BizTips from SCORE – Healthy Cultures

BizTips from SCORE – Healthy Cultures

What is a healthy work culture? Is it the physical environment, quality of leadership, benefits or the vibe? A healthy work culture is considered to be one where employees feel valued, safe, comfortable, and flush with opportunity for growth. Creating a healthy environment starts with best practices generated by ownership or leadership.

  • Set clear organizational goals
  • Communicate the organizational goals.
  • Promote inclusion and diversity.
  • Respect is a highly rated value.
  • Has a “zero tolerance” policy.
  • Employees are recognized.
  • Flexibility.

When successful small business owners were asked about what makes a healthy business culture for them they replied:

Tony Shepley of Shepley Wood products replied: “Two way communication, coaching, reinforcement with feedback, praise, and taking the time to celebrate victories are all helpful elements for a healthy work environment. Training, career advancement coaching and regular performance reviews help good employees feel appreciated. Even small gestures (I send everyone a birthday card and an anniversary card and buy their lunch on those two days each year) are small reminders that we care. Lastly, connecting face to face is important. We increasingly rely on texting and e-mailing and it just isn’t the same level of connection. Taking the time to engage shows we value our staff.”

Agnes and Ed Chatelain, owners of Chatelain Real Estate, Dennis offered: “Provide basic tools, a pleasant work site and administrative support. Identify clear specific goals and allow some flexibility in how each staff member approaches problems and solves them within the context of the work environment. The owner/supervisor should set the office/work site tone: be happy, prompt (first in office or on job site), enjoy what you are doing or act like it, provide technical support and emotional support to co-workers and employees but do not be easily manipulated or a pushover.”

David Troutman, co-owner, Scargo Café advises: “I think I’d refer to the “One Minute Manager” concept. Spending at least one minute with every team member every day. It helps us to express and acknowledge our mutual humanity. It makes difficult conversations easier as there is already a dialogue established. While the “one minute” needn’t be about work, it does offer an opportunity to communicate expectations, vision for the future and the creation of a positive, inclusive and productive culture. This habit of touching base regularly minimizes unpleasant surprises as we become conscious of what is happening in the lives of our staff.”
Jamie Bohlin, owner, Cape Cod Celebrations focuses on flexibility – “Flexibility! Giving your employees the opportunity to make their own hours and work from home makes a huge difference!”

Beth and Todd Marcus, owners, Cape Cod Beer gave some thoughtful advice – “One of the biggest challenges both Todd and I had when growing our business was embracing the delegation of duties to other people as the business grew. Many owners are hesitant to hand over critical tasks, but in the end this can slow the company’s growth, so learning to delegate is eventually imperative. If the exact process is required then you will have to teach that exact process, but if the end result is the same, and the specific process isn’t that important then compromise on the delegators part will go a long way to building a strong manager/owner relationship.”

A healthy culture acknowledges the shared beliefs, values, standards, and attitudes that characterize a company’s goals and vision.

Contributed by: Marc L. Goldberg, Certified Mentor,, 508/755-4884. [email protected]. Source: 7 Great Ways to Create a Healthy Work Environment, Catilin Nobes, 5/18/21, Achievers