How to build a great workplace culture

In her latest blog, Jo Dalton, founder and CEO of JD & Co., looks at how businesses can build a great workplace culture. 


In my last blog, I revealed just how important it is that businesses focus on strengthening workplace culture in order to succeed.

Forget ball-pits and funky furniture, below are my top tips to growing a stable, positive working culture that brings lasting change to your company and its people.

Coaching and continuous development

We all want to be listened to – young people especially – because it validates our concerns and empowers us to effect change.

Professional coaching is a great way to mobilise this dynamic, because it instils confidence in workers and nurtures skills that will enable individuals to perceive opportunity and articulate their views.

Employees will recognise the benefits as these new behaviours are assimilated into daily working life, and employer trust will rise as a result. In the long-run, bosses and workers alike should realise the measurable benefits of ongoing learning and how they contribute to a positive working culture.

Embrace change

Working in highly competitive markets naturally makes us work to get the most out of every day. But this often means we miss new ideas, technologies and trends.

To stay apace with a rapidly-changing tech sector, executives should seek out ways to tap into methods and products that keep the company fresh. Indeed, this can only happen with a workforce that is enfranchised with the power to champion innovation which comes through continuous learning.

Care for your company

A company is only as strong as the workers within it, which is why the most effective firms actively care for their employees. Besides ethical obligation, taking care of employee wellbeing matters: in the US alone, over 70% of employees are “disengaged”, costing an annual $550 billion in productivity each year, according to Gallup.

In a world of social media ubiquity, increased ‘connectivity’ is making us lonelier than ever. So, what is your firm doing to protect the mental health of its workers?

More downtime

The average UK full-time worker puts in 37.5 hours each week, but this figure does not take unpaid overtime into account, which stood at 2.1 billion hours and an astonishing £33.6bn of free labour in 2016, according to the Trades Union Congress.

The situation also impacts upon time off being taken, with stress, anxiety and depression being at the root of 12.5 million work days being lost in the same year.

PwC are among those giving workers more time off, and more flexibility in their working patterns, in order to relieve the burden on workers and boost productivity.

Leadership of the future

The increasing presence of Millennials and Generation Z in the workplace will inevitably lead to new behaviours in doing business, and people are set to be a key part of the equation. In future, leadership will be about who inspires and builds a following, as opposed to the traditional dynamic of who is given the role of manager. It’s the result of a hyper-connected generation whose members expect to play an instant and active role in the world around them.

For bosses, the challenge is to harness this behaviour and prepare for it, so that technology and community are at the heart of sound work processes – a topic I’ll focus on in my next blog.