As many have realised in the past few years, a great workplace culture can’t be magically summoned by putting a foosball table in the breakroom. So what is workplace culture?
It’s the character of your organisation; the way your company thinks and acts on a daily basis. Your workplace culture encompasses the values, objectives and rituals of your team, as well as how that team interacts.
Work culture can be dynamic and positive, or it can be toxic and negative. It’s also vitally important to the success of your business. And apparently more so in Australia than anywhere else in the world. In one Deloitte survey, 94% of Australian respondents said that their company culture is important or very important. This is for a number of reasons. People will stay in a job where they like their colleagues and they feel like they’re part of a team. A healthy workplace culture can improve your engagement, retention and productivity. It also makes it easier to attract the right new talent. So how do you get workplace culture ‘right’?
You can’t force a great workplace culture – but you can build the right environment for one.
Culture comes from the people within a workplace, but you can absolutely set up the framework for a positive culture. Although these factors aren’t the be-all and end-all, they will all have their role to play in your work environment:
Having a mission and sharing values
Highly engaged workers are those who have an emotional commitment to the organisation’s goals. That’s why identifying and sharing your company’s mission, vision and values are critical to creating a true team atmosphere. If you don’t have a clear manifesto of who you are and what you’re working towards, it’s worth investing the time to clarify this.
Optimising workplace policies and procedures
It’s important that a workplace has robust processes to ensure things go well, and to provide the right support should something go wrong. This can include policies on work-life balance, onboarding, rewards and recognition, advancement practices, health and safety, performance management and wellbeing programs. In the Reventure Workplace Well-being Report, Australian workers believe the most important aspects for a healthy work environment are:
- Realistic workloads (92%)
- Flexible working hours (83%)
- Encouraging work/life integration (82%).
Leading by example
You can hire the very best people, but flawed management practices can turn a workplace culture sour very easily. Great leadership is about treating employees with respect and getting the best out of each individual’s abilities, and also about having the humility to apologise or admit fault if the need ever arises. Leadership sets the example for the entire workplace.
Keeping communication clear
Of course, to keep everyone on board with your objectives, regular and clear communication is key. Constructive performance reviews, solid communications platforms and even informal gatherings all play their part in fostering effective communication. Two-way communication is also important for identifying any culture issues, and for finding ways to improve the workplace environment.
If you can’t put your finger on exactly what needs to change or you’re looking to elevate your workplace culture from good to great, developing a human resource strategy with the right HR service provider can prove invaluable. PerformHR is a team of passionate HR consultants in Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Newcastle, providing HR support for small businesses and large companies with flexible, tailored solutions. To get started, simply contact the team.