What is workplace 'culture'?
Just as different communities or countries have different cultures, so do organisations. This encompasses what is acceptable, applauded and what people find motivating; it guides the way a company behaves and presents itself.
For example, while employees in one organisation may be expected to don formal business wear to elicit a productive executive atmosphere, another may see this as unnecessary and restrictive to a pleasant work environment.
Companies will often sum up their culture and everything that they stand for with their ‘key values’, known by all team members and often published online.
Company culture grows around shared beliefs and attitudes, it is an authentic, and therefore effective, tool in business. Culture should encompass existing qualities that have been recognised across all levels of the company and then tightly defined, rather than plucked out of thin air and enforced upon the business. If correctly cultivated, you can see some interesting benefits ...
Benefits of a good company culture
Some companies choose to recruit new employees based on their culture-fit to the existing workforce, placing experience lower down their list of priorities. This is known as a team-first corporate culture. The idea behind this being that if an employee feels comfortable in their work environment and values their colleagues as people, they will be more motivated to work hard.
Alternatively, if two potential candidates are neck and neck in a recruitment process based on experience, looking at their culture-fit to the company could be a useful deciding factor. Our personality assessments for recruitment and selectioninclude a subsection on culture-fit, offering off the shelf or bespoke personality questionnaires to assess a candidate’s work place values. If this sounds like something you would find useful then please do get in touch.
Better onboarding process
If you are clear on what your organisation stands for, what your aims are and what day to day office life is like, it will be substantially easier to convey this to new recruits. Your culture will be implicit in everything you do and rub off on anyone joining your team.
A discussion with your new team members about what they believe the company culture is could also be a valuable insight into the perception outsiders have on you as an organisation, as well as an onboarding exercise.
Promoting a good company culture can lead to a more informed recruitment process and more successful onboarding, new employees should match the company well and feel comfortable in their work place in no time at all, inspiring them to stay on.
Comfortable employees mean hard working employees. Working in an environment where you feel your values are represented, from colleague relationships to marketing your product or service, means you will be motivated to work harder.
Furthermore, employees who are happier at work take 10 times less sick days than their unhappy counterparts, meaning less lost hours.
If your organisation's culture is truly ingrained in your employees' mentality, they may value similar working styles, including their approach to receiving criticism.
This means a structured process for delivering and receiving feedback can be put into place, allowing for easier feedback conversations. In turn, these conversations will be more productive and lead to accelerated development.
Well defined goals
When the whole organisation is clear on the overarching values and goals of the company, everyone works toward the same goal. For example, although a business may be selling a product, if customer service is extremely important to them and ‘being helpful in any way they can’ is a core value they hold, then all employees will keep this in mind whether they are directly selling the product or working in a more supportive role.
This will mean more cohesive and consistent decision making company-wide.
Enhances the company brand
The cultural values of your company can be shared on social media and the organisation’s website to reinforce your brand. Although culture should be apparent throughout the company, making it even more apparent can’t hurt – especially when reflected in the company’s actions.
The perception of your business can make or break it, so what’s the harm in attempting to manage this a bit more closely?
Increased joy at work
At the end of the day the main benefit of a culture in which employees feel comfortable is that they feel more joy at work. Work becomes a place they are excited to go in the morning and where they are motivated to do well for not only themselves, but also for the success of their colleagues and the company more generally.
A supportive culture will reduce employee stress and lead to a healthier happier workforce.