A positive company culture is closely linked to a businesses success. Countless studies have found that an employee who is happy is their position, is more productive and has a better attitude while at work.
However, no two employees are the same. So, achieving a positive company culture for each and every employee can be complicated. Regardless, the importance of fulfilling this is crucial.
Here, we discuss what exactly workplace culture is, the benefits a good one can bring, and provide tips on how to provide the company culture within your workplace.
What does workplace culture mean and why is it important?
A company's culture is defined as the overall character of a business. This can include interactions between employees, the company values, and the attitude throughout the work environment.
Generally, a business with a good work place culture will mean that employees are happy, resulting in high employee engagement. Employee engagement is how much each work is willing to emotionally commit to both the business, and its goals.
When a workplace has a positive culture, and happy employees, these employees will feel respected and appreciated, and will be inclined to work harder in their position. Therefore, to achieve maximum productivity within your business, good workplace culture is a cornerstone to success.
Benefits of a strong company culture
There are a countless benefits that come hand in hand with a strong company culture. However, these benefits all whittle down into one integral advantage: increased productivity.
Of course, the emotional well being of a businesses employees is very important. And, this will be improved by delivering a great culture within a company. However, when considering the business side, increased productivity - which is achieved by creating a good company culture - generally results in increased revenue and business success.
The fundamentals of positive company culture
In order to achieve a positive company culture within your organisation, you should consider a number of fundamental factors.
Determining core values
The first step in creating a great company culture is to analyse what the company stands for, and what its core cultural values are. Almost every single successful brand in the world knows what they stand for, and implements this in all areas of the business.
To determine the core values of your company, you should make a list of desired behaviours and ideals for the business. A good question to ask yourself is: “What behaviors or actions would the company value over profit?. This can help you discover what is important to the company, aside from profit.
If you're struggling to determine your core values, you can ask executives or managers to come together for a meeting where you can brainstorm important ideals. This will help you see past your own ideals, and understand what is important to your employees, too.
Recruitment and hiring process
When a company has structured core values that are evident within the business, it will be the first step towards attracting the right talent. Having these values defined will consequently help in the hiring process, as you will have an idea of the ideals you'd like to find in a potential employee, that match those of the company.
Leadership and communication
Leadership and communication has a huge impact on company culture. When a leadership style is less than ideal, for example a leader who condescends their workers, these employees will feel disrespected and be less inclined to perform well within their role. The same sentiment stands for communication, too.
For this reason, it's very important to thoroughly train your leaders in how to treat and communication with their employees, so that open communication, learning and progress is encouraged.
Employee engagement and wellbeing
Generally, happy employees are productive employees. Employee engagement is when an employee has job satisfaction, and wants to work hard. There are a number of ways you can increase employee engagement and well being, this can be as simple as rewards when targets are hit, flexible working hours or friendly and caring management style.
To determine how happy employees are within your company, data must be collated. This can be done in the form of employee feedback surveys or interviews. Once you know what an employee likes and doesn't like about their job or the business, then you have the tools to change that.
Policy and procedures
A company culture policy is a great way to implement the ideals and values that the company holds. This document can outline the expected behavior, what values they appreciate and issues that they're committed to helping or improving. A document like helps new employees to understand the corporate culture, and shows them that the business values their happiness.
The challenges of company culture in a COVID-world
Hybrid work environments
Prior to COVID, hybrid environments were relatively comments. However, the pandemic forced millions of workplaces to switch to the work-from-home model, and many of these companies have kept this archetype. While working-from-home is a welcome change for some employees, it can be harder to implement a positive company culture when employees aren't physically present.
However, because of their hybrid (part work-from-home, part work-in-the-office), this model still allows employees to be physically present for part of the time, and corporate culture measures can be instilled during that time.
As touched on above, virtual interaction that's connected to working from home puts up obstacles about what can be implemented. But, company culture measures don't' necessarily need to be physical. When interacted virtually, communication methods must really be zeroed in on, so that employees can feel appreciated.
Many workplaces require their employees to be in a range of different locations. An example of this is a real estate, who spreads their time between the office, external client meetings and properties. Because the employee isn't physically present for workplace interactions, it can be harder to implement company culture measures. However, it's still possible to identify what employees desire in their position, and to deliver this through other means.
Tips for creating a great company culture
Determine company culture with the employees
As time passes and businesses grow, employees wants and needs are continually changing. For this reason, it's important to constantly assess their desires, and implement these accordingly.
A good way to do this is by organising a group meeting where workers can discuss what they believe is important to both the business, and their personal needs. This open forum allows workshopping, and may encourage new ideas that you hadn't considered before.
If you have employees who are shy and prefer not to speak in large meetings, you can also conduct these brain storms one on one, or in smaller groups.
Reward productive workers
A rewards system can be a great way to improve corporate culture. When an employee works hard, and their hard work is appreciated, they will feel respected and generally be inclined to work harder. If the reward is something that excites the employee, they will usually push them selves to achieve the means of receiving the reward. While rewards normally cost money, the pay off from the increased productivity from the employee is usually much higher.
Train your leadership team
The way that leaders interact and treat their staff has a massive impact on employee wellness. Numerous studies have shown that if an employee feels like they are treated well, and generally likes their management, then they will be more productive.
Being a good leader is a complex skill, and usually a lot of training is required to make someone a proficient leader. However, committing to the time and cost of training your leaders properly is invaluable.
Hire for culture
Having the right employees with the right attitude in the right job is crucial. A single employee with a bad attitude can drag an entire team down. So, when interviewing a potential employee, it's very important to identify whether their personal ideals and values align with those of the company.
Establish a healthy work-life balance
All work and no play can lead to stress for employees, burn out and decreased productivity. Try to ensure that your employees aren't overworked, and that they have a healthy balance. This could mean things like have a flexibility leave or work from home policy, or offering child care services to people with kids.
Staying at the forefront of employee culture is crucial to your success
Identifying and implementing measures that will maximise your business is possible, but can be complex. If you aren't sure where to start, we have a team of skilled HR professionals who specialise in improving company culture in all different fields of work.
Our team can help you create a strong company culture from scratch, devise a plan to improve your current culture, give specific tips where needed, and/or make suggestions for software programs that can help you achieve better company culture. If you're interested in finding out more, you can contact us here.