Workplace culture is like a glue that binds organisation together.
As we spend most of our time at work, it’s important to have a good workplace culture.
A positive work culture can lead to happier and more productive employees. It can also help us form better relationships with our coworkers.
While a negative culture in workplace can have the opposite effect. Unfortunately, not all workplaces have great cultures.
It’s important for employers to take the time to create a workplace culture that works for everyone. And employees should be mindful of the type of culture they’re bringing into the office.
Let’s take a deeper look on importance of workplace culture, and discuss some tips for creating or improving it and the common issues arises in workplace culture.
What is Workplace Culture?
There are a lot of different definitions of workplace culture. At its simplest, culture is the way things are done in an organisation.
It’s the leadership, values, beliefs, and behaviors that make overall environment of a workplace.
Workplace culture is not easy to measure and it’s not a tangible thing. Because it’s more about how you feel at work rather than set of written principles to follow at workplace.
Culture can be positive or negative.
A positive culture values things like teamwork, cooperation, and respect. It also fosters an environment of creativity and innovation.
On the other hand, a negative culture may have values that are the opposite of those things. It can be toxic, competitive and cutthroat, with a focus on individual achievement.
Importance of Workplace culture
Culture is important because it determines the way employees behave and perform.
Here are seven reasons which signify importance of workplace culture.
Research by Oxford University revealed that employees are 13% more productive when they are happy.
And employees’ happiness is largely function of workplace culture. If the culture is positive and supportive then employees are more likely to be productive and happy.
If the culture is toxic then employees feel stress and anxiety which negatively affects employees’ focus and ultimately their productivity,
Morale of the employees is the combination of attitude, mood, behavior and engagement of the team members in the workplace. It’s like a voice of entire organization.
Morale of organisation is also dependent on workplace culture. Positive workplace culture ensures diversity and inclusion of employees which boost their morale.
Happy and satisfied employees stay with organisation for long period of time. In a positive culture, employees are more likely to get along and work well together. And ultimately there is low turn-over rate.
When employees are valued then they feel empowered and willing to contribute to organisational success. This not only results into loyalty but it saves cost involved in continuously hiring new employees.
Reputation and workplace culture are also linked. If an organization has a good reputation, it’s likely because the workplace culture is also good.
Organizations with good reputation are more likely to win business. And also, organizations with strong culture are more likely to attract the right talent to work in.
Workplace culture determines what communication style is being practiced at that workplace.
There is always a two-ways communication in a positive culture. There employees are encouraged to communicate and share ideas related to their work.
Workplaces lack trust and transparency where culture doesn’t permit employees to speak up and have an open and candid communication.
6. Interaction with clients
The way employees interact with customers or clients is also dictated by workplace culture. In a positive culture, employees are more likely to be friendly and helpful.
Only motivated employees are able to work hard to ensure quality in service delivery and meet high standards when it comes to client satisfaction.
Successful businesses understand that happy employees make for a strong team. A great workplace culture creates an environment where employees can trust and respect each other, work together towards common goals.
All of this leads to a more productive and successful business.
How to build Culture in the Workplace?
Workplace culture is not something that is installed instantly but it takes time and continuous effort is required to build, improve and sustain it.
But there are few key things that you need to focus on to build culture in the workplace.
1. Define organisational values
Values are those core beliefs and philosophies your organisation is following. So, the first step is to build culture is to define your organizational values. What does your organization stand for? What are your core beliefs?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can start to build a culture around those values.
These values should be real and not just written words on a piece of paper. Otherwise, it would be difficult to get buy-in of employees who are asked to follow these values.
What they follow and what they believe that will make workplace culture.
2. Know workplace norms
Workplace norms are those unwritten rules that guide employees how to behave and perform.
These norms are so powerful that employees follow these without questioning these. Daily routine at workplace is reflection of norms of that workplace.
Since these norms defines workplace culture so leadership must know and decide what norms are compatible with organizational values and what are those which need to be replaced.
3. Hire the right People
Human resource is the real asset of an organization. In order to build right workplace culture, it is crucial to hire right people. Because its people who are to live organizational values and follow unwritten rules.
Make sure you’re hiring people who fit your organizational values and who will buy into the culture you’re trying to create.
The leadership team sets the tone for the entire organization. If the leaders are positive and supportive, the rest of the employees will likely follow suit.
Employees tend to follow leadership that how they behave and they even adopt habits of their leadership.
Therefore, leaders should always focus on guiding and mentoring of their employees to build the positive workplace culture.
Open communication is key to maintaining a positive workplace culture. Leaders should communicate regularly with employees, and employees should feel comfortable communicating with leaders.
People need to know and be informed about organizational values, rules, norms and traditions, so communication is a key to build workplace culture.
In the times of hybrid workplace culture, it’s also crucial to communicate frequently and openly with employees to set workplace culture right.
6. Environment at Workplace
The work environment plays a big role in workplace culture. Employers must ensure workplace safety and create an environment where people feel secure and work without any fear.
There are some external factors like temperature, noises and pollution etc negatively affect morale of employee. These obstacles should be addressed to make a positive workplace culture.
Creating a comfortable and inviting space will go a long way in making a supportive workplace culture.
7. Organizational Policies
Organizations make different policies to run their operations. These are written rules and are very important in shaping workplace culture.
Among many important policies are: hiring, dress code, training, harassment, bullying, health and safety, work-life balance.
To make a positive culture, organizations must have clear and transparent policies in place.
No one can deny the important of workplace culture. Because, it’s an image of an organization and tells how employees behave and perform there. If workplace culture is positive and supportive then there are many benefits from high productivity to good reputation.
Therefore, it’s responsibility of leadership to build a positive and supportive workplace culture where everyone feel motivated and committed to perform for organizational success.