The importance of creating a great workplace culture

Culture is the character and personality of your business. It’s what makes your business unique and is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviours, and attitudes. You can work to the best of your capabilities when you are surrounded by an encouraging environment that values people.

This is why work culture is so important in bringing out the best from your employees. Negativity not only kills creativity and will to perform but also does not allow an employee to develop a sense of affection and ownership with the business.

You and your employees spend more than one-third of your lives at work. Naturally, if your employee is happy and content at work, it will reflect in their overall personality and growth. The collective impact of a good work environment is much more than increased productivity and employee satisfaction.

Here’s an overview of why workplace culture is important and what affects it:

Why is workplace culture important?

Attracts talent: Workplace culture and employee focussed organisations are high on the wish list for job-seekers in todays marketplace. In a candidate short market where attracting talent is competitive, culture is key

Increases happiness and satisfaction: Your employees shouldn’t dread coming to work, they should enjoy coming to work (most of the time anyway!) Culture gives employees a driving goal and purpose for what they do. It connects your leadership team with your employees and binds them with a set of shared beliefs. Happy employees make productive employees! Also, happy employees will spread the word effectively which can be very useful in attracting talent!

Retains talent and increases ‘loyalists’: Employee incentives and appraisals might not always be enough to motivate an employee to work effectively and perform ‘over and above’. Sometimes in extremely challenging circumstances it is the love and affection employees feel towards their workplace that turns out to be a decisive factor. People leave organisations if they don’t feel valued, or they don’t feel aligned culturally with the business goals. Get this right and you create loyalists who are ambassadors of your business

Affects performance: It sounds so simple but a great culture is positive, encouraging, aspiring, energetic and motivational. Words we hear all the time but each worth thinking about in isolation. How would your performance improve if you worked in that culture?

What affects workplace culture?

The short answer is: everything. A multitude of different factors in the workplace play a role in developing a workplace culture, including:

Management/Leadership: how your business is managed – its systems, procedures, structure, controls, and goals/objectives. What degree do your Managers and leaders empower employees to make decisions and support and interact with them consistently?

Vision/Mission/Values: Are your vision, mission and values clear and embedded across your organisation? Do they truly reflect the belief and goals of the business and how ‘bought in’ are your people? How often are they measured?

Who you recruit: Your recruitment process is key to appointing the right candidate to your workplace culture. Appointing purely on skills and experience isn’t enough nowadays. To ensure the long-term stick of the placement culture is as important as their experience.

Benefits: Having such a diverse group of people in the workplace means that employers may have to consider the various needs of those age groups when creating an employee benefits package. Allowing employees to pick and customise some of their benefits according to their needs may be more appealing than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Benefit packages that offer choices and flexibility can drive participation and can give employers a better return on investment.

Policies: What are your employment policies? Attendance, dress code, conduct, recruitment, pay reviews etc. Are these in line with what your culture says about you? Are they relevant, clear and understandable?

Environment: Creating a work space your employees love being part of can be done collectively. We see offices nowadays with break out areas, local art on the walls, blackboards for idea generating, sales incentives visual and even the occasional office dog. Is your work space inviting?

Communications: How do you communicate with your team and how often? Have you spoke to them about how they would like to be communicated with? Being inclusive makes your communications more structured in the right way and your team will be more open to listening

For these reasons, it’s important to step back, define, and evaluate your workplace culture – both what it is now and what you want it to be in the future – and how all of the factors above are either contributing or taking away from your desired culture. Although it can be very difficult to define, assessment tools and surveys can help you gauge your culture. They may reveal gaps between the culture you want and the culture you currently have.  In addition, observation, examination of workplace behaviour, meetings, discussions, and interviews can expose your workplace climate. The important part is to start somewhere and open up a dialogue with your managers and your team about it. Keep in mind that culture is always a work in progress.

For advice and support on recruiting the right people into your culture and retaining them contact one of our specialist team of recruiters on 0114 3211873.

Contact Us