What is Workplace Culture?
Workplace culture is the shared attitudes, beliefs, values and missions of employees at work. In all aspects of live, we are surrounded by different cultures in everything we do, including family, friends, work, religion, ethnicity, gender, nationality and more. A positive work culture encourages communication, teamwork, high morale, collaboration, productivity and purpose throughout the company. More importantly, a positive working environment will help to reduce stress for your employees.
Workplace culture is shaped by the businesses core values and missions, ensuring all employees have the same understanding of expectations and behaviour in the within your organisation. With the management team leading by example, a successful culture in the workplace helps to improve performance, job satisfaction, employee retention, productivity and communication.
How to create a positive Work Culture
Now we have established what positive workplace culture is, we’re going to give you an insight into how you can create a positive culture within your business. Creating a positive working environment for your employees will promote communication, growth, teamwork, collaboration and an inclusive work environment.
Establish and communicate your purpose: Having a clearly identified purpose that your people can understand and want to sign up to. This would be the reasons why customers would buy from you as well as why people want to work for you. This is about explaining your “why”, why customers want to buy from you over your competitors and why your staff would want to work for you. This is not about what you do and how you do it, it is about WHY you do it. For example, Apple’s main purpose is to “create products that enrich people’s daily lives”.
Clear mission and vision for the business: This is a crucial component to creating a positive culture within your business. Setting boundaries and clear visions for your team from the beginning will ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same objectives and goals. Brining these to life will ensure that the employees feel an individual responsibly and connection to the values.
Create an inclusive work environment: An inclusive working environment is one where all employees feel accepted and welcomed into the organisation. You will see a huge shift in your culture when your employees feel valued and listened to, positive engagement and involvement from your team will lead to a positive culture.
Teamwork and Collaboration: Leading by example and encouraging high levels of communication and teamwork from management level will create a collaborative culture within the team. Actively encouraging open and honest discussions will put your employees at ease, helping them open up and communicate about struggles they’re facing and support they require. Working together as a team will ensure that employees who are struggling can lean on their colleagues for support.
Create clear goals for the business and employees: Having clear goals to work towards give employees direction and a sense of purpose. Setting these boundaries and expectations from the beginning ensures that your new employees feel valued and heard in the workplace.
What a positive work environment looks like
Employees feel a huge sense of accomplishment when they are encouraged to expand on their purpose. Encouraging and supporting your team to develop their knowledge, skills and qualifications shows how invested you are in them as an individual. When the employee feels a sense of achievement, you will find that their morale and positive energy is reflected in the work they do and the environment they’re in.
Increase in productivity:
Employees who feel valued and happy in the workplace is often reflected in their productivity and satisfaction in their role. A healthy work culture will often be highly productive, with employees willing to go above and beyond in all aspects of their role.
Without effective communication, businesses cannot have a positive work culture. Effective communication ensures that all employees understand the company purpose and vision as well as understanding the business expectations. When your team is communicating regularly you will see a huge improvement in employee morale and productivity as employees feel they can lean on their team for support where and when they need it.
Employees feel a huge sense of satisfaction when they feel they are part of making a difference. Giving your team a sense of purpose will help to make a drastic change in your engagement and employee retention.
How to recognise toxic Work Culture
Recognising a toxic work culture can be difficult, especially if you are fully emersed in one yourself. As an employer it is your responsibility to be aware of the negativity in the workplace, coming up with solutions and a strategy to turn this around before it is too late. Common signs to look out for in a toxic culture includes:
Poor employee retention: If you are recently seeing a high turnover of employees in your organisation, have you sat back to think about why this is happening? It has been reported that 1/3 people leave a job due to poor company culture. When an employee hands in their notice, it is important as an employer you find out why they’re leaving. If it is down to company culture, take onboard the feedback and act on this swiftly to ensure this doesn’t continue to happen.
Poor communication: It is inevitable that every employee will experience a bad day at work, but when they are fully emersed in a toxic culture, this can be heightened. One of the major signs of a toxic work culture is poor communication. Now more than ever teams are working remote and perhaps feel communication in their team is poor. Removing this anxiety from your employees will be a huge benefit to your company culture. It is essential that you are promoting this from within, working with your team to communicate regularly, leaning on their team for support.
Workplace bullying: Working in and around the same people 5 days a week, it is inevitable that you are going to make friends with your colleagues. This can begin to cause problems in the workplace when individuals feel excluded and left out. Initially, this may start out as harmless behaviour, but often this can escalate quickly. As an employer you need to set an example and encourage employees to come forward in the event of this happening.
Low morale: Low morale within the team can often be recognised easily and be very difficult to overcome. Reasons for your employee’s morale to hit rock bottom can include inconsistency from the management, office politics, conflict, office gossip, bullying, lack of work life balance and so much more. Shifting your employee’s negative morale can be difficult at times, especially when your team aren’t willing to change and shift their own mentality at work. Focus on team building, introducing new benefits, encourage communication, talk to your employees and make sure everyone feels supported and included.
How To Transform a Toxic Work Culture into a Healthy Workplace
Team building exercises are a great way to encourage collaboration and teamwork within your employees. To some people, teamwork doesn’t come naturally, therefore this is a great way to bring the team together to encourage communication throughout.
Support & Guidance
In difficult times of toxic work cultures, it is crucial that your management team acts and provides support and guidance to employees when they need it most. It is also essential that management encourages employees to step forward and ask for help.
Is this an issue within your employees and the structure of the business? Do you need to make structural changes due to a high staff turnover? Evaluating your team and the structure of your business can be really beneficial in making a change.
Prioritise Your Team
Encourage your employees to take regular breaks, well rested holiday and a healthy work-life balance. Make sure you praise your employees when they’re working hard and recognise their accomplishments.
Positive company cultures are integral to the success of any business. When an employee feels appreciated, included and listened to, you will find the moral and overall satisfaction within your organisation shifts tremendously. Park City Consulting are professionals in helping businesses with employee relations, improving company culture, business restructure and management. Click here to find out more about our HR Services.