A good company culture will make coming into work enjoyable and encourages engagement and retention. It’s difficult to find yourself in a less-than-ideal company culture, and it can feel like you’re stuck in a trap. But sometimes just because the paint is cracking doesn’t mean you have to tear down the foundation: sometimes you just need to add a fresh coat of paint to brighten up the room. It’s easy to push this onto someone else, but no matter the size of your company, you contribute to the culture everyday by the attitude you bring into the workplace.
Smile and Show the Sunlight
If a lot of people don’t seem happy, turn those frowns upside down! Smile every day, compliment others, and try to stay positive even during moments where doubt creeps in. Don’t ignore reality, but don’t look at the glass half-empty if everyone else is doing the same. You can be the person to start helping others feel like it’s a brighter work environment.
Be the colleague you’d want to work with
Invite people to join lunches, or see if you can get people to get together for a happy hour! You don’t have to be social all the time, but bringing fun ideas where everyone has the option to participate and share is a great thing to do! If they don’t want to join, that’s okay too. People have things to do outside of their work lives, but letting people know you’re interested in spending time with them can help elevate the feel of the workplace.
If all else fails…
Maybe no one wants to buy in to what you want to change, and if that’s the case, a change in scenery for you might be best. Maybe trying out a different department or branch would work, or maybe you want to completely start from scratch and try to help contribute to a new culture. Either way, you can only give so much before it’s time to try elsewhere.
Hopefully it doesn’t come to the point where you’re trying and no one else is buying in. Even if the culture change isn’t exactly how you envisioned it, what ever is developed exactly as someone envisions it? It’s also important to remember that changes happen over time. The culture won’t turn a page overnight: it’ll take time and dedication. Survey others about what you think needs to change and see if they have some ideas that you hadn’t even thought about! Everyone contributes to a company culture, so collaboration between colleagues can lead to an incredible culture that encourages hard work, employee wellness, and overall positive development.
Even if you are already in a fantastic company culture, there will always be room for improvements so lead the charge for change! It will not only make you happier, but it will illustrate to your colleagues that you can be a good person to go to when they have some changes they want to be made. If you want to get an idea of how your company culture is, you can read about company culture surveys here.