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Brian Bethencourt for The DEV Team

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What can we do to create a healthier workplace culture?

A healthy workplace culture is one where employees feel engaged, supported, and have the resources to thrive. It provides opportunities to socialize and enables employees to open up and get to know one another. It celebrates both team and individual wins, big and small. Whether it's a successful project launch or someone's work anniversary, a healthy workplace culture finds reasons to bring positivity and joy into the workplace.

Inclusion is part of building a healthy workplace. Our workplaces need to address issues like interpersonal conflict or toxic behaviors promptly and professionally. A healthy culture depends on a respectful work environment free from harassment. Working to make our workplaces inclusive is essential not just for productivity and retention, but real bonding and relationship building between colleagues.

So I'd like to ask:

What can we do to create a healthier workplace culture?

Please leave your thoughts or any helpful articles on this topic in the comments below! The DEV Team and I will be here to help moderate the discussion.

Top comments (16)

vtsen profile image
Vincent Tsen

Just laugh as much as you can! :)

frankfont profile image
Frank Font

Just not so much maniacal laughter. I find that makes people afraid of me. :)

corners2wall profile image
Corners 2 Wall

Yea, laughter prolongs life

krlz profile image
krlz • Edited

I had the opportunity to work with people from different countries, resulting in exposure to diverse cultures, religions, and core values. A healthy workplace involves many factors, but it begins with communication. Even if discussions are challenging, everyone must feel comfortable and respected. Disrespect or contradiction can damage the workplace's harmony. To create a healthier and more enjoyable environment, honesty and openness are vital among colleagues. Getting to know team members within and beyond the workplace takes time, but it is essential. Celebrating successes and addressing confrontations with a positive attitude fosters positivity and respect.

Several exceptional books can offer valuable insights into these topics. "The Culture Code" by Daniel Coyle provides practical advice for developing cohesive teams that work together harmoniously. "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" by Daniel H. Pink is an enlightening read that explores human drive and productivity. For those interested in personal growth, "Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity" by Kim Scott is a must-read for improving leadership skills. Lastly, "The Power of Positive Leadership" by Jon Gordon offers useful wisdom on creating a constructive culture.

tandrieu profile image
Thibaut Andrieu

Let people fail.
The more they fail, the more they learn. The more they learn, the more they succeed 😎

giangvincent profile image
giang vincent

Truth, but in the opposite effect, this might cause more frustration also. You have to balance with failure and nuturing. Unless, people will easily give up in a short time. Because there are so much things to learn these days :v

tandrieu profile image
Thibaut Andrieu

I see what you mean. My comment was really in the sens: "Let people experiment. Don't blame if it doesn' work. See that as an opportunity to improve your working methods".

But I agree with you, when badly applied, it can be interpreted as "Put pressure and set unreachable goal".

wraith profile image
Jake Lundberg

A couple great books I've read are A Radical Enterprise by Matt K. Parker and Measure What Matters by John Doerr.

I also really like the podcast Dev Interrupted which is a developer related podcast, but more focused on developer and engineer management. Lots of good crumbs in there about the good and bad of building culters.

My personal thoughts on what good culture looks like:

  • Management is engaged with the teams, but not overbaring or micrimanaging. This means they are meeting 1:1 with members roughly every 2-4 weeks to get feedback on how the "lower ranking" employees think things are going, but also where they want to go in the next 1, 3, 5 years and supporting them/finding opportunities for them to move in that direction.
  • The company presents clear and explicite goals that explain why things are going on. I really hate when I ask what the company goals for the year are and I just get told a list of features. How can you expect employees to go above and beyond for you if you literally arent telling them where the opportunities are to do so?
  • Team members are clear on their goals and responsibilities, have the autonomy to work how they want to work, and are trusted enough to make decisions. This requires clear communication from up top, though. If we don't know where they are (metaphorically) driving the car, how can we hope to pack what needed into it without them first overseeing every item?
  • Team members spend at least some amount of time together outside of work. This helps to build comradery and trust between them on a personal level, which inevitably carries over to the workplace.
  • the "rock stars" or more seasons employees are patient with team members who don't have their experience and relatively positive (especially when challenges arrise).
frankfont profile image
Frank Font

Be open about mistakes you yourself make and don't be the person that looks for people to blame instead of finding solutions.

It creates trust and reduces barriers for effective collaboration.

nj145 profile image
nj145 • Edited

Firstly, build connection among the team members. In order to do this, there should be more opportunities for people to meet and talk about non-work related topics and that would open up opportunities to know each other and build a friendship and bond with others.
This way you feel like you're working with your friends, people who will have your back and people to whom you can open up and ask for help in both professional and personal fronts.
Secondly, when you take up a job it's important to understand the company culture and values it withholds rather than just looking at the pay-package. Make sure these values align with the person you are and that way you don't end up in a toxic workplace. It's also important when hiring people that management pick the right candidates who just doesn't check all the technical qualifications but also aligns with the company culture and values.

dhwanitshah profile image
Dhwanit Shah

If you work hard to open a door, make sure you hold it open for those who come after you, rather than closing it behind you.

mykezero profile image

From a personal level, I find that being kind, caring and understanding are the pillars to cultivating an environment where everyone can share their thoughts and have fun.

It's hard to see when you first start working somewhere, but a job in software development humbles you. You can never know everything, the only way to succeed is to work together. As an introvert, it's really hard to do that sometimes. So knowing that some things are inherently hard for me, I extend those same opportunities to others and let them know, often, they can call on me for help.

It's the small things like if there's a production issue that's brought up during the morning scrum and that task is handed to your teammate to triage and you can sense they aren't too familiar with that part of the system. Reaching out and asking if they would like a hand, would definitely lower their stress levels and would make their day better. That's because, if I was in the same situation, I would love someone to do the same.

I find that by overcoming myself; my fear, my shyness; that it frees me to do such things for others, even though those things would be normally hard for me to do. And I see that, that kindness usually spreads to others on the team that value those same things, which most people do.

Most people are good people and want you to succeed. If there is a toxic person on the team and they wont change, even if talked to, they have to go no matter how good they are. They may know a specific piece of the tech stack, but keeping them around longer will only spread that toxicity and close everyone down. There's no other way to deal with it but to get rid of them.

citronbrick profile image

Good food at canteen/restaurant. A snack vendor. Clean restrooms. Right ventilation & luxuriant greenery.

theaccordance profile image
Joe Mainwaring

Disclaimer: While this comment is on-topic, it does promote the business I've spent the last 9 years growing.

At WorkTango, our employee engagement platform includes Rewards and Recognitions, which is a popular choice by our customers to promote a healthier workplace culture.

Recognitions enable every employee within an organization to celebrate achievements big and small. In the screenshot below, I recognized a recent hire who volunteered to configure a SAML integration between two of our vendors as a way to show my appreciation for his initiative.

Image description

I could describe further how our other features help promote a healthy workplace culture (figurative and literal), but I don't want to turn this comment into an infomercial. If you like you see - maybe suggest it to your HR admin 😉

pavelee profile image
Paweł Ciosek

just simple, treat others like you would like to be treated 🙏

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