Have you ever been stuck in a job where you felt you didn’t fit in? Where the work itself isn’t the problem… you just dread being ‘in the office’. Chances are this is down to the workplace culture (or lack of one), which doesn’t quite align with your values and working habits.
There are many moving parts that make up the culture of a workplace – the people, the environment, facilities, practices and policies. Then there is also the philosophy, values, mission and vision of the place where you work.
Any one of these factors being off-kilter can have a discernible impact on workplace culture. The good news is that it’s possible to change the culture of a workplace. Workplace benefits have been shown to have a positive impact, and we’ll be talking about that here in the next few posts.
But for now we’ve pulled together some practical guidance to set you off on the right foot to cultivate and maintain a positive workplace culture.
Why is workplace culture important?
Positive workplace culture is not simply a measure of how happy or content employees are within an organisation. Great culture provides a deeper connection between the employee and the employer, demonstrating commitment and investment from both sides.
One study by Gallup showed that when organisations invest in quality engagement with employees – by making employees a key part of the business future and by giving them what they need to do their best, success in these organisations nearly doubled.
Furthermore, these types of businesses saw 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity. And these highly engaged businesses not only retain talented workers, they enjoy an increase in sales and greater customer relations to boot.
Employee retention is so valuable. As reported by Forbes, high turnover and its associated costs could actually be the death of a business.
There’s no surprise that organisations which are regularly voted ‘Best places to work’ often have strong and established company cultures. A study by Deloitte found that exceptional companies create and sustain culture that engages and motivates employees.
So, in summary the culture of the workplace matters because;
- It puts everyone on the same page; defines the ‘unspoken’ expectations (or what’s not expected) in the workplace
- It connects people to each other, the workplace and their employer, and enables collaboration
- It attracts the right people, deters those that aren’t the right fit and retains talent
- It offers direction, clarity and a purpose
- It aids growth, both in people and the organisation
- It affects performance, happiness and satisfaction
- It’s rewarding – for the employee and the employer, by boosting morale
So what exactly is workplace culture?
Workplace culture is the shared values and attitudes of an organisation and its employees. Culture helps to guide employees and a business towards a shared goal, and usually stems from the organisation’s mission. Having good culture in the workplace provides clarity and coherence, whilst also creating opportunity and maintaining a healthy environment to work in.
British employees spend an average 84,365 hours working in their lifetime, which is a significant amount of time to spend doing anything. Just as with romantic relationships, the choice to stick with or leave a place of employment very much comes down to fit and suitability for one another.
This article by the Government Digital Service sums up really nicely what part of a healthy workplace culture looks like. While it’s not the full picture, it’s clear to see from the article what sort of attitude employees can expect when working at the GDS.
How do you cultivate a positive company culture?
There are various components that go into the cooking pot for creating a positive workplace culture. These are some of the common trends amongst successful companies that have excellent workplace culture;
No matter what the business mission or goal is, the people within an organisation will be the key factor in making it happen or not. No exec or CEO has single-handedly achieved the successes of an entire business alone. An organisation is the sum of the people who belong to it. Attracting the right people and putting their well-being and satisfaction at the forefront of workplace culture is absolutely key.
There are many ways to prioritise and reward employees, whether that’s through cycle to work schemes, nursery benefits, gym memberships or healthcare plans – all popular benefit schemes that employers can adopt via Enjoy Benefits. These are easy to achieve ways to boost morale, prioritise wellness and nurture the relationship between employer and employee, because Enjoy Benefits will set up and run the schemes for you.
Now that you have great people, give them purpose and meaning to their work. Define the company’s mission statement and set goals that employees can work towards together. Create space to be collaborative and embrace individual cultures and experiences. Establishing core values and communicating these clearly with employees will provide clarity and direction in how and why certain things are done the way they are.
Listen and be open to change
One of the easiest ways to cultivate positive workplace culture is to listen to feedback from employees on how they feel about the workplace and existing culture. Just by listening to the feedback and taking steps to rectify problems or bolster positivity, will do wonders for turning the tide on toxicity or negative attitudes creeping into the workplace.
Find out more
Enjoy Benefits helps companies of all sizes to reward employees with benefits and schemes aimed at improving the workplace for both employee and employer.
In the coming months we’ll be looking more closely in this blog at how employee benefits can improve culture, motivation, productivity and profit for organisations.
To find out more about how Employee Benefits can work for your organisation, please call 0800 088 7315 or use the contact form to get in touch.