Have you ever worked somewhere where you constantly came home/logged off with a feeling of dejection, or of being another cog in the wheel? Ever wondered, “how can I possibly build a positive team culture,” when everything else seems to be going wrong?

The pandemic, though truly awful in many aspects, did shine a light on workplace practices; more importantly, what works and what doesn’t when it comes to showing employees that they’re valued and important. The “Great Resignation” was no accident. 

During these past two years of adapting, employees evaluate their work and the role it plays in their lives. If you’re looking into simple, human solutions on how to build a positive culture in your workplace, read ahead! 

1. Showing That You Care Isn’t Only Easy, It’s Necessary

When building a culture in which people feel supported and cared for, showing up for an employee’s joys and struggles is something to take seriously. Does this mean that you knock on their front door when they seem to be not doing well? No. 

It means that you check in and show that they are valued. It’s offering them flexibility when life is hitting them hard. It’s sending them something when they’re experiencing loss. It also means that when they have joy, you celebrate them. 

Maybe they purchased a new home. Maybe they took that big trip. Maybe they got married, had a new baby, or adopted a new pet. These are all wonderful life events! Celebrate with them to let them know that you and your team cares about all the big (or small!) events in their life. 

2. Celebrate Success in All Forms! 

When an employee or coworker succeeds or goes above and beyond, celebrate it! Call it out at your staff meeting. Send them an email that shows their appreciation. Believe it or not, these things mean something. It means that their contributions help and support the team, which would make anyone feel good about themselves. 

Keep in mind; It doesn’t have to be a BIG thing that happens. Did someone lighten your load by reviewing an email or content you wrote? Thank them.. Did someone take something off your plate, simply because they had a light load? Let them know how meaningful that was. 

This builds a team that not only supports each other, but it also adds value to each person’s role. At RED66, we try to be cognizant of calling people out when they have done something helpful, or simply produces something of high quality. It’s such a great feeling to know your work is being recognized! 

3. Be Honest About Needs

It’s so vital to create an environment where people can ask for help. Someone once told me that while asking for help is difficult, it gives someone a chance to serve. Not only that, it gives someone the opportunity to learn something new and gain confidence. 

When we hold onto our tasks and do not ask for help, we eventually burn out. However, by being honest and open, we allow others to help carry the load. 

One of the things that I found striking about RED66 when I first started working here is that we ask, “how full is your plate?” at every weekly team meeting. For us, 80% is the goal; not 100%. 

Over 80% means that your load is too heavy—this means that those below 80% can step in and help. This creates a team that’s not only honest, but also that consistently reaches out to support someone who may be taking on too much. 

4. Be Understanding (No, Seriously)

Life happens. Understanding when an employee is going through a rough patch is instrumental in helping them to feel cared for. If you’re following, “be honest about needs’ ‘ then you fostered an environment in which people can be honest about their time and mental capacity. 

Employees lose loved ones, their spouse could get laid off, they could be struggling mentally or physically, they may be a caregiver. Understanding that an employee has a life (like you) that doesn’t revolve around work is imperative in creating a solid team culture.

Recently, myself and my two young children got quite sick. I had to ask for time off work. My team stepped in and said, “Not a problem! What can we take off your plate?” and rallied to support my work, so I could focus on myself and my kids. 

What a relief it was to know that people cared about me and understood I was having a rough week. Then, they stepped up to support me while I was out! 

Now is the Time to Build a Positive Team Culture

Now, some of you may be thinking, “this seems like a lot.” 

Here’s what I’ll tell you—when you bake these things into your company values, you’ll see employees that want to work for you and aren’t likely to leave, because they know that they’re valued. 

You’ll also save time and money by not training new employees constantly when someone leaves for not feeling anything more than part of a machine. 

At RED66, we recognize that our employees are the heart and soul of our agency. This belief is what has led to an amazing year of learning and growing. Remember; when you invest in people, you invest in the business.