8 Tips to Creating a Supportive Culture Workplace

People working in a office
Business Tips

Workplace Tips to Create a Supportive Culture 

Knowing how to build a culture in the workplace is a skill only some employers have. Whether you have employees working for you or teammates who could benefit from a supportive culture, you can be the one to make a change in your office. By advocating for others and trying to see things from their points of view, you can transform your workplace into one that promotes support and well-being above all else.

1. Communicate Well

Communication is the foundation on which you'll build everything about your business. About 55% of communication is nonverbal body language, meaning you should learn to read what other people are feeling based on how they position their body, head and eyes. Becoming a master of body language will help you determine when someone is upset or uncomfortable and take measures to avoid those negative feelings in the future.

Still, verbal communication is just as important. You should talk openly and clearly. When someone brings a problem to you, avoid interrupting and instead listen to what they have to say. A speaker will then feel like the spotlight is on them and they may feel less likely to hide some of their messages to appease you. Their tone of voice can also be a massive indicator of their feelings.

2. Build Supportive Culture Around Mental Health

You may have people in the office with mental health complications. Even if you may not understand them, you should still empathize with their experiences. Encourage your teammates to laugh and smile throughout the day, as laughter can help relieve some of the stress that might lead to anxiety and depression.

When you care about their mental health, your staff will feel seen. Be generous with mental health days and show workers their mental well-being matters as much as their physical well-being.

Coworkers encouraging each other
Getting alone is important in business

If you don't have the authority over mental health days, advocate for a mental health awareness training day or try to include people in your lunch or break plans. Showing people you want to be involved in their lives can help them understand they're wanted at the workplace and can contribute to its supportive culture.

3. Stay Transparent

Being honest with your employees is an excellent way to get them to open up. Having open conversations with them might spur them to bring their whole selves to the workplace — that is, they won't be hiding from you and you'll get to know the real them.

When you expect something from your workers, be honest with them. Tell them everything you expect them to do and any hidden deadlines or dilemmas that may make the task more difficult. Since you were transparent with them, your employees may feel more prepared for anything you hand their way.

4. Offer Resources

If you have the power to change things in your workplace, start offering tangible resources your staff can take advantage of. These resources can help your employees feel valued and get more out of their office. Doing something as simple as ensuring mental health resources are included in their health insurance packages can give several of your workers access to the help they need.

Even if you may not have the authority to do something life-changing, you can still advocate for it. Learning how to build a caring culture in the workplace might call for support groups and any small awareness resources you can bring to the higher-ups. They might consider a company-wide subscription to a mental wellness app, which could help employees monitor their symptoms or mood and let them know when to seek help or take a day off.

5. Be Empathetic

Your employees and coworkers might be experiencing things you could never understand. Even if you can't walk a mile in their shoes, you can still empathize with their experiences and try to be there for them. A supportive, welcoming environment can encourage people from all backgrounds to feel like they belong in your workplace.

If you host a supportive environment, people recovering from addiction will thrive with social support and l understand you're not there to judge them. Empathy can change people's lives and help them feel accepted. It would be an excellent virtue to add to your workplace.

6. Encourage Other Points of View

If you want your office to boast a supportive culture, you must work on how staff members see one another. Some people are close-minded and won't see outside of what they know for themselves. Others might be open-minded and want to learn more about the lifestyles and beliefs of their coworkers. All you have to do is connect them. Your employees may never fully understand one another, but you can make it so they appreciate what the others have gone through to get to where they are.

Your employees might debate with one another, but you should never promote arguments. Negativity can make people feel unwelcome in the office and divide your team into groups. If you want your teammates to work together well, unity is necessary. Try to keep the peace however possible and shut down any discussions that could lead to arguments.

7. Respect Time Off

When people request a day off work, you shouldn't pry or pressure them into working on their break. You never know exactly why someone is taking time off, so it's wrong to assume they'll still be able to work or be attentive to emails during their time away. People take days off for anything from a family tragedy to a mental health day, and everyone at the office should respect their privacy.

When some business team members are in different time zones, use some of the virtual meetings' best practices to respect their private time off by being considerate of the time you set virtual team meetings.

8. Prioritize Fun

You're at work to get things done, but you also want to have a pleasant time there. Try to make the office a fun place where people feel like they can get their job done in peace. While you still want your employees to be productive, you should also plan for engaging breaks now and then. Consider throwing a party for them or celebrating birthdays and special occasions more than you have before. Show them they don't have to feel stressed by walking into the office.

Team-building activities might sometimes get frustrating, but they're a great way to teach your team how to work alongside one another. Your employees may also be able to communicate with people they don't talk to often. These games build crucial communication skills that help a workplace run smoothly. Doing one activity a week might seem like a lot to some offices, but it's a great way to get your workers thinking in a new way and collaborating.

Work environment
Build a positive environment at work

Learn How to Build a Supportive Culture in the Workplace

Knowing how to build a supportive culture in the workplace is only half the battle. Implementing these techniques to make your office more accepting might seem difficult. Still, as long as you're advocating for others, they may come around to the new culture and participate in the activities and events you have planned. By showing your team you care about them, you can create a supportive environment that allows them to be themselves fully and do their best work.

Related: Protect Yourself From These 7 Most Common Workplace Injuries

Author: Beth Rush is the content manager and Managing Editor at Body+Mind. She is a well-respected writer in the personal wellness space and shares knowledge on various topics related to nutrition, fitness, holistic health, mental health, and disease prevention. In her spare time, Beth enjoys going for runs and trying out new fitness trends.

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