to perform the job tasks of the employees they supervise. The worst thing in the world is to have a boss that doesn’t know how you do your job, and wants to critique you.

Company Knowledge: The manager should be knowledgeable about what product or service the company provides to the public, and about what is new with the company. They should know what the company goals and values are, and what the future plans are for the company.

EMPLOYEE ACCOUNTABILITY

Employee accountability means that an employee takes responsibility for their actions. This could refer to positive or negative actions. So how do you promote accountability? It starts with the employees identifying with the company’s mission. As a supervisor, it’s also important to make sure the employees understand that the company wants them to take ownership of the results of their job. Suppose you were a janitor, and one of your job tasks was to remove the trash daily. The company does not want you to take ownership of the act of removing the trash. The company wants you to take ownership of the trash can being empty- thus making the area look clean. Accountability also relates to something that an employee is doing that is inappropriate. An employee who is constantly late for work needs to take accountability for their actions.

DESIGNING AND IMPLEMENTING ACTION FOR YOUR POSITIVE WORKPLACE CULTURE

If you are ready to start designing and implementing a positive company culture, it is important for you to set realistic behaviors for your employees to follow. Make sure to keep open, two-way communication and get as much feedback as you possibly can. Here are some ideas to consider when taking on the task of developing a positive company culture.

Group Planning: Having a group planning committee will help you maintain realistic goals, and help the employees become engaged in the process on establishing your company culture. When picking your group, you will want to get as many of the departments involved. Remember that the company was built by employees, and having employees in the group helps you see the big picture.

Define Preferred Organizational Behavior/Values: Being able to identify the type of behaviors the company needs and wants to inspire their employees to adopt is crucial. When it comes to identifying desirable behaviors, there are no black and white guidelines. It’s all subjective to the needs of your employees and company. You want to clearly outline the behaviors you want as specifically as possible.

Hiring
: When you are taking on new employees, it’s very important to try to hire people whose values align with your organization. Asking appropriate personality driven questions in an interview is a great way to find employees who will thrive in your company culture. Be sure to communicate your company’s values and provide an overview of its culture so your interviewees can also determine if they would be a good fit.

Training Employees: Training is always important, but it’s especially important when implementing new policies that will change corporate culture.

Not only do new employees need to be trained on policies and culture, but current employees also need training when new policies are implemented. Some training can be informal, but if there are a lot of changes, more formal training will be needed.

CONCLUSION

We hope this quick guide has sparked inspiration for building your company culture.

Are you looking to provide training on developing your company culture? Check out our Developing Corporate Behavior Workshop training materials today!

 Katelyn Roy on 

YOUR QUICK GUIDE TO ANGER MANAGEMENT IN THE WORKPLACE

Angry Man
Angry Man

As a Courseware Developer, Maria Eagles identifies the needs of trainers and designs/creates training and development programs accordingly.

In this week’s blog post, she gives us her quick guide to
anger management in the workplace.
Corporate Training Materials

Anger is complex and often a misunderstood emotion that goes beyond simply being mad. Anger is a natural response that follows a pattern of phases, and can transpire from many factors, including other hidden emotions.

Anger Management training in the workplace can help employees increase their self-awareness and self-management when it comes to anger. This can positively contribute to employee morale, conflict resolution, and creating an overall improved workplace culture.

MYTH BUSTING: COMMON MYTHS ABOUT ANGER, DEBUNKED

Anger in a complicated emotions that brings up many different associations and assumptions in people’s minds. For clarity, below is some common myths about anger, debunked:

  • “Anger needs to be ‘unleashed’ for it to go away.” – It’s true that anger needs to be expressed to relieve symptoms. However, expressing anger in verbally or physically aggressive ways is not the only way to ‘unleash’ anger. Nor is anger an excuse for a person to be aggressive. The expression of anger can be tempered by rationality and forethought. Venting anger does not necessarily result in the anger disappearing, although venting can relieve the symptoms. At times, processing personal experiences, seeing concrete change and genuine forgiveness are needed for anger to go away.
  • “Ignoring anger will make it go away.” – Generally, all kinds of emotions do not disappear when ignored. The anger just gets temporarily shelved, and will likely find other ways of getting expressed. It can get projected to another person, transformed into a physical symptom, or built up for a bigger future blow up. Some of our behaviors may even be unconscious ways of expressing anger. While there are situations when it’s inadvisable to express your anger immediately, the very least you can do is acknowledge that it exists.
  • “You can’t control your anger.” – This myth is related to the second one. As discussed earlier, the fight and flight instinct can make anger an overwhelming emotion. However, this instinct does not mean that you’re but a slave to your impulses. Awareness of anger dynamics and a conscious effort to rise above your anger can help you regain control of your reactions.
  • “If I don’t get angry, people will think I am a pushover.”’- It’s true that a person can lose credibility if they make rules and then ignores violations. However, anger is not the only way a person can show that there are consequences to violations. In fact, the most effective way of instilling discipline in others is to have a calm, non-emotional approach to dealing with rule-breakers. Calm and rationality can communicate strength too.GETTING TO THE ROOT OF THE ANGER

Anger is a normal response that is often experienced as a secondary emotion. This concept can be represented with the Anger Iceberg. The Anger Iceberg illustrates the idea that emotional reactions are not always one-dimensional, rather there are many hidden causes. Although anger may be presented and expressed on the outside, there are other underlying emotions that give energy to this anger.

