A positive workplace culture can be the difference between your business being what people consider a great place to work or a workplace people would avoid at all costs. Of course, when hiring new employees, they must have the relevant experience and qualifications. However, they should also bring positive values to your business and fit perfectly with your existing team and company culture. Before you create and improve your workplace culture, it's important to understand What is Workplace Culture? and How Important is Workplace Culture?
What is Workplace Culture?
You've heard the term workplace culture but do you truly understand or know what it is? Essentially workplace culture is the principles and philosophy of an organisation, a collection of values, traditions, behaviours, attitudes and beliefs your company stands by. When establishing or looking to improve your workplace culture, consider your culture as the foundation of what separates you from your competitors. Ultimately, your culture in the workplace is what makes your business unique.
How Important is Workplace Culture?
Building a positive workplace culture is an integral part of any sustainable business. It can be a critical factor for boosting talent morale, driving productivity levels, and ultimately making the company a great place to work. Additionally, creating a positive workplace culture can increase the retention rates of your employees and helps with attracting the market's best talent.
Now that you know workplace culture and its importance, let's explore our 10 Ways You Can Improve Workplace Culture.
1. Give Your People a Purpose
When looking to improve your workplace culture, one crucial aspect is to give your people a purpose. Today's employer needs more than a competitive salary to keep them motivated to work for your business to the best of their ability. Your people need to feel like their position within your company and your company itself has a purpose. Without this, you cannot expect to improve the culture in the workplace, and you may struggle to retain your staff and even lose them to your competitors.
Giving your people a purpose will ensure they are fully behind your company's mission, vision and values and are on board with helping your organisation reach its short and long-term goals and objectives. In addition, once you instil a purpose within your workplace culture, you can expect greater motivation levels as your people will feel they have something worthwhile to work towards.
2. Emphasise Your Business Values
As mentioned, your values, mission and vision are crucial to establishing and improving a positive culture in the workplace. More specifically, emphasising your values to your employees is essential and should be the core of your business operations. Your business values should effectively summarise your organisation, separate you from your competitors, be ingrained in your staff's working mindsets and be something true to your business.
Additionally, you must genuinely believe in your business values, they should be meaningful and something your people can get behind. Your business values should become part of your brand's tone of voice, be a key part of your onboarding process and be visible across all your online channels. Finally, once you have established or redefined your business values, you should ensure your employees are aware of them and frequently reminded of them to help improve your workplace culture.
3. Embrace Employee Recognition and Rewards
Recognising and rewarding the achievements of your employees is another significant step towards improving your workplace culture. For your people to want to work towards your company's goals, they need to feel valued. By embracing employee recognition, you can boost morale and maintain the engagement of your employees. When your employees are engaged, this will spread to the wider team - improving your culture in the workplace.
Examples of workplace culture recognition and rewards can include rewarding your people with monetary bonuses for hitting targets and shout-outs in internal meetings and company events. Additionally, suppose you recognise the work of your employees and share this on your website and social channels. In that case, this can help retain your people and attract new talent actively or passively, looking for an employer who recognises and rewards achievements.
4. Initiate Incentives for Employees
Similarly to rewarding the achievements of your employers, initiating incentives can play a significant role in improving the culture in the workplace. Therefore you should dedicate time to acknowledge your people's hard work as it allows them to feel appreciated and valued by you. Instil a positive competitive working environment with incentives for hard work and hitting targets, and your employees will work better and be motivated to attain the incentives your organisation offers.
Examples of workplace culture incentives can include the following:
- Quarterly team events and company away days
- Monthly lunch for the best-performing team or individuals
- Social events, from nights out to team activities
- Referral schemes
- Promotion, training and development opportunities
- Added time off for hitting targets or birthdays
Simple gestures like these will go a long way in increasing the performance of your talent. Better yet, the events and social get-togethers you make part of your workplace culture can encourage better working relationships among employees and the wider business. Additionally, you could have your team have a say on your company incentives and have them vote on who they feel has earned a particular incentive.
