Workplace Culture: What is it? Why does it matter? – 5 Steps to Having It

Workplace Culture What is it Why does it matter 5 Steps to Having It - Elevate Corporate Training

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Culture is more than customs or the nation we call home.

What is workplace culture?

Uniqueness, the sum of its ethics, traditions, belief systems, interpersonal and social interactions, professional behaviours, and attitude creates what is known as workplace culture. It narrows down to what is the personality of a business?

Why is culture important in the workplace?

Improving workplace culture begins with positive attributes within the work environment. Positivity attracts top-notch talent, drives engagement, side-steps burn-out, and improves performance significantly. Personality is what influences everything.

Effective management, effective leadership in teamwork atmospheres, policy and procedure that is easy to understand, and hiring highly engaged people refines workplace culture remarkably.

A big mistake businesses make is allowing the workplace culture to form naturally.  In order to avoid a toxic workplace culture, effective leadership lays out a plan of action to meet the needs of a culture change in the workplace.

The definition of positive energy in a work climate is then something that is established in policy and procedure plainly and in a way easily understood by everyone, including owners and leadership.

Detailed Summary: Why is positive workplace culture imperative?

  • Attracting Quality Talent: Potential job candidates tend to consider a workplace environment to ensure their contentment and feeling of satisfaction. A stronger, more positive, and well-communicated climate will attract quality talent which heightens the efficiency of a positive workforce.
  • Optimal Performance: Companies with the healthiest and strongest work cultures outperform competitors financially and are more successful than their counterparts.
  • Engagement and Retention: Australian workplace culture influences employees in how they interact with their work. It also assists with avoiding burn-out and makes a talented employee more likely to remain with an organisationlonger.

What affects workplace culture?

Multiple components affect any workplace culture

Leadership Skills — Characteristics of effective leadership are outstanding communication skills, creating effective, positive plans for the future, knowing how to both praise and recognise good work in their employees, make sound decisions, hold high-level trust with staff, and reinforces positive attitudes.

Effective Management — Organisations and companies rely on constructive management. The duties of a manager in a healthy workforce culture include knowing the technology, hierarchy, checks and balances, and ultimate goals. Managers must have the qualities of a good leader. They should empower employees to explore their potential, implement interactive support for the workforce, and provide quality interactions.

Workplace Practices — Many workplace practices stem from traditions within a business. Improving workplace culture by combining the old approaches with evolving viewpoints provides a sense of security and satisfaction in the workplace. The best practices are calibre recruiting and selection, the possibility of advancement, and balance between work and off time.

Defining a workplace with tools and surveys do give a gauge of the current culture. The measuring tools reveal gaps between the envisioned workplace and the on-going culture.

Work Philosophies — Every organisation or company has policies that align with their philosophy of work ethic. Each entity uses a different framework, but the cohesive idea is the same. Policy and procedure should clearly state attendance requirements, dress code, and flexible scheduling.  Hiring, pay based on performance, potential promotions, and compensation are high priority issues.

Observation of workers’ behaviour in the office, product of meetings and discussions, and interviews with employees exposes workplace climate.

Prioritising People — Toxic workplace culture often begins with the people that work for a business.  Employees should always strive for success as a team as well as taking pride in their own achievements. This is where a winning culture is born. Positive human behaviour includes attractive personalities, a strong belief and value system, an array of skills and work experience, and self-expression in social settings. 

The reason for worthwhile person to person dynamics is that it exhibits both negative and positive behaviours. For example, is the person a team player or confrontational, are they supportive or discouraging, and is the person a social butterfly or task-focused.

Work Environment — Desks can get cluttered quickly. But, a chaotic cubby hole or office space makes for a chaotic environment. However the workspace also needs to feel comfortable. It is unlikely to ever feely quite homely, but there needs to be areas for relaxation, for enjoyment and conversation. If an office feels drab, colourless and lacking any soul most staff will want to spend as little time as possible hemmed in by its walls.

How do you create a healthy workplace culture?

Workplace culture naturally forms in most work climates. However, that is a mistake. It should be defined clearly and unmistakeably.

  1. Create policies and procedures based on what some employers do versus what belongs in a working environment.
  2. Do not hire employees who obviously are not cohesive with the workplace and other employees. The first impression of a person or gut feeling leads to building a team within the workplace where everyone is comfortable and productive. 
  3. When effective management and effective leadership is present, engagement with employees feels natural. Management styles should not be tolerable; they should be accepting. Bad administration staff threatens a high turn over within company hierarchy. Leadership training can go a long way in developing a healthy workplace culture.
  4. Work environments should never be lacklustre. Comfort needs to be paramount, as does atmosphere. But there is a fine balance. Make your office a fun park and you risk staff losing efficiency. The less distracted, the more productive a worker becomes. 
  5. Inspiration is the key to success. Without a clear mission, employees often burn out. A company’s mission statement, overall vision, and a set of values are vital to any productive workplace culture. 

A step back to evaluate the current workplace culture is the first step to actually ensuring it is not a toxic workplace culture. Every day as the culture evolves in a positive direction, actions or inaction requires evaluation. A clear vision of the future that is defined is necessary for improving workplace culture.

Understand that work culture is ever evolving. It rapidly changes. With that said, culture is indispensable for any business strategy. It shapes a company and its future, forever.

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