- An organization’s culture is composed of the values and behaviors practiced inside the organization.
- The workplace culture defines what behaviors can be ‘expected’ in the workplace, and ‘accepted’ by the rest of the team – by both management and co-workers.
- Culture is strongly influenced by relationships, as well as formal policies and informal practices.
- Achieving a strong culture requires intention and commitment, but the investment can pay off: a strong organizational culture can be a competitive advantage that strengthens the organization’s ability to achieve its mission and strategic goals.
- And, most of us find it much more pleasant to work in a positive work environment full of people who enjoy their work and their co-workers.
While money and other benefits are important, rarely is the decision to leave a company and join another should be based on compensation alone.
Look beyond the surface and you’ll see it usually has something to do with workplace culture.
Employees spend the majority of their waking hours at work – whom they approach, the way they interact, and the way they react professionally to different problems or tasks, are all reflections of their respective organization’s workplace culture. Culture is a key determinant in attracting and retaining talent.
In this article, we introduce our series on workplace culture. A broad topic, we believe that sharing our insights over a short series of articles will help you understand some of the key elements and issues in workplace culture.
What is workplace culture?
An organization’s culture is composed of the values and behaviors practiced inside the organization. The workplace culture defines what behaviors can be ‘expected’ in the workplace, and ‘accepted’ by the rest of the team – by both management and co-workers.
To get a feel for what your own company culture might be, think about how you would respond to a prospective employee when asked the question, ‘Why would I want to come and work for you?’
Example answers that denote positive workplace culture could be ‘family-friendly’; ‘flexible to your needs; ‘happy team environment’; ‘will be a valued member of our team’; ‘professional development support’; culturally inclusive workplace; ‘individually based training’; ‘well-respected company’, etc.
Culture is strongly influenced by relationships, as well as formal policies and informal practices. A healthy culture can inspire individuals to bond together and weather difficult challenges in pursuit of a common goal. A weak culture can leave individuals and the organization damaged and unsuccessful.
Achieving a strong culture requires intention and commitment, but the investment can pay off: a strong organizational culture can be a competitive advantage that strengthens the organization’s ability to achieve its mission and strategic goals. And, most of us find it much more pleasant to work in a positive work environment full of people who enjoy their work and their co-workers. In addition, their perceptions of the workplace may influence the public reputation of the organization.
Benefits of a positive workplace culture
Nowadays, positive workplace culture has been a key focus of organizations around the world.
In this candidate-driven market, employers are now seeing the benefits of the creation of positive workplaces where employees can feel engaged, inspired, safe, and productive.
In fact, Deloitte noted that around 94% of executives believe that strong company culture is essential to the success of a business. Here are the primary benefits of positive workplace culture:
· Talent Attraction
Nowadays, top-notch candidates scrutinize the organization and its culture. A strong and positive workplace attracts qualified job candidates to the organization. Deloitte’s study on Global Human Capital Trends showed that culture and engagement are the highest priority on the corporate agenda, a clear indication that shows how companies with positive workplace cultures are more likely to attract and keep talent.
· Employee Engagement and Retention
Culture has created a big impact on employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention. Research from the Harvard Business Review shows that positive workplace culture is proven to keep employees engaged at work.
· Business Performance
Organizations with a positive culture are known to outperform their competitors and are generally seen as more successful. Research shows that around 92% of business leaders from successful companies believe that workplace culture and financial performance have a distinct correlation.
Key ideas to support a positive workplace culture
As a manager, here are some ideas for supporting a positive workplace culture:
- Lead by example.
Top executives and managers serve as role models and sources of guidance and in positive and virtuous ethical cultures, they practice what they preach. Employees pay particularly close attention to these behaviors. Managers who are negative about work-life balance may send signals indicating that the use of flexible benefits is a problem for them and the organization as a whole.
- Physical spaces.
In some cases, it’s as simple as fostering a sense of community and friendship. Where do your employees eat? What kind of seating is involved in work areas? Creating spaces that encourage social interaction and sharing can give them a greater sense of community.
- Recognize that you have to manage people differently, depending on their age and circumstances.
For example, the work/life balance expectations of a single, 25-year-old employee who is just starting a career, may be different from a 42-year-old with two kids, a mortgage, and a working partner. One size does not fit all.
- Treat your employees as people.
Much the way you do, your employees have a life outside of work that involves family, fitness, clubs, education, or other interests. Flexibility around working hours, days off, or working from home, can go a long way to building loyalty.
Related: Keeping Employee Morale Up Virtually
How would you describe your workplace culture? Is your workplace culture driving improvement in your organization’s performance?
CDA is here to help you get top-notch talent for your organization! Our holistic and targeted approach to executive search and recruitment will help top talent find the right role for the right organization. Contact us to learn more.