Emotions that frequently prompt anger include:

  • Frustration – When a goal is blocked from reaching the desired result, individuals will become frustrated. This frustration will provoke anger as an emotional response, directed at the object recognized as the cause of the frustration.
  • Hurt/Loss – Individuals will turn to anger, as a substitute to feeling pain. Anger is a normal stage during a grieving process. This can be done consciously, or unconsciously.
  • Disrespected – This occurs when individuals are not given the respect that they deserve, or feel that they are always under attack.
  • Fear – Fear and anger derive from feelings of control; while fear will typically arise from a loss of control, anger is a means of gaining back control.
  • Shame – Anger is used as a defense response when individuals perceive they are being humiliated, criticized, or rejected. Anger is a way to distract us from feelings of shame.
  • Guilt – Reacting with anger is used as a way to protect our ego, and remove ourselves from the blame. Unfortunately, this means that blame is taken from within and placed on another individual.
  • Sadness – When we feel sad, we feel vulnerable and as though we have loss of control. To avoid these feelings of sadness, we will subconsciously shift into an anger mode to mask feelings of disappointment or discouragement.

Anger: Understanding the Cycle

Anger is a natural emotion that usually stems from perceived threat or loss. It’s a pervasive emotion; it affects our body, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Anger is often described in terms of its intensity, frequency, duration, threshold, and expression.

Anger typically follows a predictable pattern: a cycle. Understanding the cycle of anger can help us understand our own anger reactions, and those of others. It can also help us in considering the most appropriate response.

  1. The Trigger Phase

The trigger phase happens when we perceive a threat or loss, and our body prepares to respond. In this phase, there is a subtle change from an individual’s normal/adaptive state into a stressed state. Anger triggers differ from person to person, and can come from both the environment or from our thought processes.

  1. The Escalation Phase

In the escalation phase, there is the progressive appearance of the anger response. In this phase, our body prepares for a crisis after perceiving the trigger. This preparation is mostly physical, and is manifested through symptoms like rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and raised blood pressure. Once the escalation phase is reached there is less chance of calming down, as this is the phase where the body prepares for fight or flight.

  1. The Crisis Phase

As previously mentioned, the escalation phase is progressive, and it is in the crisis phase that the anger reaction reaches its peak. In the crisis phase our body is on full alert, prepared to take action in response to the trigger. During this phase, logic and rationality may be limited, if not impaired because the anger instinct takes over. In extreme cases, the crisis phase means that a person may be a serious danger to himself or to other people.

  1. The Recovery Phase

The recovery phase happens when the anger has been spent, or at least controlled, and there is now a steady return to a person’s normal/ adaptive state. In this stage, reasoning and awareness of one’s self returns. If the right intervention is applied, the return to normalcy progresses smoothly. However, an inappropriate intervention can reignite the anger and serve as a new trigger.

  1. The Depression Phase

The depression phase marks a return to a person’s normal/ adaptive ways. Physically, this stage marks below normal vital signs, such as heart rate, so that the body can recover equilibrium. A person’s full use of his faculties return at this point, and the new awareness helps a person assess what just occurred. Consequently, this stage may be marked by embarrassment, guilt, regret, and or depression.

After the depression phase is a return to a normal or adaptive phase. A new trigger, however, can start the entire cycle all over again. Some people also skip certain phases, or else they go through them privately and/ or unconsciously.

CONTROLLING ANGER: ACTIONABLE STEPS

Since anger is an instinctive emotion that comes unbidden, we often do not have a choice in whether we would be angry or not. What we can do however, is take control of our anger when it comes. Anger management is not about suppressing your feelings of anger, but rather to find meaning behind your anger and determine healthy ways to express this anger. Uncontrolled anger can be extremely problematic; thus, it is important to find strategies to keep anger in check. The more you practice the strategies of gaining control over your anger, the easier it will become.

Relaxation techniques to control anger include:

  • Breathing Exercises – Deliberately controlling your breathing can help a person calm down. Ways to do this include: breathing through one’s nose and exhaling through one’s mouth, breathing from one’s diagram, and breathing rhythmically.
  • Meditation – Meditation is a way of exercising mental discipline. Most meditation techniques involve increasing self-awareness, monitoring thoughts, and focusing. Meditation techniques include prayer, the repetition of a mantra, and relaxing movement or postures.
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) – PMR is a technique of stress management that involves mentally inducing your muscles to tense and relax. PMR usually focuses on areas of the body where tension is commonly felt, such as the head, shoulders, and chest area. It’s a way to exercise the power of the mind over the body.
  • Visualization – Visualization is the use of mental imagery to induce relaxation. Some visualization exercise involves picturing a place of serenity and comfort, such as a beach or a garden. Other visualization exercises involve imagining the release of anger in a metaphorical form. An example of this latter kind of visualization is imagining one’s anger as a ball to be released to space.
  • Music – Some people find listening to music as very relaxing. The kind of music that’s calming differs from person to person; traditional relaxation music includes classical pieces, acoustic sounds, and even ambient noises.
  • Art and Crafts – There are people who find working with their hands as a good way to relax. This is especially true for people who feel their tensions in their hands. Drawing pictures, paper construction and sculpting are just some of the ways to de-stress when faced with an anger trigger. Arts and crafts are helpful because it keeps a person from obsessing on the anger while he or she is still in the recovery phase of the anger cycle.

CONCLUSION

Anger management is a process. It is impossible to remove anger out of our lives, but it is possible to find healthy outlets for this anger. Anger management involves being informed, self-awareness, taking control, and taking action. These changes take time and practice, however when you stay motivated with controlling your anger, you will have powerful, positive outcomes.

Did you enjoy our anger management quick guide? We’ve just updated our Anger Management course, making it more relevant than ever for your participants. There’s no better time to tackle anger management training in your organization. Learn more about this course or get started on your corporate training today.