What is Work Culture?
Definition: Work culture is defined as the shared values, behavior, attitudes, and beliefs in the workplace and reflects the ideology and overall personality of the organization. It determines how an individual is going to fit in the environment and how will his professional relationship be with other employees in that place.
Will an employee be able to achieve job satisfaction and balance is to a great extent dependent on the progressive workplace culture.
What Impacts Work Culture?
Every employee from the entry-level to the management level is responsible for the existing work culture in an organization. It is the leaders that set the tone through their mission, vision, policies, and benefits, the managers through their recruitment and hiring practices and the employees through their behaviour and conduct.
The physical environment also has a role to play in the workplace culture as a spacious and open place with lots of perks and incentives create positive work cultures whereas a place that does not give the employees even room to breathe creates a stifling atmosphere where creativity is subdued and employees just want to go home after a nine-to-five job.
Elements of a Healthy Work Culture
Workplace culture can be either traditional or modern or a combination of both. Some important elements of a healthy and positive work culture are as follows
Every employee that works in the company is accountable for his behavior and contributes towards a healthy and positive organization’s work culture. It is the accountability that will be creating a culture based on responsibility, trust, teamwork, and open communication and allow all the employees to learn from mistakes and face challenges head-on.
An organization that treats its employees equally will be creating a positive work environment. New employees feel a strong culture makes every day smooth and provides equal growth opportunities to everyone in the company.
An organization that fosters open communication is the one that comes out the winner in the long run. It is an important element of work culture as it helps employees to share information, collaborate ideas, solve problems and receive feedback. A functional work culture with open communication allows the team to face challenges and resolve conflicts easily
The expression is an important element of work culture because when an individual can express himself freely without any hassles he will feel comfortable, focused, and productive in his job position.
5. Recognition, mutual respect, and appreciation
Recognition, mutual respect, and appreciation are critical elements of workplace culture as a thriving culture will recognize success and reward employees for a project gone right. When the workplace is cheerful it will encourage every team member to use his potential to the fullest and offer praise, benefits and a competitive salary.
Importance of a Positive Work Culture
Positive work culture is important for an organization as it will help the company as well as all its employees to flourish, grow and develop with time. The reasons why a healthy and positive work culture in an organization is important are
1. Employee retention
Positive work culture provides stability to both new hires and existing employees. Happy employees will choose to stay at their jobs and this leads to a better employee retention rate
2. Employee happiness
The work environment is always influenced by the work culture. People find meaning and satisfaction in their work if the culture promotes positivity and growth and this often leads to employee happiness.
3. High productivity
When the employees are happy they will discuss it with friends, family and clients and customers. An enjoyable workplace is an asset for organizations as this will increase their brand reputation in the industry and help to attract talent.
5. Superior hiring choices
Potential employees are attracted to positive company culture. It becomes easy for hiring managers to invite, select and recruit individuals who share the vision and culture of their organization. Like-minded professionals can easily work toward shared organizational goals.
How to Create a Positive Work Culture?
Take the following steps to create a positive work culture within an organization
1. Hire people who have talent
A business entity will need to hire people who have talent. Such individuals will no doubt prove an asset workwise but when their work is of top quality then there will be less tension in the workplace. This will create a happy and positive work environment for others as well
2. Make work fulfilling
It is the responsibility of the management in a business to make work fulfilling for the employees. People want to be a part of work that matters and results in better revenues for the company. Make sure that people in a leadership position takes employees in confidence and makes them aware of their high-quality work that is helping the company in achieving its goals and objectives
3. Praise and recognize good work
Employees who are not valued are always on the lookout for new jobs and this leads to high employee turnover. Praise and recognize the work of the organizational team in front of other employees. This will create excitement and willingness in employees to do better work. Healthy competition will improve the workplace environment, deliver better work performance and help in achieving an organization’s goals.
4. Encourage meaningful conversation
Managers need to encourage open and meaningful conversationss within all the departments and team members. Getting to know everyone will help in understanding the perspective of other people and connecting with employees on a one-to-one basis.
5. Plan good surprises
People often become bored with everyday routine work within their organization. The manager needs to know about the things that can break the monotonous routine of everyday life. He can plan good surprises like a lunch, picnic an event, or a sports activity that will need participation from all the members. This will bring employees closer and create a happy and positive work culture.
6. Use the power of feedback
Constructive criticism through feedback helps to clear the air about misunderstandings. Management often takes the help of feedback to let the employees know about their performance and where they are going wrong. People are ready to hear about their mistakes if told positively. Make it a two-way conversation so that you can align employee performance with an organization’s goals. Even a few feedback sessions will prove a blessing in creating a happy and positive work culture.
7. Make individual development a priority
Most of the business entities are promoting the use of IDP or individual Development Plan to improve every aspect of their workplace environment. It is the responsibility of the leaders to ensure every employee is benefiting from this plan and through it can achieve both short-term and long-term professional and personal goals. When people know their strengths and weakness it helps them in making necessary improvements. All these efforts by the management will create a positive place.
8. Stop micromanaging
A business entity that does not promote micromanaging will have employees who go out of their way to achieve an organization’s goals and objectives. They realize their responsibility and take ownership of their actions. This desire to be accountable and walk the extra mile helps in creating a happy workplace.
9. Create a work-life balance
Creating a work-life balance should be a priority of every business. Say yes to vacation days, work-from-home options, discounts on wellness programs, daycare, etc. Offering these incentives will work in favor of the company and create a positive workplace with happy employees.
10. Promote workplace wellness
Introduce programs that will encourage employees to live a healthy life by adopting good eating habits, regular sleeping timings, opting for physical exercises. Offer corporate discounts on fitness clubs or open gyms in the workplace if you have enough space. Hire professional instructors to help members find their calm after strenuous workdays. Promote workplace wellness with encouraging steps if you are serious about positive work culture.
Benefits of creating a Positive Work Culture
Take a look at the benefits of a positive work culture within an organization
- Management takes initiatives to keep its employees happy
- Improved motivation levels
- Good work within the organizations
- Increases work satisfaction and employee engagement
- New hires look at the existing values, beliefs, and work
- culture and are inspired to do better because of it
- Compatibility between team members
- Increased accountability
- More trust between management and employees
- Enhanced customer experience
- Improved customer loyalty
Toxic Work Culture Symptoms
Some important symptoms of toxic work culture are
- Inefficient work
- High employee turnover
- No cooperation between team members
- Unhealthy gossip
- Conflicts between management and employees
- Lack of creativity and innovation in the workplace
- No praise or rewards for employees
- There are no fun activities in the workplace
- Micromanagement is the norm of the day
- Poor communication
- People do not have any idea about company culture
- Poor reputation in the industry
- Lack of bonus program
Role of leadership in shaping work culture
Work culture should be one of the primary concerns of leaders as it can take the company far in the long term. Leaders must take the following steps to continue with good work and promote a strong work environment
- Take an active role and become involved in the Onboarding process
- Provide coaching, training, and mentoring options and create a good and strong first impression
- Leaders must use company culture and values as a basis to build customer relationships
- Promote a support structure for employees
- Leaders must appreciate and recognize the work of their employees by offering praise and rewards
- Congratulate people who are promoting a happy and positive company culture in every day of life
- Make sure that all the stakeholders in the organization are aware of the company values, mission, and culture
- Leadership must promote company culture through website, social media channels, mouth publicity, and company merchandise