Companies are pouring money, additional resources, and their time to create a culture within their organization that is sought after by outside applicants and appreciated by those internal – with good reason. These same organizations are realizing that the need to evolve with its new workforce is a must. There is a strong correlation between a positive company culture and their financial and customer gains, it is not only a feel-good idea but a necessity for success.

This past month I had the opportunity to join in on a meeting discussing this very topic – what makes a company have a positive work culture? Most of the discussion focused on how leadership teams within an organization can create an environment that would make applicants seek them out. While listening, I began thinking about the different ways all employees can and should contribute to their company’s culture.

Connect with your teammates.

Being as it is March, whether or not you follow the sport, there is a mass amount of basketball happening. The best teams out there have teammates that know each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and what exactly to expect from one another. They spend countless hours on the court – more importantly, they spend time off the court connecting on a personal level.

Now I realize that many of us working have families, lives outside of work, or don’t want to commit loads of additional time to work. The good news is that you don’t have to, you can connect through fun projects, early morning coffee, and even lunch conversations. People need people and if you can connect on a personal level with those that you spend so many days with, you can contribute to a better work environment.

Above: The Career Development team at the Christmas Light 5k

Take stock in your organization.

Annual goals and performance reviews are not necessarily the most flashy or exciting aspect of a company but these can provide an understanding to individuals on how they contribute to the organization’s success. Employees need to have a sense of purpose to create exceptional work and be devoted to the company. While requirement and reward may come from the top, your commitment to these does not have to.

Make sure you understand the expectations of your work and speak with your supervisor to schedule a review. Again, reaching out to have your work critiqued doesn’t sound thrilling but it will be helpful as you want to move up within the company.

Be flexible.

Flexibility is quickly becoming one of the top reasons individuals feel their organization is a top place to work. Having a company that believes in work-life balance and allows employees the freedom to work when or where they need (within reason), continues to promote a culture of value and respect.

You personally being flexible is equally important – be open to new leadership’s goals, know there can be multiple ways to complete a project, and avoid shooting down innovative ideas because the old way “is how we have always done it.”

Have a positive mentality.

Working at Park has provided me the opportunity to collaborate with some truly great individuals and one important characteristic they possess is a positive attitude towards their work. As cliche as it sounds, a “can-do” mentality can completely change the outcome of a project or team.

Contributing to your company culture will help the organization as a whole and inevitably improve your quality of life at work.