Your workplace culture reflects the personality of your business. Although it’s intangible it has a real effect on the health of your organisation. Your business’ workplace culture is a delicate ecosystem that needs to be nurtured. You’ve got a lot riding on it.
What is workplace culture?
The term workplace culture gets banded about a lot, but what is it?
Ultimately your business’ workplace culture is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s a term that encompasses all the aspects that make your business a great place to work. And a lot can affect it. From management styles, workload, comms and even the way the office is laid out.
Workplace culture exists in the treatment of your employees, the way your employees feel about each other and how you do business with your customers. It’s the dynamic in the boardroom, the atmosphere in the office and the chat around the water cooler.
Why is it important?
Cultivating a positive workplace culture is crucial for a number of reasons. It can transform a business’ fortunes by empowering its people. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of creating a positive workplace culture.
A positive workplace culture makes for a nicer place to work. Happy people like coming to work. When your employees are engaged with your business’ culture they are primed to deliver more.
Engaged employees are productive employees. And productive employees hit more targets, make more money and contribute to a better team dynamic. When people work well together they can get more done.
Engaged employees don’t fear Mondays. There’s no midweek hump and the time flies because they feel like they’re making a difference and their job matters. This means less sick days, better productivity and a consistent team dynamic.
Attract top talent
Despite what many people think it’s not always the money that draws people to a role. More often people are searching for a sense of purpose, passion and pride and they want that reflected in the job they’ve chosen. If your business embodies that then you’re in a good place to attract the best candidates for your business.
Happiness is contagious. Engaged employees act as your brand ambassadors. That’s an excellent free marketing resource to help you promote your business to prospective customers and employees. A positive workplace culture means happy employees will champion your business to whomever they meet.
Improved staff retention
When people are happy at work they don’t seek employment elsewhere. A strong workplace culture can be the clincher on whether to stay put or move on. Not only does improved staff retention keep valuable experience and skills stay in-house, but it also strengthens your bottom line with a reduction in training and recruitment costs.
A better customer experience
Having familiar faces around is also a good thing from a customer perspective. Team members who regularly interact with customers are best placed to nurture profitable customer relationships long term.
What affects workplace culture?
Workplace culture is a melting pot of elements all of which influence how your employees feel about your business. These contributing factors are what create your workplace culture and when they change, it does too.
Mission and values
Businesses whose employees know what is expected of them are more likely to deliver on their goals. Defining your mission and values and communicating them to your employees is the first step to creating a strong and durable company culture.
Management styles are as unique as the individual. Some lead by example, some empower employees to make decisions and some are just….bad. The way senior staff deliver your company messages and enforce its policies can have a big effect on the workplace culture.
The actual physical environment of your business can affect the cultural dynamic. Is it safe and comfortable? Do employees have the tools they need to do their job? Could space be better designed to encourage communication and creative thinking? Desk placement, wall hangings and the way your business is laid out contribute to your workplace culture.
An open and honest approach fosters the best results. That means keeping everyone informed. How and when you choose to share company information will affect how your employees feel. For example, regular updates from the CEO would be received differently to reactive ad hoc statements intended to quell gossip. Think about how you want your business to be perceived and act accordingly.
The people who work in and with your organisation all contribute to the company culture. Their personal demeanour and the way they conduct themselves has a knock on effect. Negative and positive behaviours breed, so it’s better to harbour the latter! Hiring the right people the first time can be a good defence against this.
What’s your business’ stance on flexible working, shared parental leave, dress code, holidays, bonuses, sick pay, pension contributions? The list goes on. How your business delivers and contributes to your employees’ welfare with these policies can alter their perception and attitude to your business.
How to create a winning workplace culture?
Employee insight is a vastly underused resource when it comes to creating a winning workplace culture. Evaluating the current culture within your business can help you plan for the one you aspire to have. And who better to ask than the people who operate within your business on a daily basis?
Many businesses choose not to pursue employee feedback in this way because they’re scared what they’ll hear but it’s an essential part of building a successful company culture that will help your business grow. It pays to care how your employees feels. All you have to do is ask them!
Your team help shape your culture, knowing how they feel will help you make informed business decisions about the future direction of the company. This empowers you to take action to shape your workplace culture into a positive force for good. Ultimately these actions will create a great place to work, benefiting both people and profits!
A feedback culture gives everyone a voice. This ensured everyone feels heard which is an important part of employee engagement. Learn more about The One Question and why you need to ask it!