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Struggling With Staffing? Improve Your Department's Culture

5 keys to creating a positive workplace

The biggest challenge in 2023 for facility managers continues to be staffing. Facilities management is a people-centric business. Whether it is recruitment, retention, supervision, motivation, communication, change management, or numerous other human aspects, the “soft skills” remain critical to a facility manager’s success. Now more than ever, recruiting and retaining great people depends on your department’s culture.

A positive workplace culture is one that is built on meaningful work, open communication, and core values. Once an employee is embraced by a strong workplace culture, they have less reasons to leave. Words that we use to describe a great workplace culture include: stimulating, friendly, collaborative, supportive, flexible, innovative, integrity, positive and reward. Conversely, a bad workplace culture is described as toxic, biased, hostile, stressful, micromanaged, outdated, rigid, and disengaged.

If you want to improve your workplace culture, start by communicating in meaningful ways. Make sure meetings have purpose, an agenda, fixed time frame, and certain outcomes. Be positive in your communications, even when addressing shortcomings. Keeping a positive attitude can be infectious. At the end of the day the only thing you can control 100 percent of the time is your own attitude. Your positivity should be reflected in communications that include a minimum of 5 positive comments to 1 constructive criticism.

Stop gossip. Workplace gossip can erode trust and morale, resulting in lost productivity, increased anxiety, divisiveness, attrition, and a toxic culture. Even the bible calls gossip the result of depravity, Romans 1:29; 2 Corinthians 12:20. You can reduce gossip by leading by example, acting swiftly, being more inclusive, showing empathy, and clearly communicating to all staff that gossip is not welcome and inappropriate.

Know and live by your core values. For me, it is honesty, integrity, communication, and collaboration. This takes work and some discomfort at times, but yields long-term results in a better work culture.

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Career & Staff Development