Workplace culture – What makes a great place to work?

candidate engagement

Research from the CIPD shows that “having the right culture is important for sustainable organisation performance.”

It used to be a rarity to find an employer who offered benefits like a pension as standard. However, since the introduction of compulsory workplace pensions in 2008, a pension doesn’t exactly scream “benefit” to potential employees anymore. Some employers look to provide cashback discounts or voucher codes, but savvy jobseekers know that these are available online at the click of a mouse – and don’t see that as a bonus, either.

Whilst a nice salary and holiday allowance is one step towards employee satisfaction, an organisation’s culture is vital to attracting and retaining good staff.

The culture of a workplace is its personality and character. This includes shared values, beliefs and assumptions about how people should behave, how decisions should be made and how work activities should be carried out. Key factors in an organisation’s culture include its past, its environment, and its leaders.

When it comes to employee satisfaction, no matter how good someone is at their job; if they don’t fit in, they won’t be happy. Research from Glassdoor says that between 10-25% of new hires leave within six months of their start date and one commonly cited reason is a poor fit between the employee and the company culture.

What makes a great place to work?

Shared values:

It is key to have a set of clear business values that are the fundamental beliefs upon which your organisation and its outputs are based. They need to be communicated effectively and discussed with the employees so that they take ownership of them.

Cultivate relationships:

We spend a lot of time at work, often longer than we spend with our loved ones! Therefore, it is helpful to have a bonded team who support and nurture each other. You can encourage this by organising group activities such as team lunch, an away day or a drinks night so that your employees can get to know each other better. Even better, if you can organise something in working hours to begin with – nobody likes organised fun!

Be aware of mental health and burnouts:

Mental health is on everyone’s agenda at the moment, and it should be on yours. A workplace culture that overworks staff to the point of burnout isn’t beneficial to anybody. Encourage breaks, lunches away from desks and for staff to get support if they need it.

Develop skills:

We can never stop learning. If an employee shows a particular talent towards something that could be beneficial to their role or the company, encourage them! This doesn’t always have to include costly training – you could schedule a weekly down-time where people have to spend researching or watching online training videos.

We recently delivered a seminar on Employee Culture, Wellbeing and Retention where we went into detail about how creating a great culture at work is linked to better health & wellbeing, as well as better employee retention. Read more about the event here.

If you want more advice on how to create a vibrant workplace culture – get in touch with our team on 0114 321 1873 or

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