Understanding and Developing Workplace Culture

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Home > Blog > Understanding and Developing Workplace Culture

Corporate culture may seem like an intangible and unimportant part of a business, but in reality, it incorporates so many different facets of the organisation that can affect its overall performance and just one aspect of the culture being poor can send the rest of it into a tailspin.

Understanding corporate culture means delving into what keeps employees happy, motivated, energised and working as part of a cohesive team. The opposite of this can see staff feeling undervalued, overworked, demotivated and, ultimately, underperforming.

Promoting a healthy and positive workplace culture is not as simple as providing everyone with high salaries (although, this can help!). It could mean replacing a clunky old technology with one that is more efficient or implementing a flexible working policy. There are many ways you can ensure your workplace’s culture is a positive one. Here are some ways you can endeavour to strengthen yours.

The Recruitment Process

Recruitment is one of the publicly facing elements of workplace culture that can cause embarrassment for an organisation. Positive workplace culture helps to attract the best talent and from day one, candidates will be looking at how enjoyable the recruitment process was. Candidate care is a concept that by-passes many organisations and taking too long to respond to candidates, not providing a comfortable interview process or ‘ghosting’ candidates altogether can be seen as a huge red flag for an organisation’s culture.

Successful candidates may question how streamlined the everyday operations of the organisation are and unsuccessful candidates may be left with a bitter taste in their mouth after being treated poorly. It is crucial that this aspect of the workplace culture is focused on to set new employees off on the right foot.

Show Care For Your Employees

Happy and healthy employees are loyal employees. It is rare for an organisation to not have some type of wellness program in place now and these can be scaled to suit any business size. Whether that means flexible working hours, subsidised gym memberships or an Employee Assistance Program to help with mental health, contributing to your staff’s mental, physical and emotional wellbeing can work wonders for workplace culture.

Keep A Positive Outlook

Staff look to their leaders for motivation. If a senior manager is pessimistic about the outlook of the organisation it will have a ripple effect throughout the workplace. By taking a positive stance – even in tough times – employees will feel more secure and stable and can continue to use their time diligently instead of worrying about what might happen to their livelihood.

Provide Feedback

Reviews can sometimes be tough to give or receive but they are a crucial element of self-development. Poor work performance needs to be challenged as it can have an effect not only on the organisation’s reputation but also on staff morale if other employees feel their teammates are not pulling their weight.

By providing timely, honest and constructive feedback employees will know where they stand and how they can improve, as well as what they are doing well and how to incorporate those attitudes and behaviours into the rest of their work.

Celebrate The Wins – Even The Small Ones

People love to feel appreciated, wanted and needed. By celebrating a job well-done staff will feel seen, respected and valued, which can go a long way. Gratitude does not necessarily need to come in the form of financial rewards; a simple thank you email, or another small gesture can make a huge impact and can motivate staff to strive towards their next goal.

Provide Purpose

If your organisation does not have any community outreach projects it might be time to consider volunteering or fundraising for a cause that aligns with your organisation. Involve staff in the selection of the charity and the fundraising or volunteer initiative to ensure maximum engagement. This can also double as a great teambuilding exercise.

Promote The Positive Culture That Already Exists

Developing a positive workplace culture does not have to mean starting from scratch. There may be some things your organisation is already doing very well. Use these as a platform to grow and promote the positive culture that your workplace is already engaging in.

Ask your staff what the best elements of their job are – whether it is the physical office space, the clients, their team members, a particular project they enjoyed working on or even the brand of teabags in the kitchen – use this information as a platform to incorporate more positivity. 

Encourage Socialising

One of the most effective ways to enhance workplace culture is by enabling employees to build rapport and share a bond. By organising social events such as team lunches, Friday night drinks or team building days your staff can get to know each other in a non-work environment that is bound to increase respect, friendship and teamwork.

You do not need to be a huge company or spend a lot of money to improve workplace culture. Simple and subtle changes can help to enhance overall morale and even the smallest business can benefit from a few tweaks.

If you need human resources advice, speak to a HR Consultant in Cairns at Preston HR.