In a work environment, employers are finding that small, simple actions cause long-lasting and measurable changes in how every employee behaves. Since we spend so much of our waking time preparing and cooling off from work on top of working, feeling appreciated and valued makes it easier for employees to offer more to a job than they need. In addition, happy employees tend to stick around longer rather than risk changing jobs where they’re not appreciated.

It’s also just flat-out fun to work in a positive environment! Here’s ten tips to help you reinforce a positive culture!

  • Greet people

A sincere “hello!” or “good morning!” with a smile when you see someone is so simple but often overlooked. Acknowledging someone’s presence in a positive manner makes them feel more welcome and even wanted.

  • Follow-up on previous conversations

If it’s Monday and Anne told you she was going skiing on Saturday, ask her how it went! Remembering previous conversations and what someone has been looking forward to shows them that their thoughts and feelings are heard and encourages communication.

  • Spontaneous gratefulness

Who doesn’t like to know a task as dull as changing the printer paper is appreciated? Noticing small efforts seems more sincere since it’s often missed.

  • Positive reinforcement

Studies show positive reinforcement is very effective in any aspect of life. If you’d like to see someone do a task more often, directly addressing it when it does happen can hugely multiply the frequency of the action!

  • Check up with confidence

If it seems like Janet should have been working on helping Jack but is instead talking to Kate, try asking a more leading question than reminding Janet to do her work. “Hey, did you find out what Jack needed on the project?” might reveal that Jack needed something from a closet that it turns out Kate has the key to.

  • Surprise food!

It’s obvious, but people love food! Food is one of the ways we show love and appreciation in many cultures. Bringing in something special or even setting aside budget room for a lunch or snack bar on occasion can make your entire staff feel special.

  • Considerate food

If you found out Jack is allergic to cashews and David is vegan, keeping these in mind for food activities will show them they truly are valued and included. It’s a very small gesture with a big message.

  • Picking up

At the end of a shift, things should be picked up and as streamlined for the next person as possible, minimizing any leftover work from the previous shift. It’s a small effort that helps the next person jump in and feel like their team looks forward to them and their contributions!

  • Listening to criticism and suggestions

When criticism and suggestions come up, they’re not always high quality or constructive. Even then, try to consider how they could work or where this feedback is coming from. Not only could it unbury unseen issues, it will make the speaker feel truly heard.