5. Set Clear Goals
Like our previous point, Give Your People a Purpose, you need to set clear goals for your talent; otherwise, how can you expect them to get on board with your workplace culture? You should set clear goals as part of your company culture to give your people a sense of direction and the motivation to work toward something that will benefit your business and progress their lives. Then, when your tie this in with recognitions, rewards and incentives, you'll be well on your way to improving your culture in the workplace.
Setting clear goals will map out employees' paths and allow them to take charge of their work performance. These goals and progression plans can be agreed upon with the employee to help reduce stress and anxiety levels in the office and reassure people about the future. Along with setting individual goals, you can set company goals. You should share these with your employees to show them where the company is heading and how they can contribute to achieving it with each department or team member.
6. Build Employee Relationships
Often, the better the employee relationships, the better the quality of work is produced. Why? Because people work better together when they feel like they can speak to each other and ask for help. When your employees develop internal connections, you will improve the culture in the workplace. You will begin to inspire a community-like environment with greater collaboration and mentorship.
Of course, building employee relationships to improve your workplace culture will take time. Still, it is something you should continue to grow as your organisation continues to progress. Encourage regular meetings, catch-ups and one-to-ones between your staff to allow them to understand each other better on a personal and professional level. Then, when your workplace culture begins to build employee relationships, your team members will know how to get the best out of each other and work more efficiently.
7. Be Open and Transparent
Transparency can be the crux of an influential workplace culture. The modern employee wants to feel in the loop and be aware of various aspects of the business. Therefore, you should be open and transparent with your staff about the performance and future of your business to ensure any news does not fluster them at the last minute or come through the office grapevine. Being open and transparent with your employees also builds trust; when they trust you, they will be more inclined to stay loyal to you.
Encouraging an open and transparent culture in the workplace also means listening to your employees' views and opinions when it comes to specific projects, critical business decisions or their personal growth. This level of openness and transparency can be embedded within everyone within the business, no matter the position or rank. Again when your workplace culture is open and transparent, you will make your staff feel valued, and relationships will begin to be built between your employees - as previously mentioned.
8. Incorporate Work Flexibility
As work flexibility has become more common in recent years, with more and more companies being open to the idea of remote working, promoting work flexibility is worth incorporating into your workplace culture if you still need to do so.
Incorporating work flexibility in your workplace culture could include the following:
- Flexible remote working
- Flexible start and finish times
- Allowing early finishes for childcare time for parents
- Time-off for sabbaticals
- Time to complete training and development courses
Work flexibility is almost expected by the modern employee and can help improve your people’s morale and performance.
9. Encourage Employee Autonomy
Only some within your business will like to have their hand held or be micromanaged; many want you to trust them to manage their work, projects and assignments. Ultimately, you or your trusted leaders hired your people as you believed they would add value to your business and be capable of executing their required tasks effectively. Therefore you should believe in their ability to work more independently by giving them autonomy.
Encouraging employee autonomy as part of your workplace culture could bring out the best in your staff members and unlock their true potential. Of course, we're not suggesting you give your employee complete autonomy overnight, but it is something to consider gradually embedding within your culture in the workplace. By increasing accountability and independence, your employees will feel more trusted, respected and confident in their ability and again feel valued by you, the employer.
10. Create a Safe Working Environment
To truly create or improve workplace culture, today's businesses must uphold an approachable and safe working environment so that employees are well-cared for financially, emotionally and mentally. Similarly to establishing open and transparent communication within your workplace culture, you should create a safe workspace so employees can receive emotional support, encouraging an open-dialogue community to enable honest discussion on all matters whenever needed.
You should strive to build a reputation for having a workplace culture that promotes a genuine, safe working environment to ensure your employees feel comfortable when they come into the office or work remotely. A safe working environment brings a friendlier office atmosphere, encourages a community spirit and creates a place where people can work innovatively without fearing being punished or looked down on for failing. When people feel safe at work, they will inevitably feel positive and engaged in their work.
Amoria Bond Can Improve Your Workplace Culture
Knowing who is the right fit for your business can be better defined once you have established and improved your workplace culture. If you’re looking to hire the right talent that fits the culture of your business, we can help. Explore our services and speak to one of our consultants today and we’ll connect the right expertise to support you with your specific recruitment needs to progress your business.