Every office has a unique culture of its own. Your office culture will determine how clients and staff feel when they walk through the door. It takes effort to set a culture of excellence, competence and friendliness. Let’s take a look at some of the simple aspects that can positively contribute to your office culture.
Say No to Negativity
When something goes wrong, we sometimes ask or search till we find out who is responsible so we can set them straight. Unfortunately, this spreads fear throughout the office and leads to an inordinate focus on avoiding mistakes. Everyone becomes hesitant to tackle difficult problems or make changes. If something goes wrong, staff is quick to blame someone else and cover their own mistakes. An atmosphere of distrust and suspicion pervades the office.
Alternatively, we need to constantly remind our staff and ourselves that we are the best and most talented people in the world. When something goes wrong, we should assume the problem is in the process or the system, not the individual. We need to realize that since we have the best people, if one person made a mistake, others would have made the same mistake in similar circumstances. We need to work to change the circumstances, not punish or reprimand any one individual.
There are many negative attitudes that can work their way into the culture of an office, such as frequent complaining, unhappiness or gossip. We need to constantly make sure our own attitude and behaviors are positive. We need to focus on and encourage staff members who foster positive attitudes.
Studies have shown that kind words and personal attention from a boss or manager often mean more to an employee than a raise. On the other hand, any negative words seem to be magnified in the minds and feelings of the staff. Some things managers should try to convey to the staff in word and action include:
•Thank you. We appreciate your hard work and realize that you are continually doing your best despite circumstances that are often difficult. We want you to enjoy working here. We all spend the biggest percentage of our waking hours here, so we have chosen the best possible people to be our employees.
•We all enjoy working in a business that has the reputation of being thriving and successful. We all want to do everything we can to enhance that reputation.
•Honesty and fairness are always pursued without question in this office. If it is not right, we don’t do it.
In these times of increasing overhead and declining reimbursement, we need to establish a culture of efficiency.
•The day is much more enjoyable for our staff as well as ourselves when everyone is busy and productive. A day when we don’t accomplish much is a slow, painful day.
•One of the most important things we can do to make the office more efficient is to train the staff to constantly look for even small ways to save time. We can set the example by keeping focused on the work of the office and limiting personal phone calls or other personal distractions.